Proper Ornaments to be Engrav'd on Plate
Design for silver engraving
- Place of origin:
Charles de Moelder (artist)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case EO, shelf 144
Charles de Moelder was a prolific designer in London during the reign of William and Mary. This plate shows three designs by him, probably for the use of silversmiths in making household items. The two designs on the left are for tea caddies, vessels which were used to hold dry tea leaves. Tea drinking was introduced in Britain in the mid-1600's, and by the end of the century the practice was experiencing a steady increase in popularity among the English. Eleganlt and finely decorated tea caddies, such as the one’s shown here, were often made out of silver, and provided attractive centerpieces on the table at home or in gentlemen’s clubs. One of the caddies on the engraving is in the style of a Chinese pocelain jar. Inspired by the Eastern origin of tea, oriental porcelain was a common design type for the earliest tea caddies. The other caddy is decorated with putti and an eagle in a typically Baroque manner.
The design on the right is for a circular box, showing on its lid the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. On the left side of the scene, the vengeful goddess Eris looks down, about to disrupt the procedings. The strange angle at which the lid of the box is positioned is an attempt to give a good view of the scene on the top of the box and simultaneously display the pattern for the side decoration. At the top right, two more frieze-like designs are shown, which could have been substituted into the programmes on the vessels if the gold or silversmith who used the design the box so desired.
The design on the right is for a circular box, showing on its lid the wedding of Peleus and Thetis about to be disrupted by the vengeful goddess Eris. The strange angle at which the lid appears is probably due to Moelder struggling with perspective. Rather it is an attempt on his part to give the goldsmith who used the design a good view of the scene and side decoration simultaneously. At the top right, two more frieze-like designs could have been substituted into the programmes on the vessels if so desired.
Designs for two tea caddies, one in the style of Chinese porcelain, and a circular box showing the marriage of Peleus and Thetis. In the upper right corner, two additional ornament designs.
Place of Origin
Charles de Moelder (artist)
Materials and Techniques
Marks and inscriptions
C. De Moelder in. et. Fecit.
bottom of plate
Height: 14 cm cut to, Width: 27 cm cut to
Object history note
Inventory numbers M.180.A.1-1919 and M.180.A.2-1919 from the V&A collection are examples of a slightly later tea caddy from London. The shape is comparable to de Moelder’s middle design. E. 1064-1899 shows a different state of this plate.
Charles de Moelder (after). Desgins for two tea caddies and a small box. Plate from a suite of twelve showing designs for silver engraving. British, 1694.
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
Fuhring, Peter, and Jennifer Kilian. Ornament prints in the Rijksmuseum II, Pt. 1. The, seventeenth century / Peter Fuhring. Ornament Prints in the Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2004.
Wees, Beth Carver. English, Irish, & Scottish silver at the Sterling and Francine Clark art institute. New York: Hudson Hills press, 1997.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1926, London: Board of Education, 1927.
Masks; Putti; Masks
Ornament prints; Silver; Metalwork; Designs; Prints
Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection