A rare early English antique sterling silver cruet set with a matching set of 3 silver castors with hand engraved armorials and 2 silver and faceted crystal oil and vinegar bottles. The cinquefoil frame has 4 ball feet and a simple circular shaped cartouche, with the same hand engraved armorial, to the front. The first cruets stands had a much simpler design which evolved several years later into the more elaborate Warwick cruet shape with rococo cartouche and shell feet. Total weight of silver 832 grams, 26.7 troy ounces. Castors height 16 and 12 cms. Bottles height 16.5 cms. Height to top of handle 18 cms. London 1725. Maker Sam Welder.
This superb antique silver condiment set is in very good condition with a small amount of damage and restoration. All the castors, bottles and frame are original and matching and the silver marks are all matching and clear and easy to read. The caster tops are marked lion and makers mark only. The two bottle tops are unmarked as is generally the case at that date. The glass has that lovely Georgian colour which you don’t find today. Everything is just as you’d wish to see – even the bottle tops fit snugly in the circular holders on the side of the frame.
One of the small castor tops has a few repairs and small splits but is still perfectly serviceable.
Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
The earliest cruet frames contained 3 castors and 2 glass bottles and are not found before 1700. This form is named the “Warwick” cruet after the cruet created by Anthony Nelme in 1715 for the Duke of Warwick. At this date occasionally one finds the two bottle oil and vinegar frame although this form is more usually found on the continent. Later in the 18th century the number of bottles could be as many as 8 or 10 and these would have contained a variety of sauces of the period such as soy, ketchup, tarragon etc and they may have had little sauce labels to identify the contents.