Top 10 Silver and Metals

The Bowes Museum

The Museum has an extensive collection of base metals, pewter, copper and brass, which complement the small collection of silver, and include candlesticks and fireplace fittings. There are ormolu mounts from furniture and room interiors, some allegedly from the royal palaces, acquired after the Siege of Paris in 1871. 

One of a pair, this dish forms part of the large collection of Regency silver from the estate of the sixth Marquess of Ormonde. Accepted in lieu of capital transfer tax by HM Treasury and allocated to the Bowes Museum in 1982.

Won by John Bowes’ horse Hetman Platoff , one side of the cup is engraved ‘The Earl of Uxbridge’ and underneath ‘Lord George Bentinck’, bracketed together as ‘Stewards’.

Such an object was considered a great luxury in Jacobean England, a special container for expensive spices imported from the east. It is marked with the London date letter for 1610 and the makers mark ‘TT’ above a star.

Bought by Joséphine in London on the 12th May 1871 when the couple were sheltering from the siege of Paris, the item may have had a special significance for them, as John called Joséphine ‘puss’.

This gold watch chain carries an amethyst seal cut with a sheaf of arrows surmounted by a buckled belt, carrying the Bowes family motto ‘sans variance terme de vie’, steadfast unto the end.

This is possibly the watch acquired by Joséphine Bowes from the dealer Mme Lepautre in 1868, described as a ‘little watch - gold and fine pearls 55 francs’.

Gilt bronze grotesque fountain mask of a River God from the home of Philip d’Orleans, brother of Louis XIV Purchased in 1966 in memory of Tony Ellis (late Deputy Museums Director).

Strawberry coloured enamel, diamond studded N’s and an imperial crown are all features of this presentation snuff box of Napoleon III.

This object depicts Saint Sebastian left for dead. Persecuted by the Romans, Diocletian sentenced Sebastian to death by arrows for attempting to convert Romans to Christianity.

Cast in solid silver, the standing Sappho is the most famous example of a series of sensual Antique women which Pradier created in the neo-classical style during the 1840’s.

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