Antique Dutch Silver Nef Sailing Ship

GBP 15,750.00

Contact Dealer To Purchase

Object Description

This is a superb solid silver galleon ship (traditionally known as a Nef), intricately modelled and shown in full sail. Excellent size and quality throughout. The top section of the Neff can be removed from the hull revealing an open compartment or space. The hull is finely chased with cherubs and leaves, flowers and scrolls. The ship stands on four dolphin mounted wheels.

The 3 tall masts have billowing, multi section sails with full rigging and lookout crow’s nests accessed by men climbing up ladders. The deck is arranged on 4 levels accessed by step ladders, the captain is standing to the fore while the sailors attend to their duties. The double anchor hangs below. The crenelated battlement gallery, with simulated wood effect, is furnished with turrets and below, the port holes have their cannons ready for battle.

Weight 2445 grams, 78.6 troy ounces.

Height 48cm. Spread 34cm. Width of large sail 20cm. Hull measures 30.5 x 11.5cm.

Dutch silver stamps. London import marks for 1891.

Importer Samuel Boyce Landeck.

Sterling silver.

Marks. Stamped with a full set of London import hallmarks on the side of the hull and on the lower rim of the top section. The hull is stamped with Dutch silver marks on a bar underneath.

Samuel Boyce (Boaz) Landeck, Campden Square, London. Master Silversmith from the Netherlands. Importer of fine continental silverware, Mark SBL into a rectangle.

Object Literature

The nef is an ornamental model ship made specially for the dinner table. They are usually quite elaborate with masts, sails, rigging and various figures on board. Early examples (13th-16th century) were drinking cups or receptacles for dining implements. Nefs originated from the continent and were used in France, Germany, Spain and Italy but most nefs found today were made in Germany at the end of the 19th century.

Traditionally the dining table nef was made in two sections and the top half was removable so that the hollow hull could be used to contain the spoon, knife, napkin, spices of the host. When the use of great dining halls waned, the hull was fashioned to hold wine, sweetmeats or a variety of special condiments.

There are example of Nefs in collections around the world including London’s V & A Museum.

Object Condition

In very good condition.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)207 288 1939
+44 (0)7904 297419

Dealer Location

Vault 31-32
The London Silver Vaults
53-64 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1QS

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