A RARE GEORGE II SILVER-GILT PLUMMIT OR SCENT BOTTLE
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A RARE GEORGE II SILVER-GILT PLUMMIT OR SCENT BOTTLE

UNMARKED, ATTRIBUTED TO AMYE VIDEAU, LONDON, CIRCA 1755

Details
A RARE GEORGE II SILVER-GILT PLUMMIT OR SCENT BOTTLE
UNMARKED, ATTRIBUTED TO AMYE VIDEAU, LONDON, CIRCA 1755
Of octagonal pear shape, with foliate scrolls and flowers, cast and chased angles with scalework all on a textured ground, the detachable base with incised lines, with a hook finial, engraved with a coat-of-arms
3¾ in. (9.5 cm.) high
4.5 oz. (140 gr.)
The arms are those of Fleming impaling Coleman, for Sir John Fleming of Brompton Park, Middlesex, created a baronet in April 1763, and his wife Jane, daughter of William Coleman, Esq. of Garnhay, Devon. Sir John died in November 1763. In 1770 Lady Fleming married Edward Lascelles, later Baron Harewood, and the dressing table service, to which this plummit belonged, descended to his daughter Jane, wife of the 3rd Earl of Harrington.
Provenance
Sir John Fleming, 1st Bt., presumably as a gift to his wife Jane (d. 1813) on their marriage in 1758, and then by descent to their daughter and co-heir
Jane, Countess of Harrington (d. 1823), wife of Charles, 3rd Earl of Harrington (1753-1829) and then by descent to their grandaughter
Lady Jane, Marchioness Conyngham (d. 1907), only surviving child of Charles, 4th Earl of Harrington (1780-1851), and wife of George Henry, 3rd Marchioness Conyngham (1825-1882)
The Marchioness Conyngham; Christie's, London, 4 May 1908, lot 56 (presumably one of 'a pair of scent bottles' from a twenty-one piece toilet service)
Special notice
This lot is offered without reserve. No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

The exact use of the plummit is the matter of some conjecture although they were certainly originally a feature of 18th century dressing-table services, indeed in 1741 a Mrs. Fuller ordered a sett of dressing plate from George Wickes which included a plummit. Other examples are known such as one from The Dorset Service, an unmarked silver-gilt toilet service sold from the Patino Collection; Christie's New York, 28 October 1986, lot 12 and the Duke of Norfolk service by Benjamin Pyne, illustrated in M.Clayton, The Collector's Dictionary of the Silver and Gold of Great Britain and North America, London, p.432, pl.71.

While it was originally believed that they were bell pulls it has since been suggested that they were button hooks for gloves or used for tightening stays. It is also possible that they were intended as weights which would have hung from the voluminous draperies which would surround the mirror on the 17th and 18th century dressing- table.

The Fleming dressing-table service, as sold in 1908, originally consisted of 21 pieces weighing some 458 oz. offered as part of a Catalogue of Objects of Art of the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, The Property of the Marchioness Conyngham, Deceased. A ewer and basin from the service, similarly decorated with foliate scrolls and flowers, was sold Christie's, New York, 19 October 2004, lot 1044.

For Jane Fleming, Countess of Harrington see also Lot 365.

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