Tuesday 11 November 2014

LAPADA Object of the Week

I normally don’t post twice in one week but we are very excited to have one of our most prestigious pieces chosen as LAPADA's object of the week.
Lapada (The Association of Art and Antique Dealers), is the body which represents our industry, so we are extremely proud of this acknowledgement.
If you wish to see this truly fine example of beautifully crafted silver for yourself then please come and visit our shop down here at the London Silver Vaults. It will be on display until Christmas.

So, what is this item, you ask. Please read on.

This impressive wine cistern sits on our sister shop, Olliver Vanders, in the LSV.

From the Estate of the Maharaja of Cooch-Behar
Sebastian Garrard for Garrard & Co.
London 1920

A rare and impressive sterling silver Wine Cistern, supported on four lion paw feet, featuring half fluting to the body with lion mask and acanthus leaf handles, a thick banding of cast and applied oak leaf and acorn decoration below an egg and dart border, a cast and applied coat of arms in the cartouche.

One of the most famous firms in the history of silver, Garrard are still a household name today. Established in 1802 when Robert Garrard took sole control of Wakelin & Garrard, the firm went from strength to strength, succeeding Rundell, Bridge & Co as Crown Jewellers in 1843, a position they held continuously until 2007. In 1910 the firm opened a branch in Calcutta creating a strong link with India. This particular piece is marked on the bottom ‘Garrard & Co Ltd, Calcutta and London’ and, although made and hallmarked in London, was probably commissioned from the Calcutta branch.

The princely state of Cooch Behar was not large by Indian standards, but despite its size, it enjoyed a certain prominence since it was one of the very few states to lie within relatively easy distance of Calcutta, the hub of the British Raj. Due to this proximity, the Maharaja of Cooch Behar embraced westernization and this resulted in the family seeing an ascendancy in British official circles, as well as in London society. In fact, the colonial government granted Cooch-Behar 13 Gun Salutes and included it in the Salute States. The Maharajas enjoyed considerable wealth and this cistern is a perfect example of the extraordinary luxury in which they lived.

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