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Casting bottle

Casting bottle

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1563-1564 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt, embossed and chased.

  • Credit Line:

    Supported by The Art Fund (Eugene Cremetti Fund)

  • Museum number:

    M.13:1-1986

  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 65, The Whiteley Galleries, case 1, shelf 2 []

Casting bottles for rosewater were an indispensable accessory for both men and women at the Tudor Court. This bottle has lost its suspension chains. the ornament of lion masks, snails, strapwork and fruit clusters shows an early use of motifs of the Mannerist style, perhaps taken from prints emanating from Antwerp.

M.13-1986

Physical description

The flattened oval flask has a long neck and circular pierced screw-on cap. The circular foot has a die-struck ring. Above this the base is stamped with a complex two-part design of four leaf-sprays flanked by scrolled ribbons, alternating with a reversed leaf spray. The stem is a plain spool surmounted by a cast rayed button and a swaged two part profile wire. The two part body is enclosed by a profiled wire. Each face is chased and embossed within a frame with a burnished cartouche and strapwork enclosing a mask on a matted ground (one a lion, the other a grotesque). Around the cartouche is a double ribbon leading to two snails and two fruit pendants, the background is textured overall. The eyelets for the chain (now missing) are cast as dragons.
The flask neck is cast with linked circles of strapwork enclosing five-petal flower-heads with fruit radiating out to the border. Within the neck five wires form a screw thread.
The domed cover has a tubular screw within a vertical profiled wire. The upper surface is cast with four-part strapwork enclosing fruit and leaf sprays. In the centre is a two-part finial. The cap is pierced with thirty holes grouped symmetrically.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1563-1564 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt, embossed and chased.

Marks and inscriptions

Indecipherable - a device, struck on the upper face of the foot-ring.

Town mark: London

Dimensions

Height: 16 cm, Length: 8.3 cm, Weight: 204 g, Depth: 6 cm

Object history note

The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe; Sotheby's 7 August 1941 lot 95, Sir Stephen Courtauld, Bulawayo, Rhodesia. By descent in the Courtauld family. Purchased from Mrs How of Edinburgh with support from the National Art-Collections Fund

Historical context note

Used for rose-water as an elegant accessory for a lady at the royal court as evidenced in royal and aristocratic inventories dating between 1521 and 1574. As befitted a fashionable item of toilet plate, the casting bottle was usually gilded and highly decorated in the current taste; one in the collection of the Earls of Pembroke was 'chased with antique work with satyr and a woman'.

Descriptive line

Casting bottle, silver gilt. England, London, 1563-4.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

National Art Collections Fund Review, 1987, 3233 pp.132-3; Phillippa Glanville, Silver in Tudor and Early Stuart England (London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1990), p.476

Labels and date

Casting bottles for rosewater were an indispensable accessory for both men and women at the Tudor Court. This bottle has lost its suspension chains. the ornament of lion masks, snails, strapwork and fruit clusters shows an early use of motifs of the Mannerist style, perhaps taken from prints emanating from Antwerp.

M.13-1986 [1992]

Materials

Silver; Gold

Techniques

Piercing; Chasing; Embossing; Gilding

Categories

Silver; Accessories

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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