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Lot 1


the base of each struck with the mark of Jacob Bodendick (fl. 1661-1688), London, the oviform bodies richly embossed and chased with flowering scrollwork inhabited by putti, one blowing a horn, and with applied circular panels pierced and chased with flowering foliage inhabited by birds within simple beaded borders and three vacant circular panels, the domed lid with overlapping acanthus leaves on a matted ground and with a knopped finial formed as clasped acanthus leaves,

Condition Report: click here
Estimate: £15,000 - £25,000
Bidding ended. Lot is unsold.

the base with a band of stiff upright acanthus leaves, one with the scratch weight 27-11-0 and the other with a scratch weight 27-18-0, 25cm high, (c.54 tr. ozs combined)

Provenance: Almost certainly Thomas Medlycott (1628-1716) recorder of Abingdon, Oxfordshire 1675-1686
His son, James Medlycott (1658-1731) of Ven House, Milborne Port, Somerset
Thomas Medlycott, son of the above
Thomas Hutchings, nephew of the above
Sir William Coles Medlycott (1767-1835), son of the above
Sir William Medlycott (1806-1882)
Sir William Medlycott (1831-1887)
Sir Edward Medlycott (1832-1902)
Sir Mervyn Medlycott (1837-1908)
Sir Hubert Medlycott (1841-1920)
Sir Christopher Medlycott (1907-1986)
Sir Mervyn Medlycott (1947-2021)
and thence by descent.

Note: These exceptional examples of Restoration silver may be compared to a pair of vases in the Dutch style fashionable from the 1660’s exhibited in “The Treasure Houses of Britain: 500 Years of Private Patronage and Art Collecting”, the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, November 1985-March 1986, no. 118. These richly fashioned vases were used as display plate on a sideboard or on the stepped mantel shelves above a fireplace, in the same way that Chinese and Japanese porcelain was displayed at this period. Few of these vases bear a full set of hallmarks, since they were usually made on commission and therefore “not set to sale”, which required assay and marking. Unlike the larger ginger jar exhibited in Washington DC, the Sandford Orcas vases bear the makers mark of Jacob Bodendick, generally regarded as the leading “Dutchman” working in London during the third quarter of the 17th century. The Sandford Orcas ginger jars may also be compared to a pair of Charles II silver vases sold at Christie’s 20th November 2001 with provenance to Mrs William Randolf Hearst Snr. and the British Rail Pension Fund.

Jacob Bodendick

Jacob Bodendick was a goldsmith of German heritage, who was active in England from the time of the Restauration in 1660 to circa 1680. Bodendick was one of the most prominent silversmiths of the late 17th century and he supplied a wide variety of domestic, corporation, livery and church plate. His work is characterised by its exuberant Baroque decoration and the exceptional quality of his chased and repousse work. He worked for the Court of Charles II and produced metalwork for the King’s jewel house. Foreign, or “alien” goldsmiths, working for the Royal Court aroused the anger of the Goldsmiths Company provoking complaints about the unemployment of native goldsmiths. In 1664 Bodendick presented a letter from Charles II to the Wardens of the Goldsmith Company, ordering them to mark and assay his work to allow him to sell it in the same way as a native goldsmith. In his letter the King gave assurances that Bodendick and other “alien” goldsmiths should “imploy (sic) his Native subjects and not strangers in their manufacture”. It is likely that the Sandford Orcas ginger jars were made for Thomas Medlycott, who was recorder of Abingdon, Oxfordshire, 1675-1686 and 1687-1689. He had been born in London in 1628 and was educated at the Merchant Taylors School, Christ College, Cambridge in the Middle Temple. He was called to the Bar under the Commonwealth in 1653, but little is known of his career before 1675 when he was made a JP for Middlesex.

Initially his appointment as Recorder was welcomed by his future political opponent, John Stonhouse, and he and Stonhouse worked together in 1678 on the prosecution of the MP for Milborne Port (Somerset) Michael Malet, for alleged Lese-Majesty during the Berkshire County By-election of that year. Malet had commented in public that the Earl of Stirling, the Court Candidate, was as great a rogue as the King. As a result he spent some months in the Tower of London but, having a long history of outrageous utterances, he was considered half-mad and finally released without being brought to trial. Medleycott and his wife had six sons and a daughter. James Medlycott became a lawyer and Master in Chancery. He bought the Ven Estate in Malet’s old constituency of Milborne Port and it was there that his father died in 1716.

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These are each 26cm high x 17cm high.

Both have evidence of solder repairs to bases and both have creased and dented vacant cartouches. 

There is a significant amount of minor denting to bodies but no apparent cracks or holes to metal. 

One of the lids has a solder repair to finial, visible to underside - see additional photos. 

The three vacant cartouches do not appear to have had arms removed or have been patched. These cartouches are not drilled in the same way as the others fitted with florid roundels - and thus presumably did not have roundels. 

The florid pierced roundels are secured by apparently hand made nuts and some of these roundels are slightly loose. The roundels cover circular cartouches which are plain underneath. 

The necks and inner rims of lids are slightly dented and misshapen. 

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