A fine antique sterling silver wine cooler of campagna urn form. Outstanding quality. With rams mask handles and garlands of applied vine leaf and grape decoration. Fitted with removable silver liner and cover. Hand engraved with a crest bearing motto “Sic Fidem Teneo”. Weight 3716 grams, 119.3 troy ounces. Height 28.5 cm.. Spread 24 cm. Diameter 18.5 cm. London 1803. Maker William Pitts.
Biography – William Pitts, London silversmith, apprenticed to his father Thomas Pitts I, Citizen and Goldsmith, 1769. Free 1784. First mark entered as plateworker, 1781. Second mark 1786. Third mark, in partnership with Joseph Preedy, 1791. Pitts specialised (alone and with Preedy) in the production of fine quality epergnes, dessert baskets and stands. Fourth mark, alone, 1799. Fifth mark 1806. His son, William, was apprenticed to his father 1806. By 1816, William Pitts had begun to specialise in producing ornate cast candlesticks in the rococo style and decorated with animals, flowers, shells and scroll-work; at this time he also became known for his magnificent sideboard dishes. He went on to work as a designer, sculptor and chaser for Paul Storr – the most important of all 19th century silversmiths.
Signed – The Motto for the Molesworth and Welford Coat of Arms is “Sic fidem teneo” which means “Thus I keep faith”