COLLECTION: Metals

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Basket

1787-1800
Origin: England, Sheffield
OH: 4 9/16"; OL: 13 ½"; OW: 9 ¼"
Pewter
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1933-256
Pierced fruit basket
Label:This handsome basket is not a product of the London pewter trade but of new approaches in the metal trades of Sheffield and Birmingham. It is a fully representative example of Britannia metal by the individual who established the medium. It is not cast in the traditional manner of most pewter, but rather it is fashioned from cold rolled sheets of pewter with the intent of not only using the technology but also recreating the lightness and designs of fused silverplated wares. There is a vertical seam in the center of one side where the sheet was bent into an ellipse and soldered with the base and the edging of the rim and hand holds then applied. The design of this basket is based on a plated prototype, such as the related one that Frederick Bradbury attributes to the Sheffield firm of Daniel Holy Wilkinson & Co. The Williamsburg basket is a particularly rare survival. For this type of rolled sheet construction, Vickers and other early makers of Britannia wares used an alloy rich in tin with a few per cent each of copper and antimony.
Provenance:Vendor: Mrs. Miles White, Jr. of Baltimore, Maryland.
Mark(s):Touch mark "I.VICKERS" partially obliterated on underside of base in center (Scott 467).
Inscription(s):None.