Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Auction Finds of the Week: Walls Are What Make A Room

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Welcome back to Auction Finds of the Week!  This week I will be discussing ways to adorn the blank walls of your space with interesting, original artwork as well as suggesting ceramic plates as another option in which to decorate that empty expanse.  Above is a photograph of a wall in my living room (or the drawing room as I like to call it ) hung in the French Salon style with various types of original artwork- an oil on canvas, 2 Japanese woodblock prints, various engravings from the 18th century, early 19th century drawings and even 2 framed late 19th century ceramic tiles.  The large early 20th century oil painting at the top of the wall is from my grandmother and while not terribly valuable monetarily, its connection to her makes it meaningful to me and I have always liked its tense and taut psychological scene of a family at the dinner table.  Always remember to incorporate a family piece if you have one even when it doesn't exactly "fit", the meaning you and your family have generated with it will make it work.

My wall grouping illustrates several things to keep in mind when decorating the walls of your space.  First, it is fairly easy to find original artwork at good prices, online, at auction or at your local antique store.  Also, there are an infinite number of picture making mediums that you can chose from not just oil paintings which could be more expense that are at good prices- engravings, etchings, lithographs, silkscreens, woodblocks  drawings, watercolors, pastels and so on. And the look of your wall has more interest, texture and dynamism when you concoct various mediums on it or even add something unusual like framed ceramic tiles or plates and platters.

The above photograph depicts  wall in my bedroom filled with Aesthetic Movement black and brown transferware plates and platters.  Using ceramic plates to decorate a blank space can create a dynamic look relatively inexpensively.  And grouping a collection together always gives it more presence and importance.

Currently, on eBay I have several consigned artwork lots mainly in watercolor.  The highlight is awatercolor of a winter scene by the listed and known French artist Roland Dubuc (1924-1998).  The work is well-framed and matted and nicely conveys a bleak, cold winter day.  Also available are a set of 3 framed 17th century colored engravings by Giovanni Battista Falda of Rome- 2 depicting Roman palazzo and the third showing a Roman fountain.  They are all nicely presented and matted in gilt frames.  A set of 4 late 18th century French engravings framed as a pair with gorgeous red mattes illustrate scenes from the Greek Islands. An large 20th century abstract landscape in watercolor by an unknown artist has brilliant color and was clearly rendered by someone with skill and passion.  All of these items are well-priced and would be a welcome decorative addition to any space.  Now, onto the Auction Finds of the Week!

This week's first auction find, lot 5 a color screenprint entitled Abstract Owl by Karl Appel (Dutch, 1921-2006) will be auctioned off at Skinner in Boston 23 January 2015 with a pre-sale estimate of $500-700.  The piece measures 30" x 19.625 and is a vibrant mix of areas of strong color- oranges, blues, yellows and greens- framed in black against a green ground.  The colors and their shapes coalesce into the figure of an owl.  A strong, dynamic image, the Appel Owl would look great in a variety of settings.  I would love to see it mixed with more traditional pictures to create a wall with a good deal of texture.

The second discovery this week also being auctioned off at Skinner in Boston is lot 22, a color lithograph by Bernard Buffet (French, 1928-1999) entitled Tournesols et Melon dated 1955 with pre-sale estimate of $1,500-2,000.  Tournesols is the French word for sunflowers.  This great mid-century modern print from an edition of 125 measures 19" x 25.75" and is rendered in oranges and yellows depicting a vase full of sunflowers next to a slice of melon on a cross-hatched ground.  This piece would look fabulous in a room with Danish mid-century furniture.

Next is an abstract color lithograph by Sonia Delauney-Terk (Ukrainian, 1885-1979), lot 42, also at Skinner in Boston with a pre-sale estimate of $250-300.  The print is untitled and is from an edition of 25 measuring 24.75" x 17".  It shows a series of concentric circles in reds, blues, greens, greys, and a touch of black set off by blank areas showing the paper the lithograph is printed on which creates an image of process and construction.  This work is  a great size and visually appealing by a well-known artist.

The next two finds are more visually traditional and older works of art than the first three from above.  A mixture  of periods on your wall, just like the concoction of mediums on a blank wall can create a space with strong texture and spirit.  These last two finds will be auctioned at Freeman's in Philadelphia on 27 January 2015.

