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Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
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Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard

  • This exceptional silver-gilt ewer was crafted by R. & S. Garrard of London
  • The creation is marked by a large mask of Venus, a double scroll handle and fleur-des-lis
  • It was presented to James Lewis III for his role in the Slave Compensation Commission
  • Hallmarked London, 1841
  • Get complete item description here
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Item No. 31-7101

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Description
Remarkable in scale and artistry, this Victorian presentation cup and cover was created by the famed London silversmith R. & S. Garrard. Set on a round and flared foot adorned with fleurs-des-lis and taking the form of a ewer, the cup features a double scroll handle and a large mask of Venus on the spout. A cartouche depicts the anthropomorphized Britannia before an allegorical Caribbean island illustrating the demise of slavery. Astounding in craftsmanship, the. . .
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Remarkable in scale and artistry, this Victorian presentation cup and cover was created by the famed London silversmith R. & S. Garrard. Set on a round and flared foot adorned with fleurs-des-lis and taking the form of a ewer, the cup features a double scroll handle and a large mask of Venus on the spout. A cartouche depicts the anthropomorphized Britannia before an allegorical Caribbean island illustrating the demise of slavery. Astounding in craftsmanship, the message engraved within the frontal cartouche indicates the historic provenance that further distinguishes the ewer.

Presented to James Lewis III, a lawyer and one of only six members of the Slave Compensation Commission, the ewer bears the Lewis family's coat of arms and a cartouche thanking Lewis for his "impartial justice, accurate judgement, and surpassing zeal" in fulfilling his duties as a salaried committee member. In 1833, the Slavery Abolition Bill passed in British Parliament, seeking to eliminate slavery throughout Britain and its extensive colonial projects. In order to quell frustrations among former slaveowners, a fund was developed by the Crown to distribute £15 million, later expanded to £20 million, to slaveowners as compensation for the requirement of emancipation. James Lewis III, who was almost certainly born in Jamaica, served on the committee to manage those claims, garnering him this opulent presentation ewer during a meeting with former slaveowners and merchants on Bishopsgate Street in London.

R. & S. Garrard & Co. were Crown Jewellers to the English court and executed several works in silver and gold for the royal family, including Queen Mary's coronation crown and Queen Elizabeth's platinum crown. During the mid-19th century, Robert Garrard II (1793-1881) and his firm were the leading producers of presentation silver. Following the decline of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, they acquired the title of Royal Goldsmiths and Jewelers and Official Crown Jewelers in 1843.

Hallmarked London, 1841

Marked "NON SIBI SED PATRIAE"

Inscribed "Presented to James Lewis, Esquire / One of the three acting commissioners / Appointed for distributing the / compensation fund of twenty millions / Voted by Parliament on the abolition of Negro slavery / pursuant to Resolutions unanimously passed at / a general meeting of planters and merchants connected with the British colonies / Held in London on the 17th of April 1839. / As a Testimonial of the high opinion entertained by them, of the / Impartial Justice, Accurate Judgement, & Surpassing Zeal, Diligence, and Ability, applied by him / To the arduous and intricate task confided by the Government to his care. / In the Conduct and Management of that / Commission"

Provenance:
Presented to James Lewis III (1778 - 1847)
Private Collection of Philip Lewis (1812 - 1886)
Sale, Sotheby's, New York, 31 October 1991, lot 309
Sale, Sotheby's, London, 18 December 2007, lot 153
Private Collection
M.S. Rau, New Orleans
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Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
Maker: Garrard, Robert
Period: 19th Century
Origin: England
Type: Trophies/Presentation Pieces
Depth: 9.13 in. (23.18 cm)
Width: 10.0 in. (25.4 cm)
Height: 24.38 in. (61.91 cm)
Silver-Gilt Presentation Ewer by R. & S. Garrard
The History of Jewelry Metals

    Hellenistic Greek intaglio gold ring. Late 4th-3rd century B.C. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.   For millennia, humans have sought the finest of earthly materials with which to adorn themselves....

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Buy with Confidence

At M.S. Rau, we are committed to building a long-term, rewarding relationship with each and every client. That’s why your purchase is backed by our 125% guarantee.

Learn More

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