Charles II Style Antique Silver Chenets

GBP 15,750.00

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Object Description

An outstanding pair of George IV sterling silver cherub ornaments of substantial weight and presence. These silver andirons are in the 17th century style, after the models at Knowle. The vase shaped bodies support large cherub finials; one with a shovel, the other with a pair of bellows. The broad shaped bases, raised on claw feet, are chased in relief with busts and satyr masks amidst foliage. These andirons are raised on later, detachable and ebonised wood display plinths.

Total weight of silver 7,664 grams, 246.3 troy ounces
Height 63.4cm, total height 73cm including the wooden stand.
London 1916. Maker Edward Barnard & Sons.
Sterling silver.

Marks. Each is stamped on the reverse of base with a full set of English silver hallmarks.

History. These chenets, also described as fire-dogs or andirons, are copies of unmarked examples of circa 1665 which are displayed in the Reynolds Room of Knole House in Kent, (NT. 130004), the ancestral home of the Dukes of Dorset. They would originally have had wrought iron backstands to support burning logs in the fireplace. The prototypes were exhibited in the 1929 Park Lane exhibition, on loan from Lord Sackville, see Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Old English Plate and Decorations and Orders, London, 1929, cat. no. 749, pl. XXVII.

This old established manufacturing silversmith business was started by Anthony Nelme c.1680 passing to Francis Nelme on his death in 1722. Thomas Whipham took over the business in 1739, passing it to his son Thomas Whipham jr in 1756 who took into partnership Charles Wright.

The Barnard’s involvement started in 1786 when the business was taken over by Henry Chawner; Chawner had been Edward Barnard I’s master and Barnard’s son Edward became foreman of the firm. In 1796 John Emes became a partner and after the retirement of Chawner, Emes became owner maintaining Edward Barnard II as manager. Emes died in 1808 and his widow Rebecca Emes took as partner Edward Barnard II. Rebecca Emes retired in 1829 and Edward Barnard I took over with his son Edward Barnard II, John Barnard and William Barnard, trading under the name Edward Barnard & Sons.
After the retirement of Edward Barnard I the firm was continued by Edward Barnard II (1846-1851), John Barnard I (1846-1868), William Barnard (1846), Edward Barnard III (1868), Walter Barnard (1868-1903), John Barnard II (1868-1903), Michael Barnard (1896-1903), Stanley Barnard (1896-1903) and Robert Dubcock (1896).

The firm became a limited liability company in 1910 as Edward Barnard & Sons Ltd. In 1977 Edward Barnard & Sons Limited became a subsidiary of Padgett & Braham Ltd.

Object Literature

Andirons, or fire dogs, supported the logs in a fireplace. They were normally made of brass or iron, and silver ones were a great luxury. Large sculptural objects for display had long been an important feature of aristocratic and princely silver and in 17th century Restoration England there was a fashion for extravagance (imported from France) for massive silver furniture, chandeliers, wine cisterns and other heavy types of silver.

Object Condition

These magnificent cherub ornaments are 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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