A Stunning Victorian Sugar Vase

Maker: 
Charles Reily and George Storer
Dated: 
1844
Dimensions: 
9 3/4 x 6 in, (24.4 x 15 cm)
Weight: 
481

The circular spreading base formed as an open framework of matted and burnished vine leaves applied to textured branches occasionally separated by bunches of grapes and tendrils. The trumpet shaped body with similar foliage applied to 8 internal straps rising to form a regular 16 lobed wirework rim. The pull-off cover of matching form and of domed shape with curved branch, leaf and tendril finial. Complete with original frosted glass liner.

Price: 
2750 GBP

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We do not buy Victorian silver very often but when it is this good it is very hard to resist. It is one of those pieces that reveal more features about its complex construction every time it is examined. The basic framework is simple enough but it is the skilled way the silversmiths have deftly hidden the superstructure behind the veneer of vine leaves that turns it into a piece of great artistic merit. Similarly the clever device of leaving some leaves plain only goes to enhance its overall appeal. Perhaps the most subtle part of its construction is the way the cover actually sits on the inside of the glass liner upon a specially cut ledge, leaving the flared wavy cut outer edge of the glass protruding. This not only gives perfect balance to the vase but aesthetically improves the whole outline.

The highly accomplished makers Charles Reily and George Storer were amongst the first to make silver mounted glass claret jugs which date from the 1830’s. These are amongst the finest examples to be found with superb quality glass matched by equally impressive silver or silver-gilt mounts. It is no wonder, therefore, that they were able to produce such a beautiful vase in a very similar style. The partnership came together in 1829 and was descended through a long line of wine label makers beginning with Sandilands Drinkwater in the 1730’s. It is not surprising that much of their output was wine related but it should be noted that they also made a number of very high quality snuff boxes.