E316

Antique Sheffield Plate Covered Soup Tureen c. 1770's


An outstanding piece of early antique Sheffield silverplate, this soup tureen exemplifies the finest classical Adam- inspired design of the 1770's. It features repoussed paterae, tied bows, and hanging laurel garlands draped along the sides. Acanthus leaves with scrolling ends hold the ring handles. The lid is draped with repoussed water leaves and the reeded handle has acanthus leaves at the ends joining to the lid.

On each side, this tureen is engraved with an Earl's coronet along with the cipher 'BB'. It is extremely rare to find the aristocracy owning pieces of antique Sheffield plate, particularly early pieces such as this. We believe that this coronet and cipher represent Brinsley Butler, Second Earl of Lanesborough. It would appear that the earl was an early and enthusiastic supporter of this new technology. Possibly even a patron of an early maker, such as Matthew Boulton. (Although unsigned, it is of the same quality as pieces from his shop.)

This large tureen measures 11 inches high by 15 inches wide by 9.5 inches deep. It is in very good antique condition. There is only very light rosing. (Early highly decorated pieces were originally given thicker silver than the less decorated pieces). There is a small unevenness to the base; one side has been pushed down slightly. This results in one side being a quarter inch higher than the other (hardly noticeable but we are very picky).

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