Antique Silver Edwardian Argyle made in 1904
A splendid Edwardian silver argyle with a vase-shaped body. The argyle has a reed border on the base, the top of the main body and on the lid.
|Made By||Charles Stuart Harris|
A splendid Edwardian silver argyle with a vase-shaped body. The argyle has a reed border on the base, the top of the main body and on the lid. The lid is pull-off and has a ball finial.
The argyle has a swan neck and a fruitwood handle.
The interior of the argyle has a central heating chamber for hot water to keep the contents hot.
Dimensions: height to finial 24.2 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.
This large business of manufacturing silversmiths, C.S. Harris & Sons Ltd, is said to have been commenced by John Mark Harris, a spoon maker, in 1817.
He moved c. 1831 to 27 Nelson Street, City Road. It would appear that the firm was continued by John Robert Harris (probably J.M. Harris’s son), who moved c.1842 to 29 Kirby Street, Hatton Garden (where he is listed from 1843 until 1852 as a silver spoon and fork manufacturer).
The business then passed c. 1852 to Charles Stuart Harris, who is listed from 1854 at 29 Kirby Street as an electro spoon and fork maker, electro plater and gilder, agent for plated wares (1856), and silversmith. In 1885, he purchased the business of D.J. & C. Houle (manufacturing silversmiths) from Charles Houle and the executors of his brother, Daniel John Houle, retaining their workshops at 24 Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, EC. C.S. Harris opened additional manufacturing premises c. 1892 at 41 and 42 Hatton Garden, EC.
In 1897, the business was converted into a limited liability company under the style of C.S. Harris and Sons, Ltd. described as: “manufacturing gold and silversmiths; manufacturers of and dealers in gold and silver plate, wire and lace; dealers in gold and silver, diamonds and other precious metals and stones; electroplaters; silverers and jewellers etc”, with premises at 41 and 42 Hatton Garden, 28 & 29 Kirby Street, Hatton Garden and 23 and 24 Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell with the directors recorded as Henry Stuart Harris, Walter Stuart Harris, Edwin Stuart Harris, Alfred Stuart Harris and Frederick Stuart Harris. C.S. Harris & Sons Ltd. were also in possession of premises at 13 & 14 Bateman Street, Soho, acquired, probably in December 1897, from Arthur Stuart Harris and Ernst Stuart Harris, trading as Harris brothers. These were maintained until c. 1906.
C.S. Harris & Sons Ltd continued in business until 1933/34, latterly giving up all their premises except those at 41 & 42 Hatton Garden. They were subsequently incorporated into I Freeman & Sons Ltd. manufacturing silversmiths and dealers in antique silver and plated wares of 23 Hatton Garden, EC. Fine makers who also manufactured for top-class London retailers who overstruck their makers mark with their own.
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