Exquisite & RARE piece of history, here we have a 13 1/4" tall antique English hallmarked sterling silver claret jut or pitcher with ornate floral & seashell bas relief decoration, foliate accented handle & finial AND the engraved familial crest or coat of arms of Charles Darwin, "Cave Aide Et" (Beware and Dare) with 1859 London date mark, the same year Darwin's "On The Origin of Species" was published! So, with no provenance, we aren't sure if this piece was actually owned by Charles Darwin or made in commemoration of his world shaking publication about evolution. Impossible to say but isn't it just so tempting to envision this one being held and poured by Darwin himself. Not beyond possibility, the fact that it was made in 1859 leads one to think that it was perhaps commissioned and given to the man himself upon his completion of his life's work. The crest framed in seashell shaped accenting, flowers, roses and seashells elsewhere. The seashell motif not overlooked in the overall importance, the Darwin family crest also features seashells and, at one point, the text would have read "E Conchis Omnia", translating to "Everything from Shells", insinuating the familial belief that we all evolved from earlier, baser organisms. The seashells still a prominent part of the crest, with seashell banners in the crest itself and the winged griffin or gryphon figure above with a seashell clutched in its front talons. A stunning and rare piece, one for the collector and with a notable and important history!
Very good to excellent condition. There is a slight bit of bending to the front edge of the hinged lid. The spacers in the handle may be a later restoration. Thick & heavy, there are no dents, damage or repairs to note. See pictures for weight, capacity and measurements.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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