25 November 2003
A Victorian parcel-gilt freedom casket
Mark of Stephen Smith, London, 1883
Shaped rectangular on four foliate and floral lion's paw feet, with acanthus, beaded and gadrooned borders, elaborately cast and chased with openwork dragon, floral and foliate sides, the curved ends applied with cast crests on foliate scroll bases, the hinged cover chased with foliate urns and pellets on a matted ground, with ribbon-tied berried laurel sprigs and a crest finial, the sides applied twice with a coat-of-arms with supporters and motto, marked on base and cover
7½in. (19cm.) long
The arms are those of the Salters' Company and Hooker for Sir Joseph Hooker (1817-1911), the celebrated botanist and friend of Darwin.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 10 June 1993, lot 539
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This casket was almost certainly presented to Sir Joseph on the occasion of a dinner held at the Salters' Hall attended by Professor Huxley and Sir Joseph, both having been elected members of the Company.
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Please note that this casket is additionally marked on side and mounts.
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