Antique Silver George III Argyle made in 1791
A very elegant George III antique silver argyle. The body is engraved with the crest of Robert Findlay of Easterhill Glasgow, Scotland.
|Made By||Henry Chawner|
A very elegant George III antique silver argyle. It has a vase-shaped body which has a reed border on the base and top of main body. The pull-off lid has a ball finial and the argyle has a fruitwood handle.
The body is engraved with the crest of Robert Findlay of Easterhill Glasgow, Scotland.
Dimensions: height 16.5 cm
John Campbell, the fifth Duke of Argyll, and his wife, Elizabeth Gunning, Baroness Hamilton of Hameldon, hated the way that gravy arrived cold to their table from the kitchens of their Inveraray Castle during the cold Scottish winters.
The Duke (1723 – 1806), succeeding his father, the fourth Duke of Argyll in 1770, was the promoter of a new piece of tableware designed to maintain the warmth of the gravy in its vessel. This, with a bit of imagination, was the origin of a warmer called ‘argyle’ (silver argyle, silver argyll) in honour of the noble family that first made a wide use of this device.
Silver argyle (silver argyll) is a gravy-warmer made in various shapes – similar to a covered coffee pot with one handle and one spout. The gravy is kept warm by means of hot water contained in a compartment created by a double exterior wall.
Henry Chawner became a freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company on 7 December 1785 and entered his first mark as a plateworker on 11 November 1786. On 2 March 1789, he married Miss Hore, daughter and heiress of Edward Hore, of Esher, Surrey.
He entered into partnership with John Emes in 1796 and from about 1798 seems to have retired from silversmithing (he married well!) He seems to have had financial input into John Emes’ firm and then the Barnard Family. His hallmark is often seen on finely made teaware.
Chawner retired to the Manor House, Newton Valance, which, with the surrounding estate, he had purchased in 1810. He is said to have: “converted the old house into domestic offices and added thereto a villa, in the Grecian style. It contains a large collection of paintings and other works of art, amongst which is the Angouleme China vase, mounted in ormolu… The same that was rejected by George IV for whom it was ordered, in consequence of a small fire flaw which came in the burning.” Chawner died there in March, 1851.
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