A George III bright-cut and fluted oval teapot with tapering angular spout and polished wood scroll handle, the slightly-domed hinged cover with replacement finial, the body bright-cut with narrow friezes and floral, foliate, drapery and bow swags suspending two boat-shaped cartouches, one engraved: "From the Phoenix Company to Mr Engle in acknowledgement for his Exertion on the 24th.Dec. 1786", the other engraved with the crest of the Phoenix Company, Thomas Chawner, London 1786 - 5¼in; with an almost matching George III beaded oval teapot stand on foliate-capped feet, the ground also engraved with the crest of the Phoenix Company, Henry Chawner, London 1786 - 18oz. gross.
See Plate 4
A former owner of this teapot and stand carried out considerable research into them. He lent them to the Phoenix Assurance Company in the mid 1950's, the Company writing him a letter dated 18th October 1955 disclosing that they had traced an entry in an early minute book under the date of 16th January 1787 noting a resolution that: "A present of a piece of plate value 6 guineas be given to Mr Henry Engle as a reward for his assistance at the fire at Mr George Whittick's sugar house on the 24th December 1786". Further research confirmed that the Firm of Whittick and Company were in business at that time as sugar refiners in Virginia Street, Ratcliffe Highway, Stepney, this tying in with the family background showing which they owned and presumably inhabited property in the Mile End district of London. Apparently in the early days of insurance it was not unusual for companies to reward those persons who assisted their private fire brigades in time of need. This lot is offered with various photocopies of letters confirming the information in this footnote. A miniature of Henry Engle, the recipient of the teapot and stand, will be offered in the sale of Objects of Vertu, Miniatures and Fountain Pens on Wednesday, April 22nd, 1991 at 10.30am. (2)