Antique Silver Ascos Jug
An excellent quality Victorian sterling silver jug in the classical Greek ascos form. Part gilded, the lid is mounted with...
An excellent quality Victorian sterling silver jug in the classical Greek ascos form. Part gilded, the lid is mounted with cast figural rams and has a concealed hinge; the ornamental curved handle finishes with a putti at the base. The liquid pours from a semi concealed aperture at the front. Hand engraved to the base is a family crest, monogram and presentation inscription. Contains 1070 ml. Weight 974 grams, 31.3 troy ounces. Height 21 cm. Spread 20 cm. Birmingham 1855. Made by Elkington & Co.
Literature: Ascos (askos) is the name given to a type of ancient Greek pottery vessel used to pour small quantities of liquids such as oil. It is recognisable from its flat shape and a spout at one or both ends that could also be used as a handle. They were usually painted decoratively like vases and were mainly used for storing oil and refilling oil lamps.
These were extensively traded in and around the Mediterranean.
The prestigious silversmith Paul Storr introduced this style of jug in sterling silver during the early 19th century, continued on by well known companies such as Hunt and Roskell and Elkington.
Signed/Inscribed: The inscription reads “A Remembrance of Sophia Jodrell who died April 17 1849”.
This decorative jug is in very good condition with no damage. The hand engravings are still crisp. Stamped underneath with a full set of English silver hallmarks, lid unmarked.
George Richards Elkington, born in Birmingham, apprenticed to his uncles Josiah and George Richard’s silversmithing business in 1815 and on his father’s death c.1824 inherited his father’s spectacle manufactory. Until 1840 he continued in partnership with his uncles as Richards and Elkington, silversmithing and gilt-toy manufacturers, of Holborn, London, and St Paul's Square, Birmingham. Elkington had other concurrent partnerships: one with Joseph Taylor, a Birmingham gilt-toy maker, dissolved in 1839; another with his cousin Henry Elkington which began c.1836 and eventually became the firm of Elkington & Co. After George Elkington entered into partnership with his cousin Henry, the two men began experimenting with new ways of gilding base metals taking out patents for the application of electricity to metals. When, in 1840, John Wright, a Birmingham surgeon, discovered the valuable properties of a solution of cyanide of silver in potassium cyonide for electroplating purposes, the Elkingtons purchased and patented Wright's process (British Patent 8447 : Improvements in Coating, Covering, or Plating certain Metals), subsequently acquiring the rights of other processes and improvements. In 1843 Elkingtons acquired the rights to Werner von Siemens’s first invention, an improvement to the gold and silver plating process. The Elkingtons opened a new electroplating works in Newhall St, in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham in 1841, and the following year Josiah Mason, a pen manufacturer, joined the firm now named Elkington, Mason & Co. Mason encouraged the Elkingtons to add more affordable electroplated jewellery and cutlery to the large pieces the company had been producing. The agreement between Elkington and Mason was dissolved in 1861, after which the company traded as Elkington and Co. By the mid-1860s Elkington's employed nearly a thousand workers and was firmly established as the leading silver- and electroplate company in the world. George Elkington died in 1865. The business was continued by his sons, Frederick (d. 1905), James Balleny (d. 1907), Alfred John (d. 1910), Howard (d. 1899), and Hyla (d. 1901).
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