Kensington House Antiques and Sterling Silver Kensington House
Antiques
All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1800 item #342249
Kensington House Antiques
$295.00
Extraordinary late 18th century German silver sugar scissors in the form of a circus monkey. The monkey is wearing a harlequin suit and a bonnet and is grasping two rings that, upon closer inspection, are serpents. Monkeys were very popular exotic animals and inspired wondeful tableware including Meissen figurines and assorted silver. Often they were shown wearing human clothing and performing human tasks. The tongs are fully marked with late 18th century German hallmarks.

Origin: German States, ca. 1775. Condition: excellent, all original, very little wear. Size: 4-1/2" long. Weight: 55.0 grams.

All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Pre Victorian : Pre 1800 item #562293
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A marvelous Georgian cross pendant worked entirely in seed pearls and centering an oval cut citrine in a 9K gold push-up setting. Seed pearl jewelry became popular during the last quarter of the 18th century and remained in fashion for about fifty years. The forms were cut from pieces of mother-of-pearl then drilled with tiny holes. Strands of horsehair, bleached to become white and translucent, were used to sew hundreds of tiny natural seed pearls to the form. The center citrine adds a bit a sparkle to what would otherwise be a very chaste piece. Some of the pearls in this piece are quite large for seed pearl jewelry. Although pearls are associated with purity, crosses are difficult to find in seed pearl jewelry. The 14K gold bale is recent.

Origin: England, ca. 1775. Condition: excellent, some glue reinforcement of the horsehair in places on the back. Size: 2” x 1-3/8”.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling : Pre 1800 item #969107
Kensington House Antiques
$6500.00
A phenomenal and extremely rare George III sterling silver footed wine bottle or decanter coaster retaining its original ruby glass liner. Bottle or decanter coasters of the period are typically formed as simple round collars over turned wooden bases, perhaps enhanced with a bit of engraving or a border. This example is much finer than most others, with its ornately hand-sawn pierced gallery and undulating rim, the whole raised on tall volute feet with scrolled terminals and acanthus leaf capitals. Laurel wreath swags complete the design. The stand is finished with a blown ruby glass liner, precisely cut to fit the silver (it aligns with the silver only if placed exactly correctly). The pierced gallery has a small reserve that appears never to have been engraved. The silver is fully hallmarked for London, 1774-75. As was the practice, the hallmarks were applied before the decoration was complete, and when the piercing was performed, the maker's mark and duty mark were obliterated. Only the edges of those two punches are visible amongst the piercing.

Origin: England, 1774-75. Condition: excellent, all original, no repairs, a few tiny fleabites on the rim of the glass liner. Size: 5-3/8" diameter; 4-1/2" high. Silver Weight: 322.0 grams.

All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Pre Victorian : Pre 1800 item #1019977
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An exceedingly rare Georgian 18K yellow gold pendant locket celebrating the first manned flight by the Montgolfier brothers from Paris in 1783. Hot air balloons were one of the scientific wonders of the late 18th century, and balloon designs were worked into furniture, textiles, clothing and jewels. This locket features a hot air balloon carved from a piece of mother of pearl and then decorated with gilding and realistic painted detail. The balloon is affixed to a pale blue silk background and enclosed behind convex glass in an 18K yellow gold frame bordered by a ropetwist motif worked in gold and natural seed pearls. The edges of the frame are further accented with a beaded ogee design and bright-cut stippling. The back of the locket, also glass covered, features a mother of pearl plaque painted with the initial "F.H.", also affixed to a blue silk background. A piece such as this would most certainly have been made-to-order, so it is not surprising that it is unmarked. Tested and guaranteed 18K.

The rarity of this pendant really cannot be overstated. Very little late 18th century French jewelry survived the Revolution and pieces with a Montgolfier theme are exceptional.

Origin: probably France, ca. 1785. Condition: excellent; a small piece of the balloon carving has become dislodged (probably from the top finial of the balloon) and slipped toward the bottom of the frame (the frame could be opened the the loosened piece reattached). Size: 1-7/8" x 1-5/8".

