Tiddorus Eekhoff Antique Dutch Silver Wine Siphon, Leeuwarden, c. 1814-18
This very rare wine accessory is shaped like an inverted 'v', with a faucet on one end and a strainer ball on the other. Under the apex, an undulating strap has been applied to keep the siphon stable and in place while in use.
Wine siphons were used both in making wine, to filter wine when moving it from one container to another, and in drinking wine, to filter it when decanting it for consumption. Antique silver ones are extremely rare: this is the first one we've had the privilege to sell.
Leeuwarden is the capital of the northern Dutch state of Friesland. It was and is a prosperous merchant and trade hub, well known as a center of fine silver work from the 15th to 19th century. It was - until the mid 18th century - home to the 'House of Orange': the family that produced King William III of England and the current Dutch royal family.
Tiddorus Eekhoff registered marks from 1811-1824, but the marks used on the siphon were only in use from 1814- c. 1818. It is fully marked: twice with Eekhoff's French style maker's mark and twice with the Dutch small standard (.833 silver) mark. The Dutch adopted French style marks during the Napoleonic French Empire; this piece appears to have been made just after that period.
This very rare piece measures 12.5 inches tall and 10 inches wide. The strainer ball is just under one inch in diameter. It weighs 5.35 troy ounces and is in very good antique condition.