Ewer thumbnail 1
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Silver, Room 65, The Whiteley Galleries

Ewer

1736 (made), 1944-1945 (hallmarked)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

From the 1760s, helmet-shaped ewers were popular for displaying on the buffet or for use on the toilet table. This ewer may have been originally accompanied by a large basin to assist with hand washing. It is designed in the fashionable Régence style which emerged in Paris in the late 17th century and was brought to England by Huguenot goldsmiths. Typical features of the style included cut-card work work (flat sheets of pierced silver applied to plain surfaces) and gadrooning (borders of convex ribs). Although this ewer is made by the most celebrated of 18th century silversmiths, Paul de Lamerie, it is also a duty `dodger'. English silver was taxed by weight after 1720. To avoid paying tax on larger, heavier objects (weighed when the piece was being marked by the assay office), marks were sometimes cut out from smaller, lighter pieces and added to avoid them going through the assay office. In 1944 the transposed marks for this piece were removed and the ewer was re-marked.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver gilt, cast
Brief Description
Silver, London, 1736, made by Paul de Lamerie, London hallmarks for 1944-45.
Physical Description
Helmet shaped body, harp shaped handle with a beaded head, the arms in high relief under the lip, the lower part of the body with alternate scrolls and twisted leaves, shaped quatrefoil foot chased with scrolls and scales.
Dimensions
  • Height: 15.75in
  • 13th width: in
Marks and Inscriptions
Cast coat of arms of Philip Yorke, Baron Hardwicke (later Lord Chancellor) impaling those of his wife Margaret Cocks
Gallery Label
EWER Silver-gilt Made by Paul de Lamerie, marked by the London Assay Office, 1944 Decorated with the applied arms of Philip of Yorke, Baron Hardwick impaling the arms of his wife, Margaret Cocks From the 1760s, helmet-shaped ewers were all the rage for displaying on the buffet or for use on the toilet table. This ewer may have been originally accompanied by a large basin to assist with hand washing. It is designed in the fashionable Régence style which emerged in Paris in the late 17th century and was brought to England by Huguenot goldsmiths. Typical features of the style included cut-card work (flat sheets of pierced silver applied to plain surfaces) and gadrooning (borders of convex ribs). Although this ewer is made by the most celebrated of 18th century silversmiths, Paul de Lamerie, it is also a duty `dodger'. English silver was taxed by weight after 1720. To avoid paying tax on larger, heavier objects (weighed when the piece was being marked by the assay office), marks were sometimes cut out from smaller, lighter pieces and added to avoid them going through the assay office. In 1944 the transposed marks for this piece were removed and the ewer was re-marked. M.16-1954(1996)
Object history
Offered for sale at Christie's (without an accompanying salver) by Lord Hardwicke, 04/04/1895, Lot 101. Bought by Heigham for £361-2s-5d. Sent in for sale to Christie's by a Mrs Motion and catalogued as Lot 66 in the sale of 09/06/1943. Withdrawn in consequence of a complaint that the marks were transposed (which they proved to be when the foot was removed). Put up for sale (without marks) by another auctioneer in 1944 and seized by the Goldsmiths' Company . Submitted to the Antique Plate Committee on 26/06/1944 and ordered to be marked as a modern piece. The Company retained the disc showing the original hallmarks.



The gilding was probably done since 1944 but before the ewer entered the Museum.
Subjects depicted
Summary
From the 1760s, helmet-shaped ewers were popular for displaying on the buffet or for use on the toilet table. This ewer may have been originally accompanied by a large basin to assist with hand washing. It is designed in the fashionable Régence style which emerged in Paris in the late 17th century and was brought to England by Huguenot goldsmiths. Typical features of the style included cut-card work work (flat sheets of pierced silver applied to plain surfaces) and gadrooning (borders of convex ribs). Although this ewer is made by the most celebrated of 18th century silversmiths, Paul de Lamerie, it is also a duty `dodger'. English silver was taxed by weight after 1720. To avoid paying tax on larger, heavier objects (weighed when the piece was being marked by the assay office), marks were sometimes cut out from smaller, lighter pieces and added to avoid them going through the assay office. In 1944 the transposed marks for this piece were removed and the ewer was re-marked.
Collection
Accession Number
M.16-1954

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record createdJuly 16, 2007
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