This remarkable antique cruet set is perhaps one of the finest examples we have even seen. It's rarity stems from the fact that it is Georgian and especially that it is from Scotland with a classic thistle pattern.
It features a combination of dazzling cut glass and brilliant sterling silver, making it a truly rare jewel.
All six pieces are held and displayed beautifully on a stand made entirely of .925 sterling silver. The set and stand have been professionally tested to ensure the purity of the silver.
The stand includes six circles in varying shapes on a post in the center of the stand. These keep each piece steady and secure.
Four balled feet on the bottom of the stand prevent any undue scratching, while a loop at the top of the post makes carrying the set easy and safe.
The stand is Scottish-made, and features a number of die-stamped hallmarks on the side. The first of these hallmarks reads "M&R".
This is the mark for partners William Mitchell and William Russel, renowned silversmiths from Edinburgh. Their firm was founded in the early 1800's.
The maker's mark is followed by the mark of the Edinburgh Castle, which indicates that the piece was manufactured in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Next is the traditional Scottish thistle (the standard silver mark for all items of Scottish-made sterling).
The thistle is followed by the date mark "V", for the year of manufacture, 1801.
The final stamp depicts the profile of King George III (the reigning monarch at the time of manufacture).
This last mark indicates that taxes for the item had been paid to the crown.
The duty mark system was created in 1784 and used until 1890.
Objects bearing the profile of George III were manufactured at a time between 1786 to 1821.
As you can see, the set includes two tall bottles, both with extended lips for pouring.
There are two similar bottle which are slightly smaller, a mustard jar with sterling lid and spoon and finally a sugar caster with a sterling perforated lid.
The mustard jar includes a delicate spoon that features a stamped mark reading "Sterling".
The small bottles include a little faceted stoppers while the stoppers for the larger bottles exhibit pretty scalloped details.
Each piece features lovely, hand-cut decoration characterized by a fluted motif with an encompassing diamond-pattern around the middle.
A scalloped, 8-petaled foot on the bottom of each piece adds an elegant finishing touch.
Please note, one of the shorter, lipped bottles and one of the taller bottles show chipping near the top.
The mustard jar exhibits a piece of missing silver near the spoon-hole while the sugar-caster exhibit chipping on the foot.
Overall, the pieces remain in good antique condition, particularly considering they are over 200 years old.
You will find a series of die-stamped hallmark on the sugar caster's sterling lid.
The first of the these marks reads "TL". This is likely the maker's mark of Thomas Law, a respected and widely-renowned Sheffield silversmith.
Next, you will find the same "Sovereign Profile" mark depicting King George III.
The final mark is an "N" below a crown. The crown is the typical mark of Sheffield-made silver. This "N" mark indicates that the piece was manufactured in 1801.
The lid shows some very light oxidization and a couple very shallow dents while the glass base exhibits some chipping. The mustard jar's lid also shows some minor dents and oxidization.
The tray has been polished to a remarkable shine and shows only a bit of oxidization and wear.
This antique cruet is a truly remarkable example. Almost 210 years old and it still sings with timeless elegance.
Most pieces in the set exhibit some minor chipping and a few flea-bite scratches here and there, though they remain in good antique condition overall.
As collectible and rare as it is beautiful, this set is sure to make a stunning centerpiece.
Measurements: Large bottle with large spout measures 7" tall (8" tall with stopper) and 2" wide at middle, Base is 2 1/4" in diameter (364.1 grams) Large bottle with slightly smaller spout measures 6 3/4" tall (8" tall with stopper) and 2" wide at middle, Base is 2 1/4" in diameter, (278.6 grams) Small bottles measure 5 1/8" tall (5 3/4" tall with stopper) and approx. 1 3/4" wide at middle, Base measures 1 1/2" in diameter, (Approx. 126.5 grams [each]) Mustard Jar measures 5" tall and 2" wide at middle, Base measures 2 1/4" in diameter, Spoon measures 5 1/2" long, (251.5 grams) Sugar caster measures 5" tall and 2" wide at widest point, Base measures 2 1/4" in diameter (195.4 grams) Tray measures 10 1/2" long, 6 1/2" wide and 10 5/8" tall (440.1 grams) Total weight: 62.9 oz (3 lbs., 14 oz)