Made of heavy gauge silver by one of the finest English silversmiths, these sauce boats are exceptional. In the rare double-lipped form, the shaped bodies are entirely hand-raised and attached to cast pedestal bases. Matching the decoration on the bases is applied gadrooned banding with foliate accents around the top border and traveling along the handles.
These unusual cast reverse scroll handles have pierced centers and are adorned below with dramatic shells.
This rare form of sauce boat was brought to England by the Huguenot makers who immigrated from France in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Heming apprenticed to the important Huguenot maker Pierre Archambo; both the form of these pieces and quality of their fabrication show a clear indebtedness to him.
Due to the quality of his silver (like these), in 1760 Heming was appointed Principal Goldsmith to His Majesty King George III, a post he held until 1782.
According to Arthur Grimwade, 'Some of his [Heming's] earlier surviving pieces in the Royal collection [c. 1760] show a French delicacy of taste and refinement of execution which is unquestionable inherited from his master Archambo'. (1) Examples of Thomas Heming's works are represented in many major museums and the Royal Collection.
Provenance: Bearing the arms of Sir Robert Jenkinson, 5th Baronet (1720-66). He died without issue. The honors and estate were inherited by his brother, and then a cousin who would become the Earl of Liverpool, the famous politician. His son, the second earl, would become even more famous - he was Prime Minister during the victory over Napoleon.
These stunning sterling sauce boats are fully hallmarked underneath the body. They measure 9 inches long by 4.5 inches high, have a hefty combined weight of 42.80 troy ounces and are in excellent condition.
- Arthur G. Grimwade, London Goldsmiths 1697-1837 Their Marks & Lives, Third Edition, 1990, pp. 542-543.