The first treasure from Freeman's is an 18th century French charcoal drawing of two boys resting attributed to the circle of the famous Rococo artist Francois Boucher (French, 1703-1770).  I myself am always dying for a French 18th century moment in my home and this sweet little drawing measuring only 5.625" x 5.25" would certainly satisfy that need.  There is something fresh an open about this work, probably quickly rendered, of two smiling, young boys taking a rest from their play.  This piece, lot 25, has an estimate of $1,000-1,500.

The last find this week is lot 1 a series of 6 etchings of various scenes in Rome from the 1760's and 1770's by the quite renown Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720-1778) with a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-3,000.  I have chosen 2 to illustrate here:  A View of the Colosseum measuring 15.875" x 23.563" and dated 1756 and A View of the Flavio Amphitheater measuring 17.25" x 27.25" and dated 1766.  I would love to see these 6 prints all hung together in sleek simple frames, filling a wall in a room was a decidedly more modern dynamic in terms of furnishings.

Walls are what make a room.  Give your walls a lot of texture and visual interest by finding original artwork at your price point that you find captivating, not just decorative and hang the pieces in thoughtful and planned out groupings that catch the eye.  Hang different sizes pieces with different frames in an asymmetrical Salon style as I have done in my living room.  Or unite different pieces in different media using the same sleek, unobtrusive frame and hang the grouping in a symmetrical and geometric fashion.  Either direction will yield a pleasing result for the eye.  Go for bold displays of color or chose works that are only black and white.  There are a myriad of choices with which to adorn your walls.  Walls are what make a room.  Just don't leave them blank!

I hope you have enjoyed this Auction Finds of Week.  If you are looks for some good, original and well-priced artwork please take a look at the items I currently have listed on eBay.  Or if I can help you find a particular work or works to embellish your wall, please contact me atinfo@theantiqueflaneur.com and visit my website to see the services I offer at www.theantiqueflaneur.com. Or if you are looking for any kind of antique or vintage piece from the 1750's to the 1950's and beyond, I can assist you.  I have multiple sources across the country and in Europe to find you that unique piece.

I am now able to offer insurance appraisals for the decorative arts especially silver and ceramics.  Please contact me if you need an appraisal of items to schedule them on your insurance.  If you need an estate or donation appraisal for tax purposes, I can bring in another appraiser who will work with me to complete that for you.  I am in New York City, but have worked with clients in New Jersey and Connecticut as well.  In addition, if you are interested in selling a piece(s), I can provide you with a Professional Opinion of Value on the object(s) to guide you in your selling (and I can sell it for you too) or perhaps you are just curious about the value of your antique or vintage item.

Until next time,
Kelly T Keating

Friday, January 2, 2015

Auction Finds of the Week: 20th Century Design at Skinner

Welcome back to Auction Finds of the Week on Antique Desire!  This week will highlight 4 furniture lots and one fab metalwork lot being sold at the Modern Design auction at Skinner in Boston on December 6, 2014.  The sale not only has numerous lots of modern design furniture, but also glass, ceramic and metalwork items.  All of the lots I chose for this week have very affordable estimates except one which is a piece by a premier 20th century American furniture designer and maker.  Adding one new and interesting piece to a room can change its whole dynamic from an accessory to an item of furniture.  And as I have said here before, combining new items with vintage and antique pieces gives a room a great deal of character, warmth and interest.

This week's first find, lot 9,  is a Charles Limbert (1854-1923) Arts and Crafts oak desk circa 1912 with an estimate of $600-800.  Limbert was the founder of the Limbert Furniture Company in Michigan in 1902.  The desk has a rectangular top just shy of 4 feet wide over two drawers with corbel supports under which is  a lower median shelf.  The piece demonstrates the hallmarks of the Arts & Crafts style in its simplicity of design as well as the exposed tendons which visually indicate how it was constructed.  This piece is slightly worn, but with some gentle restoration it would function quite well as a desk in a small room.  Can't you just see a computer on top of it?

The next discovery this week is lot 168, a Seville Art Metal Studios gilt metal magazine rack from 1928 with an estimate of $500-700.  Seville Art Metal Studios was located in Cleveland, Ohio and produced various pieces of metalwork during the Art Deco period.  Each side of the magazine rack whimsically features a dancing female nude playing a flute in a swirled oval frame.  I would not use this piece for its original function to hold magazines, but treat it as a piece of sculpture, an Art Deco artifact, to be displayed on a sideboard or a deep mantelpiece.

