The McCall Family Pair of English Antique Sterling Silver Sauce Tureens by John Wakefield, London, 1820/21
These stunning covered sauce tureens are of exceptional quality, design and condition. The Oval bodies are shaped with bulbous panels.
Stunning repoussé and chased designs on finely stippled backgrounds decorate the panels. The detachable fitted covers display intricate classical swirling foliate designs. Fluted, domed centers are surmounted with cast and applied floral finials. Even the castings exhibit incredible craftsmanship: the scrolling handles chased with leaves, and the feet with human masks terminating with foliate pad feet.
These sauce boats bear the coat of arms of M'Call (McCall), for James M'Call of Daldowie (1788-1866). The M'Calls were an important merchant family from Glasgow, Scotland. During the eighteenth century they built up a significant trade business with the colonies. Not only did they have large property holdings in the colonies, but they did business with family members who settled in Virginia and Maryland.
As with many of Glasgow's merchant elite, they suffered serious financial losses due to the revolutionary war and confiscation of their colonial property. Unlike many of their 'Tobacco Don' peers who were wiped out by the war, the M'Calls quickly realigned their business toward the West Indies and continued to prosper.
Daldowie rested on a hill overlooking the river Clyde, a few miles upstream from Glasgow, along with mansions of other prosperous merchants.
This late 19th century photo shows the house, extensively remodeled by James M'Call from 1830-37, as it would have looked when the sauceboats lived there. Unfortunately, the mansion is no longer with us.
These rare covered sauce tureens are fully hallmarked underneath. the covers are marked with the makers, lion passant and 'e' date marks. They measure 8 inches long across the handles by 5.25 inches wide by 4.5 inches high, weigh a combined 51.35 troy ounces and are in excellent condition.
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