The body of the ewer is ovoid and rests on a high spool-shaped stem on a domed foot. The foot is struck with egg-and-dart and beaded patterns. The dome is chased with dolphins in a wavy sea. The decoration of the body is divided into three registers: acanthus leaves interspersed with round...
The body of the ewer is ovoid and rests on a high spool-shaped stem on a domed foot. The foot is struck with egg-and-dart and beaded patterns. The dome is chased with dolphins in a wavy sea. The decoration of the body is divided into three registers: acanthus leaves interspersed with round fruits, foliate scrolls enclosing griffins and horses against a matted ground, and oval strapwork enclosing dolphins and swags and clusters of fruit. Reserved at the front of the ewer is a plain shield, the engraving removed. The head of a winged putto is centered on the shoulder of the vessel. The flaring neck of the ewer has a shaped, notched rim; it is decorated with strapwork against a punched ground. A cast head of a gro the rim, and an identical head is applied to the interior of the vessel below the join of the handle. The handle is in the form of a double scroll, with a grotesque head joining the neck, a female bust at the crest, and fruit clusters and animal masks. The ewer has been repaired at the join of the stem to the main vessel. In several areas, the gilding has flaked off revealing white silver beneath. The matted grounds of the middle and upper registers of the body have probably been reworked. The round basin has a boss at the center pounced with a coat of arms. Surrounding the boss, three flat-chased oval strapwork panels enclose figures of sea monsters against a wavy ground interspersed with clusters of fruit against a matted ground. The central well of the basin is filled with three similar ovals enclosing sea monsters alternating with circular panels enclosing embossed masks. The interstices are filled with clusters of fruit, griffins, winged sphinxes, and winged horses against a matted ground. The rim of the dish has foliate strapwork broken by oval panels enclosing embossed sea monsters and heads of putti. A long patch has been added to the underside of the rim at the top of the basin. The basin is raised with flat-chased, embossed, die-struck, and matted decoration. The chasing and matting in the curved section of the basin appear to have been reinforced. The applied boss at the center is composed of cast, die-struck, and drawn moldings. The central disk is a replacement. A large patch is applied to the underside of the rim and the gilding has been renewed. The foot of the ewer is assembled from three molded, embossed, and die-struck pieces. The spool-shaped section of the stem is formed of two raised pieces. The body of the vessel is raised with embossed, flat-chased, and matted decoration. The neck, joined to the body with a molded and die-struck collar, is also raised, chased, and matted. The handle and applied masks are cast. The gilding has been renewed and is flaking in large areas near the stem.
Armorials: Pounced on center of boss of basin, an unidentified coat of arms: Quarterly, 1 and 4, three unicorns' heads couped, two and one; 2 and 3 a lion passant, in pretence, quarterly, 1 and 4, a chief indented, 2 and 3, a saltire between 12 ?
On neck of ewer and on rim of basin, date letter G; lion passant; leopard's head crowned; maker's mark IH over a bear passant in a circle (Jackson, 1921, p. 107; rev. ed. 1989, p. 99) (struck twice on rim of basin)
J. P. Morgan (1867–1943). November 1, 1947, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, lot 468, sold to the MFA for $10,000 [see note 1]. (Accession Date: November 13, 1947) NOTES:  MFA accession numbers 47.1427 - 47.1428 were acquired together.
Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour