• The Collection of Benjamin F.  auction at Christies

    Sale 2388

    The Collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III

    26 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 160

    A GEORGE II SILVER CAKE BASKET

    MARK OF THOMAS FARREN, LONDON, 1737; THE ENGRAVING ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPH SYMPSON

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE II SILVER CAKE BASKET
    MARK OF THOMAS FARREN, LONDON, 1737; THE ENGRAVING ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPH SYMPSON
    Flaring oval, with pierced sides, on a solid oval flaring foot chased with shells and scrolls against a matted ground, the border of the basket applied with scalloped scrolls and with Pan masks, the handle with caryatid supports, the field finely engraved with a trellis pattern centering a coat-of-arms in a Baroque cartouche, marked under base and on handle
    13 in. (33 cm.) long; 60 oz. 10 dwt. (1,890 gr.)


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    The arms are those of John Shales Barrington (d. 1788), son of Charles Shales and his wife Anne, who was the sister of Sir Charles Barrington, 5th baronet of Barrington Hall. Charles Shales (d. 1734) was goldsmith to Queen Anne and Kings George I and II.

    In Sir Charles Barrington's will, his estates and title were devised separately, so John Shales Barrington inherited his uncle's estates but not his title. John Shales Barrington conceived a lavish scheme to rebuild Barrington Hall on a grand scale, mortgaging his estates to pay for the project. However, after a rumored matrimonial disappointment, he abandoned the project unfinished and retired to Waltham Cross, where he lived out his life in relative obscurity.

    Joseph Sympson engraved a number of silver pieces by Thomas Farren. Charles Oman, in English Engraved Silver, illustrates a detail of a salver by Farren (in the Victoria and Albert Museum) engraved, like the present lot, with the arms of John Shales Barrington, which he attributes to Joseph Sympson (op cit., p. 90, fig. 103).

    Provenance

    The Hon. Mrs. Bearman, sold Sotheby's, London, 9 May 1974, lot 149
    Sotheby's, London, 29 November 2006, lot 98
    With Alastair Dickenson, London


    Literature

    Vanessa Brett, The Sotheby's Directory of Silver, 1986, no. 739