A RARE IRISH PROVINCIAL GEORGE II SILVER BASKET, PROBABLY THOMAS LYNCH OF GALWAY, CIRCA 1745
shaped oval, engraved with contemporary armorials in a Rococo cartouche, pierced and engraved to both sides with rocaille, scrolls and foliage below an applied reeded rim interrupted by further rocaille and two cherub masks, the caryatid swing handle centred by a crest flanked by chased foliage, the base with frowning masks joined by foliate swags and guilloche, underside with contemporary initials IL, scratch weight 60=9, maker's mark TL and stamped 'STERLING'
33.5cm long, 1712gr (55oz)
Provenance: The Hon. Mrs Rupert Mitford, Sotheby's New York, 11 November 1975, lot 279. Before her marriage to Rupert Freeman-Mitford (son of the 1st Baron Redesdale and father of the 5th Baron Redesdale), Flora Talbot-Napier had been the widow of the wealthy American Henry Lane Eno. During the 1920s Mr and Mrs Eno leased Montacute House in Somerset, until his death in 1928.
The maker's mark TL on this basket bears close comparison to those found on a mug stamped TL twice for Thomas Lynch of Galway, circa 1730, illustrated in the catalogue, Christie's London, 25 November 2008, lot 261 (the ship mark also found on the mug was only used for a short time). For interesting similarities with another Irish Rococo silver basket, Robert Calderwood, Dublin, 1743, see Christie's London, 1 December 2005, lot 426. The unusual shape of the 'Sterling' stamp is also found on Cork silver, see Jackson p.713. Spectrographic analysis by Goldsmiths Hall reveals the silver to be pre 1800 in date and of a standard close to 900, common to much early 18th century Irish silver.