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A design for a silver soup tureen
  • A design for a silver soup tureen
    Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796
  • Enlarge image

A design for a silver soup tureen

  • Place of origin:

    England

  • Date:

    1769

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796 (designer)
    Yenn, John, born 1750 - died 1832 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil, pen and ink and grey wash on a blue washed ground on laid paper. The sheet is watermarked HIS Ivilledary , (E. Heawood, <u>Watermarks mainly of the 17th and 18th Century</u>, 1950, N.2971) used on a document in London 1766.

  • Museum number:

    E.4992-1910

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case A, shelf 229, box A

Physical description

A drawing of a silver soup tureen. Profile. Shown full size 269 x 374.

Place of Origin

England

Date

1769

Artist/maker

Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796 (designer)
Yenn, John, born 1750 - died 1832 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil, pen and ink and grey wash on a blue washed ground on laid paper. The sheet is watermarked HIS Ivilledary , (E. Heawood, Watermarks mainly of the 17th and 18th Century, 1950, N.2971) used on a document in London 1766.

Dimensions

Height: 274 mm, Width: 382 mm

Object history note

The body of bombé form. The base has a gadrooned foot and a band of reed and ribbon moulding. On the body a band of Greek key pattern, on the lid a flower. The handles formed as stylized vegetables stalks. On the back of the sheet one of the handles has been traced through in pencil.
This is a design for a soup tureen for a service made for the 4th Duke of Marlborough in 1768- 1769 retailed by Parker and Wakelin. Two oval and two round tureens were made by Sebastian and James Crespel in 1769, of which one example is in Leeds City Art Gallery. A later version is at Blenheim Palace.
The tureens as made replaced the Greek key with a Vitruvian scroll.
This appears to be a presentation drawing.
Bought together with 72 other drawings from Major H. Bateman via J. Starkie Gardner on the 29th November 1910, for £ 37-0-0.

Chambers was born in Sweden and died in London. He travelled widely, visiting China, and studied architecture at the Ecole des Arts, Paris, from 1749 and in Italy from 1750 to 1755. Many of his drawings from this period are contained in his important 'Franco-Italian' album, held in the V&A. Chambers moved to London in 1755 and published his influential Treatise on Civil Architecture in 1759. Chambers demonstrated the breadth of his style in buildings such as Gower (later Carrington) House and Melbourne House, London, in such country houses as Duddingston, Scotland, and in the garden architecture he designed for Wilton House, Wiltshire, and at Kew Gardens. He became head of government building in 1782, and in this capacity built Somerset House, London.
Chambers also designed furniture and silver. The silver is usually linked to clients for whom he was also designing architectural schemes.
The designs for silver are all in the hand of the architect John Yenn, who was a pupil of Chambers, for whom he became a leading draughtsman, working for him from 1764 until the late 1770s, when he began to practice on his own account.

Descriptive line

A design for a silver soup tureen by John Yenn, after Sir William Chambers, c. 1769

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

‘Sir William Chambers and the Duke of Marlborough’s Silver’, Apollo, Vol. 125, No. 304, June 1987, pp. 396-400, fig 2.

‘The silver designs of Sir William Chambers: a resumé and recent discoveries’, The Silver Society Journal, Vol. 7, 1995, pp. 335-341, fig 5.

‘Sir William Chambers and John Yenn; designs for silver’, Burlington Magazine, Vol. 128, No. 994, January 1986, pp. 31-35, fig 32.

‘Silver, Ormolu and ceramics ‘ in John Harris and Michael Snodin (eds), Sir William Chambers , Architect to George III, 1996, pp. 149-162, fig 220.

‘Sir William Chambers; Catalogues of Architectural Drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum’ Michael Snodin (ed), 1996, cat 606.

Labels and date

John Yenn (1750-1821) after Sir William Chambers (1723-1796)
Design for a tureen
British, about 1767
Pen and ink and watercolour

In addition to being an accomplished architect and the chief
assistant to Sir William Chambers, Yenn was a gifted designer of
silver in the neoclassical style. A tureen almost identical to this
design was made for the Duke of Marlborough by the silversmiths
Sebastian and James Crespel under the aegis of John Parker and
Edward Wakelin and is now in Leeds City Art Galleries.
This design incorporates a number of typical neoclassical motifs
including handles made from palm leves twisted back, and the
decorative key pattern which was replaced by a' Vitruvian scrole'
E. 4992-1910 []

Materials

Material; Pencil; Grey wash

Techniques

Technique; Painting

Subjects depicted

Subject; Gadrooning; Elevation; Moulding; Stalk; Vegetables; Handles

Categories

Metalwork; Designs; Drawings; Silver; Silver Designs; English

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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