The Foley Wine Coolers
The Foley Wine Coolers
The Foley Wine Coolers
The Foley Wine Coolers
The Foley Wine Coolers


The Foley Wine Coolers

1805 United Kingdom

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A Pair of George III silver-gilt wine coolers in the Egyptian style, London 1805 Maker's mark of Digby Scott & Benjamin Smith Retailed By Rundell, Bridge And Rundell after a design By Jean-Jacques Boileau. Each vase shaped and supported on four winged sphinxes resting on shaped square base with egg-and-dart border, on four lion's paw feet, the body with displayed swans below cast and chased parallel bands of shells, foliage, shells and swags and egg-and-dart, the handles formed as two serpents encircling a female mask, with collar and plain liner, the liner and collar each engraved with a crest beneath baron's coronet, each marked under base, near handle, on feet, sphinxes, collars and liners, the base of each further stamped 'RUNDELL BRIDGE ET RUNDELL AURIFICES REGIS ET PRINCIPIS WALLIAE LONDINI FECERUNT'
The crest is that of Foley for Thomas Foley, 3rd Baron Foley of Kidderminster, (1780-1833).
Jean-Jacques Boileau
The designer for these coolers can be attributed to French born Jean-Jacques Boilieau, a mural painter, who came to England to assist the architect Henry Holland in the decoration of the Prince of Wales's Carlton House. Boileau's drawing for a wine cooler in the Egyptian manner, which features identical sphinx supports and similar serpent handles, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, is clearly the inspiration for this object. The design forms part of a portfolio of drawings used by Rundell Bridge & Rundell from which many of the firm's designs were based, see T. Schroder, The Gilbert Collection of Gold and Silver, 1998, pp. 337-341, no 89-90.
The design for the wine-cooler reflects the 'French Empire' style promoted by Napoleon's Egyptian campaign and later popularised by publications such as Vivant Denon's Voyages dans la Basse et la Haute Egypte of 1802 and its English translations Travels in Egypt, 1803. The ornamental style was led by the Rome trained French court architects C. Percier and P.F.L Fontaine, whose Receuil de Decorations Interieure, 1801, featured guardian sphinx supports on one of their Roman-style festive altars (pl. V) and on a tripod candelabrum (pl XXIII). In London, this Parisian style was further promoted by the furnishings of Thomas Hope's mansion/museum in Duchess Street, were this same pattern tripod-pattern of addorsed and single legged sphinx featured on bronze 'candelabrum' candlesticks. Hope is likely to have commissioned them from the French born Piccadilly bronze founder Alex Decais (d.1811), see T. Hope, Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807, pl. XLIX. The present Sphinx rest on tripod and hollow sided 'altar' plinths, whose paw feet symbolise the lion-attendants of Bacchus's triumphal feasts. Early examples of Egyptian style plate by Paul Storr, retailed by Rundell Bridge & Rundell, are on a set of four Egyptian style tureens in the British Royal Collection from the Prince Regent's 'Grand Service', dated 1802 and 1803 which were exhibited London, The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Carlton House, The Past Glories of George IV's Palace, no. 85. They are accompanied by similarly inspired sets of sauce boats and salt cellars.
The present wine coolers' upper sections also corresponds to those of a set of silver-gilt wine coolers by Paul Storr in the collection of the Dukes of Bedford at Woburn Abbey, which bear the London hallmark for 1803-4 see Snodin, 'J.J Boileau: A Forgotten Designer of Silver', The Connoisseur, June 1978, pp. 124-33 and H. Young, ' A Further Note on J.J Boileau, "A Forgotten Designer of Silver", Apollo, October 1986, pp.334-37. A pair of identical ormolu wine coolers, retaining their original liners and with swan mount upside down, appeared in the sale of the 1st Viscount Bridport, great uncle to Admiral Viscount Nelson, (12th July 1985 lot 113). A set of four coolers again in ormolu, from the Marcos Collection was sold on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines through the Presidential Commission for Good Government Christie's New York, 10th January 1991, lot 53. A related pair of silver-gilt fruit coolers, bearing the maker's mark of Digby Scott and Benjamin Smith II and retailed by Rundell Bridge & Rundell from the Alan & Simone Collectionsold at Christie's Ney York 20th October 11999, lot 184.

Thomas 3rd Baron Foley (1780-1833), almost certainly commissioned as either part of john Nash's major reconstruction of Witley Court, Worcestershire or to celebrate his marriage on 18th August 1806, Celia Olivia(d.1863), daughter of Robert William Fitzgerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster, and then by descent to his sonThomas Henry, 4th Baron Foley, (1808-1869), who sold, in 1837, Witley Court to William Ward, 11th Baron Ward and later 1st Earl of Dudley, and then by descent to their son Henry Thomas, 5th Baron Foley, (1850-1905) who acquired in 1872, Ruxley Lodge in Claygate, Surrey, and then by descent to his brotherFitzalan Charles John, 6th Baron Foley (1852-1918) and then by descent to Gerald Henry, 7th Baron Foley, (1898-1927)Gerald Henry, Baron Foley; Castiglione and Scott, Ruxley Lodge, Claygate Surrey 14-20 Ocober 1919, lots 1333-1336

Thomas , 3rd Baron Foley
Thomas , 3rd Baron Foley, (1780-1833), was the son of Thomas 2nd Baron Foley and his wife Henrietta Stanhope. He succeeded his father to become 3rd Baron in 1793, though he was only able to take his seat in the House of Lords on gaining his majority in 1801. He married Lady Cecelia Fitzgerald(d.1863), daughter of William Fitzgerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster in 1806. Around the same time he also served as Master of the Quorn Hunt and later, when the Whigs came to power under Lord Grey in 1830, was appointed Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, a post he held until his death in 1833. Foley was also a member of the privy council from 1830 and Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire between 1831 and 1833. On his death in 1833 he was succeeded by his son Thomas Henry who became 4th Baron Foley.

The title Baron Foley was first created in 1712 for Thomas Foley who represented Stafford in the House of Commons and who was the grandson of the prominent ironmaster Thomas Foley and the nephew of Paul Foley, speaker of the House of Commons. The title however was short lived in its first creation, becoming extinct on the death of Thomas' first son in 1766. The was title created for a second time for another Thomas Foley who sat as a member of Parliament for Droitwich and Herefordshire.
Height 29.20 cm (11.50 inches)
Weight 13434.00g (431.96oz t)
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Koopman Rare Art

Koopman Rare Art
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London Silver Vaults
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