The Biggin sits on a beautiful cast lamp stand with tri-form base, with incuse sides decorated with an egg and dart border. The leaf capped hoof legs, and winged sphinx supports, hold up the circular jug rest decorated with vertical lobed bands. The central spirit burner is modelled as an "Antique" urn and decorated with foliate spears, in addition to Egyptian Sphinx masks. The burner has a removable cover. The jug is of baluster form with an unusual raised band of geometric designs, where it rests on the lampstand, flanked by a beaded frame. The body rises to a slender neck and a frieze of crisp raised Rococo shell, bluebell and rope work garlands, all on a matted ground. This was a design element used by Boileau and is seen on the attached fruit coolers, attributed to him, together with the linear lobing and sphinx supports. The Jug has a very pronounced pouring spout and hinged cover terminating in a bud finial. The fruitwood handle is attached to the cover with a very detailed, and beautiful, caryatid head moulding with platted hair tied under the chin. This was another characteristic of Boileau's designs and is rather regarded as a signature to one of his pieces. The top of the head displays a socket of palm leaf mouldings where the wooden section of the handle fits in. The base of the handle, also displays foliate mouldings and a scroll end decorated with a floral rosette. Both the jug and the lampstand are in excellent, crisp, condition and very well marked on the base, spirit burner, stand, burner cover and jug. The jug cover is also marked with the date letter and sterling mark. This Jug on lampstand exemplifies the classical and Egyptian revivals of the early nineteenth century which followed archaeological discoveries and territorial conquests in Italy and the Nile. This piece shows the considerable influence of French taste in English silver, particularly the contrasting areas of plain silver and crisp relief ornament. The design of this hot milk biggin and lampstand is without doubt attributable to French born J.J. Boileau, a mural painter, who came to England to assist Henry Holland in the decoration of the Prince of Wales's Carlton House. Boileau later turned his hand to silver design and his work shows a debt to the French goldsmith, Henri Auguste. Among Boileau's designs are works executed in the full blown Egyptian manner, likely encouraged by publications such as Vivant Denon's, "Voyages dans la Basse et la Haute Egypte", 1802. Boileau's drawings are now in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. This piece illustrates characteristics of his design, these being the incuse cornered base, sphinx supports, shell and bluebell garlands, plain lower body contrasting with bands of ornament and finally the tied, platted, hair under the chin of the caryatid mask. His designs are discussed in "J.J. Boileau, a forgotten designer of silver", Connoisseur June 1978. Silver attributed to J.J. Boileau is exceptionally rare and desirable. Examples seldom come onto the market today and many are in important public and private collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Gilbert Collection in London. Benjamin & James Smith worked in the circle of Paul Storr and enjoyed the patronage of both King George III and George IV, when he was King and Prince of Wales. Their most famous commission was the Jamaica Service of 1803, now in the Royal Collection. Total Height: 10.75 inches. Diameter of the stand: 4.5 inches. Length, handle to spout: 5.5 inches. Total Weight: 36oz. PRICE £ 11,000
Mary Cooke Antiques Limited was established by our founder, Mary Cooke, in London over fifty years ago in 1967. We specialise in Eighteenth century, and earlier, British silver and Gold Boxes, in addition to early Nineteenth century Collectors' Items. Our stock is always well represented with Scottish and Irish silver as well as pieces from York, Newcastle and Exeter. In addition we have one of the largest stocks of Hester Bateman silver, Caddy Spoons, Silver Boxes and Wine Labels in the United Kingdom.
Fellow Director, Neil Shepperson, joined the company over twenty five years ago in 1994 and together they exhibit at a number of antique fairs in the United Kingdom as well as assisting clients to build up collections on an international level. The Company has been a member of the British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA) for over forty years and both Mary and Neil have held the position of Chair of silver vetting at the BADA. They also Chair and serve on the vetting committees of most of the major antique fairs in the United Kingdom. Our stock can be viewed, by appointment, at our riverside showrooms in Barnes or on our extensive, frequently updated, website www.marycooke.co.uk.
Mary Cooke Antiques Ltd
12 The Old Power Station
121 Mortlake High Street
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