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    Sale 7731

    Centuries of Style: Silver, European Ceramics, Portrait Miniatures and Gold Boxes

    2 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 244

    A GEORGE III SILVER SOUP-TUREEN, COVER AND STAND

    MARK OF RICHARD COOKE, LONDON, 1811

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GEORGE III SILVER SOUP-TUREEN, COVER AND STAND
    MARK OF RICHARD COOKE, LONDON, 1811
    Oval and on leaf-capped feet, with gadrooned rim and two scroll handles, the cover with loop handles, the oval stand with gadrooned rim and leaf and scroll handles, engraved with an inscription, marked under stand, near rim of tureen and on cover bezel
    the stand 20¾ in. (53 cm.) wide
    221 oz. (6,873 gr.)
    The inscription reads 'Presented to James Watt L.L.D. by the Company of Proprietors of the Glasgow Waterworks'


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    James Watt (1736-1819) engineer and scientist, was born in 1736 in Greenock, Renfrewshire. In 1769 he patented the improved steam engine which made possible the widespread use of steam power in manufacturing. Watt devised the original calculation to define 'horsepower' and the unit of electrical power was named after him.

    In 1811 Watt was consulted by the Glasgow Water Company to advise on a means of conveying water from a peninsula across the Clyde to the company's engines at Dalmarnock, a task that was thought impossible because of the uneven and shifting river bed the pipes had to cross. Watt suggested a plan to use an articulated tube of iron, based on the tail of the lobster. The drawings that he presented were used to make and lay the piping. The project was a success and, as Watts refused payment for his assistance, the company instead presented him with the present soup tureen, then valued at 100 guineas.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Presented to James Watt by the Proprietors of the Glasgow Waterworks in 1811.
    The late Lord Gibson-Watt and members of the Gibson-Watt family; Sotheby's London, 20 March 2003, lot 275.