All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Pre Victorian : Pre 1800 item #1034859
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An exceptionally rare and fine 18th century 15K yellow gold mourning ring, the crown comprising a very large verre eglomise panel with a black silhouette of a gentleman against a silvered background. The lace and brocade collar is exquisitely detailed. The edges of the panel are finished with bright-cut engraving, a design repeated at the top edges of the shank. The back of the glass panel is curved for comfort when being worn. Everything about the ring is of the finest quality. Its size and graphic appeal make a statement. Tested and guaranteed 15K.

Origin: England, ca. 1780. Condition: excellent, no damage to glass panel. Size: 1-5/16" x 13/16". Finger Size: 9-3/4.

All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Pre Victorian : Pre 1800 item #1092045
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A beautiful Georgian mourning pin worked in 15K yellow gold with black enamel accents. The domed crystal cover encloses a watercolor on ivory memorial scene highlighted with snippets of hair. The scene depicts a rifle and hunting bag, a dog and a willow tree. The rifle indicates that the brooch was intended to memorialize a gentleman and the willow tree was a symbol of sorrow. The dog waits patiently at attention by his master’s belongings, symbolizing loyalty. The concept of loyalty was an important symbol in Georgian jewelry, but the dog motif is not often encountered. The leaves of the willow tree and the grass on the ground are made from very fine snippets of hair. The design is completed with the monogram “L St.” The brooch retains its original extended pinstem and c-clasp. Tested and guaranteed 15K.

Origin: England, ca. 1790. Condition: excellent. Size: 1-5/32” x 25/32”.

All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Pre Victorian : Pre 1800 item #1150133
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A truly superb and rare example of a Georgian mourning ring, the navette-shaped crown set with a mourning scene on ivory covered with a rock crystal dome. The scene depicts are pair of doves perched on the edge of a fountain. The doves are worked in a thick application of enamel so they stand out from the ivory background like a bas-relief. Doves were commonly a reference to the Holy Spirit The fountain itself is made with gold borders (presumably 15K) infilled wth enamels and highlighted with floral swags applied with watercolors. A matching swag, centering a seed pearl, is suspended above the birds and fountain. The crystal is surrounded by a border of bright green and white enamel worked in a scalloped pattern. White enamel is rather uncommon and was nearly always used sparingly to reference the purity of a deceased woman. The use of green is extremely rare. The interior of the shank has an engraved monogram and a partial date that was obscured when the back of the shank was sized. At the time of the sizing, the interior of the shank was also stamped with a modern American 14K hallmark. The shank itself, however is completely original and is actually 15K gold, as is the crown.

Origin: England, ca. 1785. Condition: excellent, minute loss to enamel, sized. Finger Size: 6-1/2. Size: crown, 7/8” x 11/16”. Weight: 5.2 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1800 item #1168388
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An extraordinarily fine museum-quality French silver tastevin from the reign of Louis XV. The vessel’s sides are decorated with ornate applied and engraved strapwork alternating with fleurs-de-lys, the symbol of France’s ruling Bourbon dynasty. Rather than the traditional convex base, this tastevin is centered with a rare silver jeton issued by Louis XV to celebrate the birth of his first grandson, Louis-Joseph-Xavier, in 1751. Ornate line engraving and evenly-spaced repousse dimples surround the medal. The whole is raised on a ropetwist foot. The handle, in the form of a pair of intertwined dolphins, the symbol of the “dauphin” or heir to the French throne, is without parallel in any tastevin we’ve seen. The dolphin motif is a reference to the subject matter of the medallion inset into the bottom of the tastevin. The outer edge is engraved “De Melinville 1757”.

As noted previously, the medal inset into the bottom of the tastevin celebrates the birth of Louis XV’s first grandson. He would have inherited the throne ahead of his younger brother, Louis XVI, had he not died at the age of nine after a fall from his hobby horse. The jeton’s obverse, displayed on the interior of the tastevin, depicts Louis XV crowned with a laurel wreath and surrounded by the identifying words “LUD. XV REX CHRISTIANISS” (“The most Christian Louis XV”). The medal is is signed “B. DUVIVIER F.” for Pierre-Simon-Benjamin Duvivier (1730-1819) who later served as Medal Engraver to the King beginning in 1764 and then as France’s 13th “graveur général des monnaies” from 1774 until after the fall of the monarchy in 1791. The medal’s reverse depicts the goddess of childbirth, Lucina, introducing the infant (titled duc de Bourgogne)to the French nation personified as a kneeling maiden. The upper edge reads “PROLE ET PARTU FELIX” (“Announcing the happy birth” and a lower panel explains the reason for the issuance of the jeton, “DUX BURGUNDIAE DELPHINI FIL. LUD. XV NEPOS. NATUS XIII SEPTEMBRIS MDCCLI” (“Duke of Burgundy, son of the Dauphin, son of Louis XV, was born 13 September 1751”).

