Object Description

A rare antique sterling silver model of a travelling musician seated on a donkey. Mounted with semi precious stones on his clothing, the harness and the base. Beautiful modelling, this piece needs to be seen in real life to appreciate the quality. Good weight and colour. Weight 678 grams, 21.8 troy ounces. Height 20 cms. Spread 18 cms. Base 15 x 7 cms. Marked on the base with both the original continental Hanau silver marks (high grade 930 silver) and also London import hallmarks for 1901. Importer John George Piddington.

Object Literature

The antique silver industry of Hanau specialised in excellent copies of old master silversmiths’ work, particularly Nuremberg pieces, double lady cups, old goblets, snuff boxes and so on. These copies were marked with fantasy marks, somewhat resembling old marks, which also harmonized with the style of the piece. For example, French rococo style reproductions are marked with French looking marks, German seventeenth century-inspired pieces got German-looking marks, and so on. These marks were usually in a style reminiscent of seventeenth and eighteenth century maker’s marks. Hanau silver was largely imported in UK between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the main importers being Berthold Muller and J.G. Piddington. The UK company J.G.Piddington was a shipping and forwarding business founded in 1849, the firm was a partnership between J.Friend and J. Piddington. The grandson of Piddington, John G.Smith jr. took the surname of his grandfather in 1900. J.G. Smith & Co are noted to have imported a great deal of silver, apparently an important part of their business until 1939. Many of these items, decorative in nature, to be of German origin.

Object Condition

This unusual jewelled figure is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. Both sets of silver marks are clear to read. High grade 930 silver. The violin bow is missing.

Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.

Object Classification

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