1851 Exhibition Sterling Silver n China Inkwell by Hunt & Roskel


A very attractive Sterling Silver (925), gilded and blue glazed bone china, and blue glass Inkwell and pen holder in a Renaissance Style, with 4 devil masks and clawed feet.
The Inkwell has a bone china broadly cross shape, with convex arms, slightly similar to a Novgorodsky cross. On it is a pillar with scroll decoration in between 4 corner edge grotesque devilish heads, above single clawed feet. Above this is the sterling silver platform that contains a lidded inkwell and 2 penholders. The finial for the inkwell is a burning flame. The silver is hallmarked with the London Assay mark and the date stamp of 1851. The maker’s mark is I.H.R which is probably an early mark for John Hunt & Roskell of 156 New Bond Street, London. Later marks (1865) had the I H & R R, within a shield and crown. There are no other silversmiths with the IHR combination. The 1851 date is significant as it coincides with that of the Great Exhibition in London and may have been made for it.
Condition is very good, without any damage and minimum wear to the gilding. The underside of the base is inscribed ‘No. 10’ and there appears to be some writing.
Hunt & Roskell was the continuation of the jewellers and silversmiths originally founded by Paul Storr in 1819. John Samuel Hunt joined the company after his apprenticeship with Paul Storr and took his place after he retired in 1838. In 1844 Robert Roskell joined, as the son of a watchmaker in Liverpool and the company became Hunt and Roskell. At that time, it counted three partners: John Samuel Hunt, his son and Robert Roskell Jr. The firm gained, presumably in the late 1840s, the Royal Warrant of Queen Victoria. Creating finely ornate centrepieces, tea sets, candelabra as well as impressive jewellery, they also received the appreciation of the Imperial Russian Court, that commissioned several pieces. Their silverware is often naturalistically modelled and exquisitely detailed, decorated with floral and vegetal motifs and scrolling patterns. The firm exhibited at the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London in 1851 and subsequently in New York (1853) and Paris (1867) growing in popularity and prosperity not just in England but also abroad.
Size: 13 x 13 x 13 cm (5 1/8 x 5 1/8 x 5 1/8 inches)
Weight: 576 g