Lot 233 is a 1970's rosewood armchair with an upholstered seat from Denmark designed by Niels Koefoed with an estimate of $200-300.  The chair has at first a traditional appearance, but this look is underlined and countered by its sleek, sculpted look.  Particularly appealing is how the arms of the chair continue past the seat and are attached to the stretchers.  The stretcher actually goes through the arm piece creating a dynamic visual look.  Here is a single piece of furniture, relatively inexpensive, that could transform a room with its interesting shape and construction.

The next find this week is lot 299, an American black walnut hanging cabinet from 1977, by the renown George Nakashima (1905-1990) with an estimate of $10,000-15,000.  The cabinet consists of a rectangular top with a sap streak and free form edge over a pair of sliding doors with grillwork over Pandaus grass which reveals an open compartment.  In this piece, Nakashima turns the traditional hanging cabinet on its head making it horizontal instead of vertical which gives the piece a superb visual dynamic as it appears to float in space. Other hallmarks of Nakashima's style are here as well most notably allowing the wood to express its inherent characteristics:  the top's free form edge and the incorporation of the sap streak.  This hanging cabinet is really a wonderful piece full of presence and soul.

This week's last discovery is lot 354, a T H Robsjohns-Gibbings walnut coffee table circa 1960's with an estimate of $600-800.  Robsjohns-Gibbings (1905-1976) was a British-born architect and furniture designer who combined classical elements of Ancient Greece and Art Deco design.  The coffee table consist of a rectangular top with a crossbanding over a medial shelf.  The whole is raised on four saber legs.  This piece clearly expresses his design aesthetic. The saber legs of Ancient Greece are injected into an overall modern design creating a striking effect.  At only 30" x 18" this coffee table could work in a variety of spaces and I would have it in my own living room toute suite.  Like the Koefoed chair, this one piece of furniture could transform a room.

If you are looking for a single item from traditional to modern, antique to vintage, to dramatically change your own space, please visit my website and contact me at info@theantiqueflaneur.com.  Also, if you need help selling your antique or vintage items, please think about consigning your items with me. Finally, I am also available for insurance or informational appraisals of your decorative arts objects particularly silver and English ceramics which are my specialties.  If you need an estate or donation appraisal for the IRS, I can refer you to a qualified appraiser to help you.

Happy Hanukkah!  Happy Christmas!  Happy New Year!

Until next time,

Kelly T Keating

Monday, October 20, 2014

New Auction Finds of the Week: Chinese Export Silver at Christie’s Online

From October 16th  to October 28th Christie's is holding an online auction of Chinese Export silver consisting of 88 lots.  Chinese Export silver is perhaps the fastest growing area in the overall silver auction market.  It will be interesting to see what prices are fetched at this exclusive sale.  Just as Chinese makers produced pottery for a European consumer since the 18th century, silver makers were also employed by Westerners to create objects in precious metal.  The confluence often produced unique objects that often blend European forms with Chinese decoration.  I hope you enjoy the following objects as much as I do and that it will inspire you to think about silver in a new way.

This week's first find, lot 3, is a Chinese Export silver pitcher with the mark of Hoaching of Canton and made circa 1825-1870.  It has an estimate of $3,000-5,000.  The pitcher is a cylindrical shape with a tuck in foot.  The body has an overall decoration of bamboo branches and leaves against a matte ground which creates a lace-like effect appearing both strong and delicate at the same time.  The handle of the pitcher is modeled as a piece of bamboo as well.  The pitcher stands 8.25" tall and has a vacant cartouche underneath the spout.  What a gorgeous piece!

This week's next discovery, lot 14, is a Chinese Export silver centerpiece with the mark of Tuck Chang of Shanghai dating to 1870-1920.  It has an estimate of $4,000-6,000. Standing 17.5" tall, the centerpiece features a beautifully rendered crane which supports 4 vases that are decorated with lovely chrysanthemum flowers against a matte ground.  The whole stands on a wood stand.  The detail of this piece is simply extraordinary.

