George III Sterling Neoclassical Tureen-On-Stand
Important George III Sterling Silver Neoclassical Tureen-on-Stand, hallmarked London, 1801-1802, by Robert Sharp, after designs by Jean-Guillaume Moitte (1746-1810), the tureen of hemispherical form and decorated with an engraved leaf-and-dart banding centered by a plain applied band, with gadrooned rim and beautifully chased ram's head and serpent handles, the fitted domed lid with leaf-and-dart mounted addorsed serpent ring handle and opening to reveal the fitted sterling liner, the whole raised on a domed foot banded en suite, the stand of cavetto domed form with floral lappet banding and raised on polydactyl lion's paw feet, later engraved on the body with the arms and on the lid, liner and stand with the crest and motto of Cheape of Rossie, and later still on the stand with a racing inscription "The Dwyer / June 14 - 1947 / won by / Phalanx", overall h. 16", dia. 14-3/4", 257.98 t. oz. This extraordinary tureen is clearly taken from the French neoclassical designs of Jean-Guillaume Moitte as executed by Parisian gold Henri Auguste (1759-1816; Master 1785). The designs were introduced into England by, among others, Prince Frederick Augustus, the Duke of York, and copied by a select handful of English craftsmen. The arms here are of slightly later date, probably for Henry Cheape (1790-1840). The later racing inscription is clearly for the champion Phalanx (1944-1971, out of Jacola by Pilate) who won the Dwyer Stakes - along with the Empire City Handicap, the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Belmont Stakes - in 1947.
Overall Condition: Very Good. A superb piece in generally very good condition. Light surface scratches, none deep. The interior of the tureen has some light zig zag marks, probably the assayer's diet (i.e., the silver allowed to be removed for testing). Very light bumps to the sleeve of the lid, sitting a scant 1/8" high on one side. The liner has a barely noticeable area of higher polish, about 1" x 3", suggesting a dent that has been smoothed out, although evidently with consummate skill. Superb chasing and details throughout. Hallmarks: 1) the sterling lion passant, 2) the London crowned leopard's head, 3) the date letter "F" for 1801-1802, 4) the maker's mark "RS" for Robert Sharp, and 5) the George III bust duty mark. Each piece marked: the lid on the sleeve, the tureen on the lower edge of the foot, the liner on the underside, and the stand on the underside. (The leopard's head lacking on the lid and liner.) All marks very good to excellent, with the exception of a rubbed maker's mark on the lid. The stand, tureen, and liner with double matching notches or dots, the lid with one matching notch, suggesting that this was once one of a pair, the lid mis-matched (though in no way ill-fitting). The ornate leafy mantling on the arms suggest a Victorian addition; the dated inscription later as noted. All engraving excellent. In all, a superior piece with no condition issues of note.