Fine Quality Cast Silver Metal Tea Caddy
Fine Quality Cast Silver Metal Tea Caddy
Fine Quality Cast Silver Metal Tea Caddy

Fine Quality Cast Silver Metal Tea Caddy

c. 1880 to c. 1910 German

Offered by Baggott Church Street Ltd

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Rectangular bombe and concave form with detachable gadrooned lid over rococo foliage with C scrolls and panels depicting an urn and a tea kettle. Stands upon shell scroll feet. Bears a ‘fantasy’ silver hall mark from the free trade German city of Hanau, which created its own hallmarks to suit the style and period of its reproduction antique silverware. The hallmark on this caddy is attributed to B.Neresheimer and Sohne, Hanau, who exhibited in both the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and the St. Louis International Exposition in 1904. The fleur de lys hallmark complements the French 18th century style but the caddy is of late 19th/early 20th century manufacture.
Stock No. 8496
Due to strong customer demand from the middle to the end of the 19th century, copies of old silver items in an amalgamation of different historic styles were made freely by many companies in both Europe and the United States. The legal requirement by all countries insisted on correct hallmarking procedures and there have been subsequently no issues with identification. However, there was one German city, Hanau that had a long tradition of being a free-trade city, and, unlike every other German city that was supervised by a hallmarking guild, chose to apply a series of fantasy hallmarks to their silverware. Whether these marks were intended to deceive or not is not known, but Hanau found a profitable niche market that brought the makers and the town significant wealth and a worldwide reputation – the production of ‘antique silver’. The marks used were made to resemble ‘old’ marks and always seemed to complement the item that was being marked. French looking marks using emblems such as the fleur de lis, which was associated with the French royal family, would appear on French Rococo style reproductions. The two leading identities of this industry were August Schleissner and the firm of Neresheimer, which was founded in 1893.

As no records exist to check any of these Hanau Pseudo marks against, it is down to extensive research by Wolfgang Scheffler and Bruno-Wihelm Theile that the makers of specific items can be identified with a great deal of certainty. This tea caddy is attributed to B. Neresheimer and Sohne, Hanau, becoming L. Neresheimer & Co in 1903. The company exhibited in 1893 in Chicago at the World’s Columbian Exposition and in 1904 at the St. Louis International Exposition. A passage written in ‘Watchmaker, Jeweller, Silversmith and Optician’ by W. Augustus Steward, published by Heywood & Co, London, in 1903 states:

“In the silver-goods trade, which is carried on under excellent conditions, the imitation of antiques plays, and always has played, a large part, especially in the more splendid works of bygone times, and it is in this direction that Messrs B. Neresheimer & Sohne are best known… I was able to see the careful and artistic manner in which they produced copies of the old masters. Nothing was too small or too large, everything being copied with a care and minuteness, which were indeed creditable… Nuremberg work, double lady cups, old goblets, snuff boxes and a hundred and one beautiful little objects which remain to show the beauty of the old German silversmith’s work that were being copied for the wholesale market.”
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Baggott Church Street Ltd

Baggott Church Street Ltd
Church Street
GL54 1BB

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