The third treasure this week are 2 related Chinese Export silver round picture frames,lot  71, one made by Cum Wo of Hong Kong circa 1840-1910 and the other made by Luen Wo of Shanghai circa 1880-1925.  It would be interesting to investigate these frames and other objects to see how perhaps certain forms and motifs persisted in Chinese Export silver over long periods of time either because of the Chinese maker, the European consumer or both.   The 2 frames have an estimate of $2,500-3,500.  Each frame is 12" in diameter.  They are both decorated with chrysanthemums.  It would be lovely to fill these frames with some distinguished ancestors.

The last find this week is a Chinese Export 3 piece tea set.  How could one talk about Chinese Export silver and not show an object used for tea although decidedly for a Western drinker?  Lot 44 has an estimate of $2,000-3,000.  The tea set was made by Luen Wo of Shanghai circa 1880-1925.  The teapot, cream jug and sugar bowl are each inventively shaped as a tree trunk section with applied prunus blossoms. The handle, spout and finial are modeled as twigs.  The cream jug and sugar bowl have the nicely added touch of a gilt interior.  This tea set is simply charming.  The trunk and twig motif give it a touch of whimsy and the prunus blossoms add a feeling of elegance.

I hope you enjoyed this small foray into Chinese Export silver and have become as enamored with its beauty as I have.  Also, all of the pieces in the auction not just the ones discussed here have strong estimates.  It will be interesting to see how the sale proceeds and if a majority of lots exceed their higher valuation.

If you are looking for a piece of Chinese Export silver or another antique or vintage. object, please contact me through my website and I would be happy to help. Also, if you have items you wish to sell, I provide that service as well.  And finally if you are on Facebook, please like my business page where I post items of antique interest and additionally antiques for sale.

Until next time,
Kelly T Keating
www.theantiqueflaneur.com

Sunday, August 18, 2013

19th Century Dreams of the 18th Century: The Rococo Revival in Great Britain

boucherinterruptedsleepFrancois Boucher The Interrupted Sleep 1750 oil on canvas 31”x27.75” The Metropolitan Museum of Art

During the 18th century the British did not highly favor the Rococo style of France, but beginning in the 1820’s there was a shift away from a more neo-classical Empire style in favor of a greater interest in Rococo design and motifs.  This movement became known as the Rococo Revival  and lasted into the 1860’s and I would argue even later.  Its appearance signaled the historicist nature of the 19th century as it looked to the past for artistic and stylistic inspiration.  Besides the Rococo Revival there was a Gothic Revival, a Renaissance Revival and an Egyptian Revival.  These revival styles were not mere imitators of past forms but a unique reformulation of older styles and motifs.  They were also not confined to Great Britain, but appeared and flourished in the United States, France and Germany.

P1020320A George IV sterling cream jug made in London in 1824 by George Knight

An 1824 London cream jug by George Knight demonstrates the beginning of the interest in the Rococo.  (All objects in this post are from my own collection unless otherwise noted.)  While the George IV jug still vaguely maintains the neoclassical helmet shape, it has become fatter, more plump in its outline and volume suggesting the richness and sumptuousness of the Rococo. Also, it is elegantly raised on little ball feet which give it an abundance and playfulness that is in contrast to earlier more sober designs of the Empire style.

P1020323George VI 1824 cream jug decoration detail

Around the body of the creamer is an exuberant engraving of flowers, leaves and fruit. Yet along side this Rococo Revival display is a classical palmette or anthemion which indicates how this creamer is a transitional piece. It still has neoclassical elements of design alongside the emerging interest in 18th century French style which would gain greater popularity into the 1830’s and 1840’s

watteautileMinton tile from the “Watteau” series first introduced in the 1840’s and reissued in the 1880’s.  This tile is from the 1880’s.

In the 1840’s Minton made a tile series named “Watteau” based on the fête champêtre paintings of the French Rococo painter Jean-Antoine Watteau.  The fête champêtre was a popular form of entertainment with the French court in the 18th century that took the form of a garden party.  This garden party is also characterized by amorous musings and goings on although with  Watteau there is always a poignancy and almost sadness to the proceedings that are certainly not evident in the joyous nature of the above tile in which a young gentleman serenades his potential love with a flute in a bucolic landscape.  Yet, while different in tone than Watteau the tile does indeed have all the elements of a fête champêtre- lovers in period dress, music and a pastoral setting, but only 2 figures whereas the traditional fête champêtre usually incorporates many figures.

watteauscaleoflove Jean-Antoine Watteau  The Scale of Love 1715-1718 oil on canvas 20”x23.5” The National Gallery London

watteautile2Minton tile from the “Watteau” series first introduced in the 1840’s and reissued in the 1880’s. This tile is from the 1880’s.

