A George II silver Chinoiserie coffee pot, maker’s mark mistruck (?) pellet C within a rectangle, almost certainly Francis Crump, London 1756. Estimate £8,000 – 12,000 (€10,000 – 15,000). Photo Bonhams.
Slender baluster form, the raised domed hinged cover embossed and chased with flower heads, foliage and ‘C’ scrolls, crowned with a swirling and lobed baluster knop finial, with a wooden double-scrolled handle, the scrolled spout embellished with foliate scrolls and scallop-shells, the junction encircled by spume, the body chased with rococo ‘chinoiserie’ scenes, one of a man dressed in stylised Oriental costume and turban fishing observed a young lady with a high hair knop sitting in a tea house under a palm tree, in the background a man in a coolie hat crosses over an arched bridge, the reverse with another elaborately chased scene of a man carrying the pole hung with tassels and a banner engraved with a crest attended by another man, all under a palm tree with two peacocks, raised on a stemmed circular base with gadrooned rim, height 28cm,weight total 33oz.
Notes: Engraved with a crest probably for ARMYTAGE, originally of Kirklees, Yorkshire.
The maker’s mark shows only a pellet and C; the two most likely candidates are William Cripps or Francis Crump. The positioning of the pellet and shape of the ‘C’ point to Crump. A similarly decorated pot by Crump is held at the Leeds Museum & Galleries (Temple Newsam) 1991.0008.
The scenes are inspired by the designs of Jean Pillement (1728-1808), published by Robert Sayer, The Ladies Amusement: The Whole Art of Japanning, Made Easy (London 1762). The chaser has, clearly, taken inspiration from a single page from the book for this pot, adapting the vignettes to fit around the body of the pot.
James Lomax suggests that a single chaser specialising in Chinoiserie coffee pots was working for a group of silversmiths that included Charles Wright, Whipham and Wright, William Cripps and Francis Crump, British Silver at Temple Newsam and Lotherton Hall (Leeds 1992), p.133. However, The present lot was created a decade before the Temple Newsam example (1769), the following lot (London 1765) and an example by Whipham and Wright (London 1767) sold at Sotheby’s 23 May 1991, ex-lot 280. In comparison, the pot is smaller making the decoration more intense.
Bonhams. GENTLEMAN’S LIBRARY SALE. 27 Jan 2015 11:00 GMT – LONDON, KNIGHTSBRIDGE