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Georgian Novelty Silver Articulated Fish Vinaigrette - Lea & Co     Order Form     Request more information
Reference: S1829
Period: George III
Year: 1817
Silversmith: William Lea & Co
Place: Birmingham
Price: $ 3 100.00
Weight: 17 grams
Dimensions: 9.0 cm
Condition: Excellent, both hinges perfect, snug closure. No damage or repairs. All articulated pieces work well. Gilding also excellent. Small dent to top of head, made by lid opening onto scales.

Description: A rare Georgian silver novelty articulated fish vinaigrette, made by William Lea & Co in Birmingham, 1817. The fish has 6 separate articulated sections, and a hinged lid (fish head) that opens to reveal an oval gilded vinaigrette, with scrolling grille which opens to reveal the gilded sponge compartment. The open mouth contains a suspensory silver ring, to allow the vinaigrette to be attached via a chain. The vinaigrette is beautifully engraved, with scales, fins and eyes, the tail and top fin are also realistically engraved. The hallmarks on the tail are very clear, the grille is also hallmarked. William Lea & Co worked between 1811 and 1825, they focused on small novelty items. A number of these fish vinaigrettes by Lea and Co are known, featuring 2 different engraving styles. An almost identical vinaigrette, also made by Lea & Co in 1817, is featured on the Bourdan Smith website (www.bourdansmith.co.uk), incorrectly described as reticulated, has very similar engraving to this one. Another example, made a year later in 1818 also by Lea & Co, can be seen on the Steppes Hill website (www.steppeshillfarmantiques.com), this has different engraving, the scales and fin are different, and a less ornate grille. Eric Delieb illustrated a similar vinaigrette in his book "Investing in Silver", pg 110, made by Joseph Wilmore, also in 1817. A better image of the Willmore vinaigrette can be seen on the Peter Cameron website (www.petercameronantiques.com), which in our view is not as elegant as the Lea version. It would be interesting to discover which silversmith first produced this design.
Georgian Novelty Silver Articulated Fish Vinaigrette - Lea & Co
georgian novelty silver articulated fish vinaigrette

Georgian Novelty Silver Articulated Fish Vinaigrette - Lea & Co
antique silver fish vinaigrette - open

Georgian Novelty Silver Articulated Fish Vinaigrette - Lea & Co
william lea co silver fish - side 1

Georgian Novelty Silver Articulated Fish Vinaigrette - Lea & Co
antique silver fish vinaigrette - side 2

Georgian Novelty Silver Articulated Fish Vinaigrette - Lea & Co
fish vinaigrette - open grille, open head

Georgian Novelty Silver Articulated Fish Vinaigrette - Lea & Co
William lea & co, birmingham hallmarks

Georgian Novelty Silver Articulated Fish Vinaigrette - Lea & Co
novelty silver vinaigrette - scale

Georgian Novelty Silver Articulated Fish Vinaigrette - Lea & Co
silver vinaigrette floral grille

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