A pair of silver andirons

This magnificent pair of andirons is the finest surviving example of the fashion for French-style silver fireplace furniture in Britain during the reign of Charles II.

Details

Medium:
Sterling silver and iron
Dimensions:
46.2 x 23.8 x 13.5 cm; 3200g
Art Fund grant:
£150,000 ( Total: £541,000; Export stopped)
Acquired in:
2016
Vendor:
Titus Kendall

Each andiron bears the hallmark for London 1680-81 and the coat of arms of Admiral Edward Russell and his second wife, Lady Margaret Russell. One andiron supports a figure of Cleopatra and the other is mounted with a figure of Lucretia. The andiron supporting Lucretia bears the maker’s mark IM, most likely that of the Dutch goldsmith Jean Henri de Moor. De Moor worked in Paris before arriving in London, where he is recorded in 1678. The andirons are regarded as exceptional survivals of their type, and of remarkable value for the study of British silver, taste, social practices and patronage during the reign of Charles II. They will now go on display as part of the outstanding collection of silver at the National Museum, Cardiff.

Provenance

Admiral Edward Russell (1653-1727); bequeathed to his great-niece Letitia Tipping (c.1704-1779) who married Samuel (later the 1st Lord) Sandys (1695-1770) of Ombersley Court, Worcestershire; by descent to 7th Baron Sandys (1931-2013); inherited by niece o

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