An exceptional and rare English silver cigar box by the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company, presented by The Gramophone Company Limited of Great Britain to Frederick Willem Jambroes van Bemmel Wortman, director of the company’s Netherlands and Belgium branches, after 25 years of service. Classical in design with molded borders, this exquisite locking container features a cedar-lined interior with three adjustable dividers. A central hand-painted enamel plaque depicts the company’s iconic “His Master’s Voice” logo.
The Gramophone Company Limited was the parent organization for the famous "His Master's Voice" label, and the iconic image of the dog listening to the gramophone recording is beautifully rendered in a hand-painted enamel plaque in the box’s lid. Engraved with the 1923 presentation inscription, this elegant container not only celebrates English silver craftsmanship, but one man’s dedication to excellence, as well.
The inscription reads: Presented to F.W. Jambroes van Bemmel Wortman, by the Directors of The Gramophone Company Limited in appreciation of his loyal and energetic services as representative of the Company in Holland and elsewhere during a period of twenty-five years. May 6th 1923.
Hallmarked London, 1922, and featured the stamp” Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company/112 Regent Street W”.
14 1/8” wide x 10 ¼” deep x 4 ½” high
In 1898, Frederik Willem Jambroes van Bemmel Wortman was established in Amsterdam as a director of The Gramophone Company’s first official head agency for the Netherlands, Belgium and Kolonieën van The Gramophone Company of Great Britain. He is credited with introducing the Berliner gramophone player to Europe in 1894.
Founded in 1880, the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company were retail jewelers and silversmiths. The firm had large and very prestigious premises at 112 Regent Street, London and in 1881 boasted “The largest stock, the newest designs, the highest quality” of silver from dinner services, vases, clocks and jewelry. The firm took part in the numerous exhibitions including the Fisheries Exhibition of 1883, the Inventions Exhibition of 1885, the Indian and Colonial Exhibition of 1886. They also showed at the International Exhibitions held in Paris 1889, Chicago 1893, California 1894 and Paris 1900, where their display was awarded the Grand Prix.
The work “His Master's Voice” was painted by Francis Barraud, A.R.A., and acquired by The Gramophone Company in 1899. According to contemporary Gramophone Company publicity material, the dog, a fox terrier called Nipper, had originally belonged to Barraud's brother Mark. When Mark Barraud died, Francis inherited Nipper, along with a cylinder phonograph and a number of recordings of Mark's voice. Francis noted the peculiar interest that the dog took in the recorded voice of his late master emanating from the trumpet, and conceived the idea of committing the scene to canvas.