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A parcel-gilt silver casket, probably German or Dutch, circa 1680Estimate 10,00015,000 USD. Photo Sotheby’s

raised on four bun feet, the base with a frieze of putti and scrolling foliage and a lobate grotesque mask keyhole on matted ground, the cover set with a plaque embossed and chased with a classical scene, probably that of the death of Germanicus, cover engraved with arms, with a key, apparently unmarked, base engraved 421.10; length 9 3/8 in.;23.8cm; 45oz; 1399.5g

Notes: The feature of putti amongst foliage can be found on a number of English toliet services. Some examples by Bodenick are a pair of toilet boxes, a pair of toliet bottles, and a toilet set illustrated in Vanessa Brett, The Sotheby’s Directory of Silver 1600-1940, 1986, p. 132. Another example is the Calverley toilet service made by William Fowle in 1683, illustrated in Michael Clayton, The Collector’s Dictionary of the Silver and Gold of Great Britain and North America, 1971, p. 435.

The English scratch weight on the base suggests that this casket was part of an extensive toilet set.

The arms are those of Gosling, probably for William Gosling, London banker. He died in 1834 leaving all his plate to his second wife, the Hon. Charlotte Gosling [née de Grey, second daughter of Thomas, 2nd Lord Walsingham] but only for her life time. His residual legatee was his son Robert Gosling [1795-1869]. The Gosling banking business continued until it became part of Barclay’s Bank in 1896.

Sotheby’s. Important Silver, Vertu & Russian Works of Art, New York | 23 oct. 2014, 10:00 AM