A set of four exceptionally illustrious candlesticks made by the silversmith Paul Crespin after a design by William Kent (1685-1748) is just one of the many highlights on display on Koopman Rare Art
s stand (C29) at the forthcoming prestigious Masterpiece London 2017 Fair.
Considered to be the earliest known candlesticks of this form, the candlesticks, which are dated 1745, were originally in the collection of the Duke of Newcastle. Lewis Smith, Director of Koopman Rare Art considers them to be artistically and historically in a league of their own. The asking price is £350,000.
Equally noteworthy is an incredibly rare 16th century silver-gilt Elizabeth I tankard. Made in London in 1578 and stamped with the makers mark of a slipped rose, the tankard is of classic form with a hinged lid and has attractive decorative detailing, as well as an incised coat of arms possibly that of the Everard or Roberts families (asking price: £95,000).
Likewise a pair of magnificent silver wine coolers, dating from 1714 and made by the 18th century Huguenot silversmith Lewis Mettayer, are among the earliest of this particular style made in England. The form, designed to hold a single bottle of wine, was introduced from France after local glass blowers had started to produce longer, thinner, cylindrical wine bottles, which could be stored on their side. The benefits of this means of storage were quickly recognised and this, combined with more attention being paid to different winemakers, grape varieties, and vineyards saw a growth in production of wine related silver all designed to enhance the presentation, drinking and general enjoyment of wine. The wine coolers also have an esteemed provenance and bear the arms of Sir Paul Methuen (16721757), the son of John Methuen (16501706), English envoy to Portugal and negotiator of the Methuen Treaty. They remained in the Methuen family until 1920 (asking price: £450,000).
Other important wine coolers featured on Koopman Rare Arts stand at Masterpiece London include a remarkable silver-gilt pair in the Egyptian style. Commissioned by Thomas 3rd Baron Foley (1780-1833), they bear the maker's mark of Digby Scott & Benjamin Smith and are hallmarked London1805. The design is based on an original drawing by Jean-Jacques Boileau (asking price of £550,000). In addition another pair of silver-gilt Royal Ducal George III wine coolers dated London 1816 by Robert Garrard has an asking price of £75,000.
Lewis Smith said: One great advantage about 21st century living is we are no longer dictated to by the rules of formal dining. Outstanding antique silver pieces, such as wine coolers take on new meaning. Yes we can still use them traditionally or we can be more creative and make them work for us while still showing off their incredible intrinsic beauty. Many of our customers also use their wine coolers as vases or, when not in use, they are great decorative works of art in their own right.
Sport, in particular horse racing always provided silversmiths with employment as can be seen from a number of fine racing trophies. A superior example is an elaborate William IV silver tankard made by Paul Storr in 1833. Cast in sections and ornately decorated with scenes from a Bacchic celebration and festooned with grape and vine motifs, the cover is engraved Bangalore 1843 Won by Captain Knoxs gray Arab horse The Adopted Son (asking price: £125,000)
Also worth drawing attention to is an extremely large and impressive, solid silver trophy in the shape of a Pilgrims flask. Standing some 35 ¼ inches tall (89.5 cm.) and weighing a substantial 369 ounces the flask is inscribed Edinburgh Cup 1885. Won by Lord Roseberys Touch and Go. Made by famous London silversmith Robert Garrard and marked with the date letter for 1875, this magnificent trophy has an asking price of £110,000.
A fabulous collection of precious, decorative objects, which beg to be admired, can also be seen on the Koopman Rare Art stand. Each piece would have been found in a traditional Renaissance Kunstkammer or cabinet of curiosities. The perfect example is a French gem-set parcel gilt lapis lazuli tazza dating from circa 1860 and made by Jules Wiese. The tazza stands a mere 3 ½ in (8.8 cm.) high and is reminiscent of a typical tazza from the Renaissance period, its stem cast as a putto raising aloft a lapis lazuli shell-carved bowl (asking price: £9,500). Putti also feature in a pair of charming ormolu and patinated bronze candlesticks, designed by Juste Aurèle Meissonier Paris circa 1730 (asking price: £65,000).
These objets de vertu are complemented by several exquisite gold and enamel boxes dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Interesting pieces of continental silver include a fine late 17th century Italian ewer from Messina, decorated with a mask, scrolls and leaves and the handle cast with a leopards head (asking price: £33,000), as well as an interesting 17th century Spanish brazier made in the town of Palma de Majorca in around 1680 (asking price: £260,000). In addition there is a suite of royal 19th century German serving dishes, the centre of each of the 16 dishes engraved with a crown and cypher E.A.R, for Ernest Augustus Rex, King of Hannover (asking price: £32,500).
A separate section of Koopman Rare Arts stand at Masterpiece will be dedicated to the art of dining in the Regency period featuring several of the silver pieces mentioned above.
Other highlights on the Koopman Rare Art stand include:
A magnificent pair of Victorian marine silver table centre dessert bowls, 1838-1848, Maker's mark of Paul Storr and John Samuel Hunt for Storr & Mortimer,
Asking price: £245,000
A pair of important silver-gilt George IV ewers makers mark of Edward Farrell
Asking price: £ 175,000
An Exceptional George II silver Epergne Centrepiece
London, 1757, Maker's mark of Thomas Gilpin
Asking price: £75,000
A silver-gilt Regency Presentation Warwick Vase
London, 1814, Maker's mark of Paul Storr
Asking price: £75,000
A magnificent Neo-Classical silver nine-basket Epergne Centrepiece
George III, London, 1788, Maker's mark of Thomas Pitts
Asking price: £65,000
A pair of George IV silver Triton Shell Salt Cellars
Makers Mark of Paul Storr for Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, London, 1827,
Asking price: £52,000
A George III silver-gilt Honey Pot, Cover & Stand
London, 1798, Maker's mark of Paul Storr
Asking price: £33,000