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Smily: Good Antique Sterling Silver Lidded Sugar Mascarons!
William Robert Smily, active in London from 1850, created this superb lidded sugar bowl. It's size and decorative appeal suggest a strong French influence. The heavy bottom rests upon four feet, literally terminating in four paws; mounted with four mascarons. The mascarons simply wonderful; fierce warriors, in battle headdress, represented here giving a war cry. Given the date of creation, 1850, the sugar precedes the Japonisme Period of art that swept Europe, either a very early example of this movement, or perhaps a representation of the American Indian in British Art. The wild savage for sure, is depicted with clarion distinction, by tradition a sharp contrast to the 'civilized' citizenry of the Royal Kingdom. Above the warriors, large bell flowers, framed in a circular lamberkin, fine chasing textures grounding both flower and within the lamberkin. The bowl features two large cartouches, with no monograms, bordered with rocailles. The portion of the bowl between the bell flowers and cartouches unusually accented with lattices and scales. Upper and lower portions of the bowl provide a contrasting simplicity, a smooth appearance bordered with lamberkins. The smooth lid of the sugar frames another exceptional figural decoration, a stunning bird 'top knop'; foraging in leaves sans worm. The scrolling handles attached with magnificent acanthus leafs. Withal an exceptional lidded sugar bowl. Condition is excellent, with one caveat; that being the possible replacement of the smooth portion of the lid. What is suggestive of a replacement is a small space between the top knop and the upper surface of the lid.
Dimensions: a generous size, the sugar is 8.5' long, 6" high and 6" in diameter; weight is 610 grams.
Marks: the sugar is fully hallmarked on the bottom of the bowl as follows: Lion Passant, British guarantee for .925 sterling, the maker's punch for Smily, the London City Mark, Duty Mark and Year Mark for 1850.
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