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Lot 2


makers mark of John Tassell, London 1685, with a scalloped and indented moulded rim, the body composed of six panels, one engraved with the armorial and crest of Ralph Grey, later the 4th Baron Grey of Werke enclosed by a mantling of feathery leaves, the remaining five panels flat-chased and engraved with chinoiserie including a guard with a spear beside a pavilion, a peacock amidst flowering foliage,

Condition Report: click here
Estimate: £20,000 - £40,000
Hammer price: £20,000
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.

a figure wearing a wide-brimmed hat standing beside a palm tree, an elegant building with an arcaded wall surmounted by an obelisk and a striding figure in floral robes with a scarf flowing in his wake, 29cm diameter x 14.5cm high (c.32 tr. ozs)

Provenance: Ralph Grey (1661-1706), later 4th Baron Grey of Werke
Probably acquired by Sir Hubert Medlycott (1841-1920) for Sandford Orcas Manor during the latter part of the 19th century
Sir Christopher Medlycott (1907-1986)
Sir Mervyn Medlycott (1947-2021)
and thence by descent.

Note: Ralph Grey, 4th Baron Grey of Werke, was an English peer who served as Governor of Barbados and was one of the English Commissioners for the negotiations for the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland. He was a Whig and a member of parliament for Berwick from 1679-1681. He attended King William III following the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and continued as a member for Berwick from 1695-1698 and briefly in 1701. He was Auditor of Wales from 1692-1702 and Governor of Barbados from 1698-1701. On the death of his brother, Ford Grey, the First Earl of Tankerville, on 24th June 1701, he succeeded as Baron Grey of Werke, taking him from the House of Commons into the House of Lords.

Grey died without issue and his Estates were inherited by a nephew, Henry Neville, who then changed his name to Grey by a private act of Parliament.

The vivid depiction of exotic chinoiserie scenes on silver produced in the 1680’s must have been compelling to the elite of the period depicting cultures of the East and the Orient, which were only a dream in the mind’s eye. Knowledge of China and Japan for the wealthy citizens of 17th century London was formed from travellers accounts and engravings, together with lacquer and porcelain shipped to London by The East India Company. At the same time, fashionable society became obsessed by tea, which was imported at vast expense. Contemporary sources for chinoiserie flat-chasing are a varied mélange, but it was John Nieuhoff ’s “An Embassy from the East India Company of the United Provinces”, translated into English by the bookseller John Ogilby in 1669, which was, arguably, the most important source.

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UPDATED 5th December 

This bowl has evidence of solder to foot rim and traces of solder elsewhere to rim.

We have sought specialist advice and have been told that such solder to foot rim is typical of construction of this period and not a cause for concern. 

The foot rim is dented. 

There are no apparent split or cracks to metal. 

The silver is bright when cleaned. 

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