Silver dating to the pre-revolutionary “ancien regime” is extremely rare. France’s finances were weak and even the king himself was forced to melt nearly all his silver tableware to pay his debts. Michel Delapierre is among the most reknowned silversmiths of the era, noted for his well-balanced designs and expert craftsmanship. Though he registered his own maker’s mark after completing his apprenticeship in 1737, he preferred to use his father’s mark, even though he had died in 1734. This tastevin bears that mark, a crowned fleur-de-lys, two grains (dots), the initials MDLP and a stone (a clever play on on words since “Pierre” means “stone”).

Delapierre’s work is exceedingly rare, and is represented in major institutional collections by two pairs of candlesticks in the Wentworth Collection at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, a single covered dish at Le Musee du Louvre, and a candlestick and a vinegar bottle in France’s Musee des Arts Decoratifs.

Generally, fine tastevins were engraved at one edge with their original owner’s name. In this case, the tastevin is engraved with the shortened name of the owner “De Melinville”. His full name and title was Armand Francois de la Pierre, Ecuyer, Marquis de Melinville, Seigneur de Talhouet et autres lieux, chevalier de l’ordre militaire de Saint-Louis. It is unlikely but not impossible that the same family name of the silversmith and the Marquis de Melinville is more than a coincidence. The Marquis de Melinville served as a “lieutenant des marechaux de France” and in that role was charged with resolving disputes between men of noble birth for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary duels. In that role, he was assigned to the town of Hennebon, in his native Brittany.

The tastevin bears the master’s mark for Michel Delapierre; the charge mark for Paris (1756-1762); the Paris discharge mark; and the commune mark (“jurande”) for 1757-58.

Origin: France, 1757. Condition: excellent, sharp detail , normal wear the foot, but virtually no wear elsewhere. Size: bowl, 3-1/2” diameter, 1-1/4” high; overall, 3-1/2” x 4-5/8”. Weight: 207.2 grams. Provenance: Robert Lloyd; A Private Collection; S J. Shrubsole.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Ceramics : Pre 1700 item #12234
Kensington House Antiques
$195.00
Two-handled celadon jarlet; the glaze extending halfway down the body and in a soft green shade. The exposed earthenware is a reddish hue. Two applied strap handles connect the jar's lip to the shoulders. 15th-16th century. Origin: Southeast Asia, possibly Thailand. Size: 2.5" tall. Condition: Excellent.
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Pre Victorian : Pre 1700 item #1088409
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A very fine and exceedingly rare mid-17th century low-karat gold “Stuart crystal” memorial slide. Such pieces were secretly worn by loyalists to mourn the deposed and executed King Charles I in 1649. Eventually, they were used to mourn other deaths, as well as to celebrate betrothals and weddings. This is a particularly fine example, combining a crystal-encased miniature portrait of a well-nourished lady, regally dressed in a gown of red velvet with gold embroidery and ermine fur trim. A black mourning veil with a widow’s peak covers her hair. Four rose-cut crystals appear at the corners. Two of them enclose a gold wirework crown over a bed of woven hair, while the other two feature gold wirework entwined “CC” ciphers over a hair background. Slides such as this were threaded onto a wide black ribbon and worn on the wrist. They are generally oval or rectangular with rounded corners, but the addition of the four “jeweled” corners is most unusual. Since the portrait miniature depicts a woman in mourning, it is most likely that the image is of the slide’s owner herself rather than the deceased. The entwined “CC” cipher used in conjunction with the crown imagery suggests that this slide is an early piece that actually commemorated the death of King Charles rather than a later piece memorializing someone in the lady's family. To the casual observer it would have looked only like a miniature portrait with decorative corners, allowing the lady to express her secret grief without unfortunate political consequences for herself.

Origin: England, ca. 1650. Condition: excellent, vivid coloring to the portrait, no losses or water damage to the wirework or hair. Size: 1-1/8” x 1-1/16”.