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Claret Jug - Vintage
  • Vintage
    Angell, Joseph the younger, born 1815 - died 1891
  • Enlarge image


  • Object:

    Claret Jug

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1851-1852 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Angell, Joseph the younger, born 1815 - died 1891 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, with cast and engraved decoration, burnished and frosted, gilt interior

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The firm of Joseph Angell and Son was one of the largest and most important silversmithing and jewellery, manufacturers and retailers in London in the mid 19th century. Its origins can be traced back to the late 18th century when Joseph Angell was apprenticed to Henry Nutting, goldsmith of Noble Street, on October 5, 1796. Joseph Angell entered his first mark as a plateworker at the London Assay Office on October 7, 1811. At first the firm established by Joseph Angell began as manufacturing silversmiths to the trade, supplying Rundell Bridge and Rundell and Hunt and Roskell amongst many others. It was only ca. 1849 that they opened their own retail premises at no.10, The Strand. On the retirement of Joseph Angell (senior) in January, 1848, his son, Joseph Angell (junior) continued the family business under his own name (and with his own mark). An advertisement for the firm in 1851 described the stock as "a large collection of articles of silver plate, all of J. Angell's own make, suitable for testimonials, presentations, &c., And which can be offered at advantageous prices, with intrinsic value and excellence of workmanship combined. Also a large assortment of every variety of plate, for domestic and other purposes, an extensive assortment of silver tea services, children's mugs, silver waiters, cake baskets, candelabrum, epergnes, flower stands, plateaux, salvers, kettles and lamps, cruet frames, claret jugs, sugar vases and baskets &c. &c. …"

It became widely known in the late 1840s that the Society of Arts, of which Prince Albert had been made President in 1843, was planning a major exhibition of manufactures which eventually developed into the Great Exhibition. It attracted to its ranks would be exhibitors and among the silversmiths in the Society were Sebastian Garrard, a member of Garrards, the Crown Jewellers who joined in 1849 and Joseph Angell (II) who joined in 1850. Both took care to let it be known in the right quarters that they were producing suitable pieces for the exhibition. Garrard produced an enamelled salver, known as the Brassey testimonial which was decorated with painted enamel portraits of English heroes of the Railway Age, e.g. George Stephenson, with representations of their principal achievements. Many of the silversmiths' stands carried similar, elaborate, sculptural testimonials, some of questionable artistic merit, and that of Joseph Angell was no exception. His included an intricately chased shield, "Alexander and Darius at the Battle of Issus" commissioned by Rundells from Angell and subsequently acquired by Her Majesty the Queen. By contrast, Angell also included a series of picturesque tea and coffee services and claret jugs of eccentric shapes ornamented either with champlevé enamel and engraved arabesques or applied cast decoration. A silver-gilt, tea and coffee service, embellished with engraved decoration and champlevé enamel which won for Joseph Angell, a Prize Medal. The Purchasing Committee for the Museum of Manufactures, (renamed the South Kensington Museum and subsequently the Victoria and Albert) nevertheless saw no reason to acquire any of his works. This service was eventually acquired by the V&A in 1973 (M.27-c,-1973). It is illustrated in the The Industry of All Nations, 1851, The Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue, p.163 alongside an illustration of the claret jug.

This was a popular design, reproduced on several occasions over the period. A similar example is in the collection of the Goldsmiths' Company, acquired in 1973 with an inscription stating that it was "Purchased by William Quilter, at the Great Exhibition of 1851." It is known that several claret jugs were on display on Angell's stand and this example could well have been one of them. It is identical in every detail to the Goldsmiths' Company's example except for the inscription on the base. Both jugs have been hallmarked for 1851-52, concurrent with the duration of the Great Exhibition and therefore amongst the first examples executed.

Physical description

A "Vintage" silver claret jug, of hexagonal form, the plain body decorated with an applied, cast columnar strapwork frame, realistically entwined with vines and leaves amongst which putti can be seen picking grapes and making merry, to a scrolling stylised bine handle, the hinged cover with engraved vine leaf detailing, to a finial formed by a drunken putto astride a barrel of wine, raised on an hexagonal foot decorated with engraved leaf decoration, gilt interior.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1851-1852 (made)


Angell, Joseph the younger, born 1815 - died 1891 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, with cast and engraved decoration, burnished and frosted, gilt interior

Marks and inscriptions

London hallmarks for 1851-52

Mark of Joseph Angell II


Height: 35 cm, Weight: 1518 g

Historical context note

An identical example was acquired by the Goldsmiths' Company for their collections in 1973. Their version had an inscription added on the foot which reads; "Purchased by William Quilter, at the Great Exhibition of 1851. With the prize money gained by the exhibition of Cape Heath."

Descriptive line

Claret jug, silver, London hallmarks for 1851-52, mark of Joseph Angell II.

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

Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue, London, 1851, Vol. II Class XXIII, No. 111. ill.
The Industry of All Nations, The Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue, London, 1851, p.163. ill.
Culme, John, Nineteenth Century Silver, London, Hamlyn for Country Life Books, 1977, p. 156. ill. ISBN. 0600391345
Culme, John, The Directory of Gold and Silversmiths, Jewellers and Allied Traders, 1838-1914), (from the London Assay Office Registers), Woodbridge, Antique Collectors' Club, 1987, Vol. I, p.162., Vol. II., pp.. 11-13. ISBN: 09074562464




Raising; Casting; Engraving (incising); Polishing; Frosting; Gilding

Subjects depicted

Grapes; Foliage motifs; Barrels (containers); Amorini; Ladders; Vines


Containers; Drinking; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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