The above tile is another example from the Minton "Watteau” series and again displays the essential components of its type- male and female figures in period costume, the figures are in a bucolic space with amorous intentions and music.  Also, note here the tile border with its acanthus swirls which are very reminiscent of Rococo motifs.  The Minton tiles also demonstrate that interest in the Rococo Revival lasted well past the 1860’s.  Why else would Minton reintroduce this pattern in the 1880’s if they didn’t think it would be saleable item. 

And it should be noted that there were various transferware patterns named “Watteau” during the 1840’s and 1850’s particularly in flow blue.  “Watteau” must have been a good buzz word in which to name your pattern because it was to a degree in the collective consciousness and signaled the Rococo style.  Here is an example of one “Watteau” pattern in green which is unusual:

watteautransferplate Scalloped wash bowl in the “Watteau” pattern by Francis Morley and Company 1845-1858 Courtesy Transferware Collector’s Club

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P1020333 Silverplate Mustard Pot by Elkington and Co.,Ltd. dated 1853

An example of the Rococo Revival from the 1850’s is this sweet, humble mustard pot in silverplate with a blue glass liner by Elkington and Co., Ltd.  Birmingham dated 1853.  Elkington pieces of silverplate are wonderful because they have letter marks which allow you to date them to the year of their production.  The mustard pot has all the hallmarks of Rococo Revival design in silver.  It has a gadrooned, lobed body that is embellished with repousse flowers and acanthus leaves which are then engraved.  It also has a lovely c-scroll cartouche with a period R initial of its perhaps original owner.  The lid of the mustard pot is also decorated with flowers and acanthus leaves and there is an upright shell with which to open the lid.

P1020595 Silverplate Sugar Bowl by Elkington and Co., Ltd. dated 1865

P1020597 Silverplate Creamer by Elkington and Co., Ltd dated 1865

A large silverplate creamer and sugar also by Elkington provides an example of the Rococo Revival from the 1860’s.  Like the mustard pot the sugar and creamer have a lobed body, the two displaying a particularly elegant bulbous pear shape with lovely shaped and scrolled handles.  Both pieces are embellished with repousse flowers and acanthus leaves that have then been further engraved to highlight and express the details of the floral elements and increase the richness and exuberance of the overall piece.

P1020596 Sugar Bowl Detail

My final example of the Rococo Revival is a very late example-  a pair of sterling bud vases made in London by William Comyns in 1902 at the very end of the Victorian Era.

P1010107 1902 Sterling Bud Vases made in London by William Comyns

The pair of vases have all the characteristics of the Rococo Revival.  The are heavily embellished with C-scrolls and some flowers.  Nestled among this profusion are cherubs.  Pieces such as these vases indicate that the Rococo Revival style lasted well into the late 19th century.  Perhaps it was not as popular or ubiquitous, but examples of this revival style still persisted and were desired.

P1010084Comyns Vase Detail of Flying Cherub

The Comyns vases also point the way to the Art Nouveau style which to some degree could be understood and discussed as yet another Rococo Revival in the early 20th century.  For myself I find Rococo Revival pieces quite appealing just as much as I like its 18th century origins.  The sumptuous and playful nature of the style both in 1720 and 1840 has always garnered my interest just as I am fascinated how the 19th century recast this style for its own time and purposes.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Georgian On My Mind Part II: A George III Cream Jug and A George IV Cream Jug

King_George_III_by_Sir_William_Beechey_(2)King George III by Sir William Beechy, 1799-1800,  oil on canvas, National Portrait Gallery, London.  George III was on the throne from  1760-1820.  When this portrait was painted, my cream jug was being forged in London.

The Georgian Era spanned the reign of 5 Hanoverian monarchs of Great Britain from 1715-1837.  In 1837, the last Hanoverian monarch, Queen Victoria, ascended the throne which she occupied until 1901 giving her name to the Victorian Era which spanned most of the 19th century.  The 2 cream jugs discussed in this post are just small examples of Georgian cultural production.  They do, however, illustrate the transition from the neoclassicism of the late 18th and early 19th century to the Rococo Revival style of the 19th century which began in the reign of George IV and continued into the Victorian period and was part of the historicism that permeated most of that era.

