This is only the second example to be sold at auction in recent years, the previous example being sold through Christie's London, 27 October 1998.
Between 1879 and 1882 Dresser supplied approximately thirty-seven designs for silver and electroplate to the Sheffield firm of James Dixon & Sons. These were among the least orthodox and most clearly Japanese-inspired designs that Dresser ever produced. The current lot is one of a group of ten designs for toastracks submitted to James Dixon in 1881 and these were produced in limited numbers only. The designs for toastracks which appeared in Dixon's catalogue of 1885 were numbered models; the present lot bears no such number which may indicate that the design was not thought suitable for mass production and therefore only very few examples were produced.
The original design for the present lot, illustrated in Dresser's account book for 1881, was published by Nikolaus Pevsner in his article in The Architectural Review of 1937, 'Christopher Dresser, Industrial Designer', and is recorded in the Nikolaus Pevsner Papers archived at the Getty Centre for the History of Art and the Humanities, Los Angeles, California.