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Basket

1736-1737
Origin: England, London
OH: 9 3/8";OL: 12 1/2"; OW: 12 9/16"; H(rim): 4"; L(base): 9 13/16"; W(base): 8"
Silver (Sterling)
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1954-576
Basket: broad bail handle of C-scroll form and D-shaped section with hollow center section composed of two soldered strips with circular vent hole in center of underside; face of handle flat-chased with central cartouche for armorial device with shell-derived mantling enclosed by C-scrolls flanked on either side by diapered section to leaf-and-shell ornamented scroll to diapered section to graduated and imbricated shell forms; handle supported on cast arms composed of an S-scroll over a C-scroll with cast frontal masks of bearded man applied to face of S-scrolled section; arms fitting pivot with cast scrolled leaf attachments on opposing sides of rim; body of elliptical plan with cast and applied multiple molding at everted rim of scalled outline; outward curved openwork sides composed of interlacing loops with chased reeded faces simulating wickerwork; chased asymmetrical shell and pendent scrolled leaf between every two loops at rim and acanthus leaf at intersection of loops at base; plain flat base plate; drawn and applied multiple molding at juncture of base of body and foot ring; splayed foot ring of concave profile with pierced design of joined double-circles supported on short straight-sided drawn and applied edge. Engraved crest of a talbot salient between two trees on a wreath bar within cartouche on face of handle. This would appear to be crest assigned by Sir John Borroughs, Garter King of Arms, on May 23, 1642 to Robert Wickens of Stoke Brewern in Northamptonshire. (Identification made by Dr. Conrad Swan, The Rouge Dragon, Pursuivant of Arms, College of Arms, London, England; see folder.
Label:Circular baskets with steep pierced sides and flared pierced foot date from as early as 1597.A single example of 1711/12 by Thomas Folkingham of London in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, another of 1731/32 by John Edwards of London from the collection of the marquess of Exeter, and a pair of 1734/35 by Paul de Lamerie of London, although fitted with side handles, are late expressions of this early form. By the time de Lamerie fashioned the latter pair, the large oval basket with handles at either end or a large central bail handle, as in this instance, had become the standard form. Breadbaskets with interlaced sides, appropriately simulating wickerwork, were especially popular during the 1730s, even though earlier and later examples are known. De Lamerie fashioned a number of such handsome baskets during that decade.

The sides of this basket are wrought, pierced, and chased with a narrow cast molding applied to the upper edge and an inset base. The center section of the handle is formed from two wrought strips, and the side members, pivots, and rim attachments are composed of cast parts. The asymmetrical shells with pendent scrolls, repeated at even intervals around the rim, and the ruffled scrolls and cartouche on the handle face are early rococo decorative elements. Small cast masks of a bearded man are applied to the side members of the handle. These members on subsequent rococo examples often incorporate a three-dimensional demifigure, as in CWF accessions 1938-45 and 1960-3.
Provenance:Garrard & Co. Ltd., London (purchased from C. J. Vander Ltd., London, 1954)
Acquired by CWF in 1954.
Mark(s):Maker's mark "WK" in block letters within a shaped rectangle, leopard's head crowned, lion passant, and date letter on underside of base. Inscribed weight: "59=5=0" engraved on underside of base.
Inscription(s):Engraved crest of Robert Wickens of Toke Brewern, Northamptonshire on face of handle.