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Tobacco pot
  • Tobacco pot
    Sykes, Godfrey, born 1824 - died 1866
  • Enlarge image

Tobacco pot

  • Place of origin:

    Sheffield (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1853 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sykes, Godfrey, born 1824 - died 1866 (designer)
    Thomas Bradbury and Sons (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Copper, electrotyped

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Committee of the School of Art, Sheffield

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The English designer and painter Godfrey Sykes was born in Malton, North Yorkshire. He was first apprenticed to an engraver, James Bell, in Sheffield. In 1843 he entered the Sheffield School of Art, where he began to teach in 1857 after a starred career as a student. Sykes was strongly influenced by the English artist Alfred Stevens (1817-1875), who from 1850 was chief designer for ironfounders Hoole & Co. of Sheffield, and Sykes worked for a period under Stevens at Hoole & Co. for no pay. This tobacco jar, designed by Sykes during this period and shown at the Dublin 1853 exhibition, is an accomplished essay in Stevens’s Renaissance Revival manner.

In 1859, Sykes moved to London and worked on the decoration of the new South Kensington Museum, now the V&A, under the architect Captain Fowke. The work employed a variety of media: terracotta, mosaic, bronze, majolica, stained glass, paint and iron. While he was in London Sykes also designed the cover for the English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray’s Cornhill Magazine (1860). Fowke called Sykes, ‘master and inventor of English cinquecento decoration’, a phrase that well expresses the Italianate character of his vigorous Renaissance manner.

Physical description

The drum is encircled by a group of cupids holding wreaths, the top surmounted by the figure of an Indian (missing). The body is of electroformed copper which was originally intended to be finished with a surface of electroplated silver.

Place of Origin

Sheffield (made)


ca.1853 (made)


Sykes, Godfrey, born 1824 - died 1866 (designer)
Thomas Bradbury and Sons (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Copper, electrotyped


Height: 9 in, Diameter: 4 in

Descriptive line

Bronze tobacco pot decorated with a group of cupids holding wreaths, designed and made by Godfrey Sykes, around 1858.

Production Note

Designed and modelled by Godfrey Sykes of the School of Art, Sheffield.





Subjects depicted

Cupids; Wreaths (costume accessories); Figure, Male




Metalwork Collection

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