D574

Paul Storr Pair of Antique English Sterling Silver Master Salts, London - 1819/20

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This is an extraordinary pair of master salts with exceptional weight and rare design.

The bulbous bodies have applied cast swags of densely populated seashells. We have never seen this particular banding. It is very unusual and of exceptional detail and quality. The rim has a wavy border and a gadrooned top surface.

Three lion masks above lion paw feet are magnificently detailed with flowing manes and expressive faces. A crest of a boar's head underneath an Earl's coronet is finely engraved underneath. Note the exceptional quality of the shells in this close-up photo.

According to John Debrett's 1812 edition of The Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland, the only British earl to use a boar's head crest was John Campbell, 4th Earl of Breadalbane, whose seat, Taymouth Castle in Perthshire, is seen in one of the images. (Breadalbane is Gaelic for "Highlands".)

From an ancient and important Scottish clan, John Campbell was later raised to the honor of Marquess of Breadalbane by George IV. During the 1810's and 20's, the Earl significantly enlarged and updated Taymouth and these salts would have been part of his very fine new interior furnishings.

In the 1733 painting by James Norrie, we can see the stunning estate at Taymouth.

The Campbells of Breadalbane were one of Scotland's greatest landowning families. At its height their estate extended to 437,696 acres and was over 100 miles long. From Aberfeldy it was possible to reach the west coast of Scotland without leaving the Breadalbane's land and at its core lay Taymouth, a vast baronial castle, built at the height of the family's power.(1)

This is not your everyday Scottish castle. These very fine salts lived in a very fine home.

Storr silver with sea motifs is highly collectible and not commonly seen on the market today. Especially after Trafalgar, nautical motifs were used as patriotic symbols in British silver. These salts would have been recognized by everyone who used them as proud displays symbolizing Britain's place in a post-Napoleonic world.

These exceptional salts are fully hallmarked underneath. They measure 4 inches wide by just under 2.75 inches high, weigh a hefty total of 22.60 troy ounces and are in excellent condition with lovely regilded interiors.

Endnote:

  1. Breadalbane.com (http://www.breadalbane.com/places/castle.htm), last accessed 04/16/15.

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