P1020315George III sterling cream jug London 1799 with unreadable maker’s mark

The George III cream jug in my collection was made in London in 1799.  The maker’s mark is unfortunately unreadable.  The jug has a traditional, yet modified neoclassical helmet shape with the added detail of a lobed body and  a gilt interior.

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Below the spout and above the lobed section of the creamer there is an area of engraved decoration.  The motif is a guilloche- a repetitive architectural pattern used in classical Greek and Roman architecture as well as neo-classical architecture. It consists of two ribbons winding around a series of regular central points. These central points are sometimes blank, but may also contain a figure.   On the George III cream jug the central points contain a flower.

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At the base of the creamer there is a band of stylized, engraved acanthus leaf decoration.  The acanthus leaf is another common motif in neoclassical design.  

                  George_IVasprinceregentGeorge IV as Prince Regent by Thomas Lawrence, 1816, oil on canvas, Vatican Museum.  George IV was regent for his father George III during his madness from 1811-1820.  He was King from 1820-1830.  Where does he get that fabulous hair?!?!?

George_IV__of_the_United_KingdomGeorge IV by Thomas Lawrence, 1822, oil on canvas, Devonshire Collection.  Where does he get that fabulous hair?!?!?

P1020320A George IV sterling cream jug made in London in 1824 by George Knight

In contrast to the neoclassical style of the 1799 cream jug, the George IV creamer made in 1824 in London by George Knight represents the first steps in a new direction of design.  Beginning in the 1820’s an interest in the Rococo style of the 18th century gathered momentum and the Rococo Revival was born.

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Made in 1824 this George IV cream jug demonstrates the inception of the Rococo Revival style.  While the jug still vaguely maintains the neoclassical helmet shape, it has become fatter, more plump in its outline and volume suggesting the richness and sumptuousness of the Rococo.  Also, it is elegantly raised on little ball feet which also give it an abundance and playfulness that is in contrast to the more sober design of the 1799 cream jug.

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P1020331Around the body of the creamer is an exuberant engraving of flowers, leaves and fruit.  Yet along side this Rococo Revival display is a classical palmette or anthemion which indicates how this creamer is a transitional piece.  It still has neoclassical elements of design alongside the emerging interest in 18th century French style.

 

Also, another interesting feature of this creamer is that on the front below the spout in addition to an engraved G there is a beautifully rendered crest or coat of arms.  It consists of a border with a Greek key design and a buckle.  Inside this border are 3 whiskey barrels and a chevron.  Below the badge the year “1824” is inscribed.

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I have not yet been able to identify this coat of arms, but will do further research soon.  Perhaps there was a family whose surname began with the letter G.  They lived in London in the early 19th century and used this cream jug when serving tea to their guests.  Being able to identify the family to whom this piece of sterling belonged would be a wonderful thing.  It would fulfill all of my desires and fantasies about owning antiques.  For me, they bear the traces of their past use and are imbued with life of those who owned them. For me, this George IV cream jug as well as the George III cream jug are alive with the past.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Georgian On My Mind: A George III Silver Cream Jug

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While I love to collect pieces of pottery and silver from The Aesthetic Movement, lately I have been attracted to the more classical forms of the late Georgian period.  Recently, I acquired a very sweet small cream jug, 3.5” in height, which is a lovely example of the period.  The jug was made by Alice and George Burrows and assayed in London in 1805.

P1020283The hallmarks on the jug.  The last mark on the right is the head of George III.

georgeIIIcoronationKing George III in Coronation Robes by Allan Ramsay, 1761-1762, oil on canvas, 58”x42”, National Portrait Gallery, London.

georgianhelmutThe shape of my jug is a common form of the period.  To me, it is reminiscent of the popular helmet shape also typically Georgian, but it does not have the pedestal and is less tapered at the bottom being fatter and more squat.

The creamer is engraved with a lovely, classical Greek key motif which travels around the entire piece.  Its handle is reeded and the interior of the piece still retains its original gilding.

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The jug also has a superb period monogram which reads JEN and is surrounded by a stylized ribbon motif which creates a cartouche in which the initials appear.

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I look forward to using this creamer at tea one day.  When I look at it, I can just imagine when it was new, gleaming in the afternoon light as a Georgian lady named J poured cream into the cup of her guest.