Item: Basket Description: Oxford scenes
1847 by Edward Barnard & Sons Dimensions: 62mm (h) x 156mm
(w) x 124mm (d); 149g weight
Comments: A superb quality silver sweet basket
with masterfully engraved scenes of Oxford. London-made items belonging to
the "castle-top" genre of silverware are particularly rare. The
articles themselves are generally of a far superior quality to their
Birmingham made counter-parts (i.e. not thin stampings) and this basket is
testament to that rule. It stands on a shaped pedestal foot with an
openwork handle and attractive architectural style engravings around the border.
There are three engraved vignettes with Oxford scenes.
The main central scene shows a classic view of High Street
looking west with Queen's College on the right and University College on the left. The
spires of the University Church of St Mary The Virgin and All Saints
Church are in the distance. The road is muddy and a stage coach is
disappearing around the bend. In the foreground, under-graduates or Oxford
dons with their mortar board hats are crossing the road.
The scene with two rowers in the foreground shows Iffley
Mill on the River Thames (Isis). This picturesque spot was much admired by
18th & 19th century artists for it's beauty and tranquillity, but was
burnt down in 1908, by a spectacular fire. Iffley Lock is the traditional
starting point for Oxford University boat races.
The third scene also shows a riverside building and bridge
and is probably another view of Iffley Mill.
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