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Casket

  • Place of origin:

    London (hallmarked)

  • Date:

    1909-1910 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Worrall, Charles Stephen (designer)
    Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Company Ltd. (retailers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver gilt, applied and chased decoration with enamel plaques

  • Credit Line:

    Lent by Her Majesty The Queen

  • Museum number:

    ROYAL LOANS.800:1

  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 67, The Whiteley Galleries, case 14, shelf 2

This casket was presented to King Edward VII by the Mayor, Aldermen and councillors of the Royal Borough of Kensington to celebrate his visit to the borough to open new buildings at the V&A in 1909. The 'new buildings', illustrated on the enamel plaque, refer to the Cromwell Road extension to the V&A, designed by the architect Aston Webb. The Daily Chronicle eulogised that the opening was 'the only bright spot in a week of unspeakable weather … actually the sun shone with special ardour when His Majesty spoke the words which pronounced the museum open forever.' The Daily Telegraph described this piece as 'a golden casket of exquisite workmanship'.

Physical description

Silver gilt casket with royal crest finial and with applied and chased decoration with enamel plaques. The enamelled decoration shows a view of the south wing of the V&A. The rear panel is inscribed with an address by the Mayor of Kensington to Edward VII. The lid bears the maker's mark and the date letter O.

Place of Origin

London (hallmarked)

Date

1909-1910 (made)

Artist/maker

Worrall, Charles Stephen (designer)
Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Company Ltd. (retailers)

Materials and Techniques

Silver gilt, applied and chased decoration with enamel plaques

Marks and inscriptions

On the lip of the lid date letter for London, 1909, sterling and makers mark of the Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Company Company as well as engraved 'Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Company, 112 Regent Street, W.'

'ADDRESS PRESENTED TO HIS MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY KING EDWARD VII BY THE MAYOR, ALDERMEN AND COUNCILLORS OF THE ROYAL BOROUGH OF KENSINGTON ON THE OCCASION OF HIS VISIT TO THE BOROUGH TO OPEN THE NEW BUILDINGS OF THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, 26TH JUNE 1909'
Inscribed on the rear panel

Dimensions

Height: 18 cm, Length: 21.7 cm, Width: 13.5 cm

Historical context note

1890 - The British government agreed to expand the V&A's premises and Aston Webb was selected from a competition as the designer/architect of the new building. Construction began in 1899 and the building was opened in 1909. It signified a change in the museum's approach to display, focussing on materials based displays rather than aesthetic/historical presentation. The re-arrangement provoked much publicity.

The 'new buildings', illustrated on the enamel plaque, refer to the Cromwell Road extension to the V&A, designed by the architect Aston Webb. The Daily Chronicle eulogised that the opening was 'the only bright spot in a week of unspeakable weather … actually the sun shone with special ardour when His Majesty spoke the words which pronounced the museum open forever.' The Daily Telegraph described this piece as 'a golden casket of exquisite workmanship'.

Descriptive line

Casket made for the Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Company, 1909-1910, London.

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

Visit the Royal Collection Trust’s website for more information at www.rct.uk/collection

Materials

Silver gilt; Enamel

Techniques

Gilding; Chasing; Enamelling

Categories

Metalwork; Royalty

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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