When it’s a ewer. A ewer is a vase shaped pitcher or jug with a pedestal base, an oval body and a flaring spout to prevent liquids from sloshing about. Often beautifully decorative, ewers are frequently used for wine. The word is believed to have its origins in the Old French word eviere, which comes from the Latin aqua, or “water.” Ewers have been used to transport liquids since ancient times.
This outstanding Victorian double-walled sterling silver ewer on a stepped pedestal base is made by London silversmiths Charles Reily and George Storer in the Cellini pattern. It features Renaissance Revival chased decoration all over, with strapwork, masks, arabesques, foliage and animals against a matte silver background. The body has three banded sections, each with its own motifs. The tall neck compliments the deeply curved spout with conforming decoration that includes a large central mask. The interior of the spout is gilt, creating a striking silhouette. The ewer also has a remarkably sculptural caryatid handle.
In superb condition, the ewer is fully hallmarked under the spout and stamped under the rim of the foot with the number 303. It measures approx. 10 1/2” high and its base measures approx. 3" in diameter. The original fitted case, from London retailer H.H. Dobson and Sons, is wood with a hinged lid and lock mechanism and a recessed brass handle on one side; it is lined with blue velvet and retains the original paper label of Dobson and Sons with the royal coat-of-arms. This exceptional ewer is superbly crafted and would make an outstanding addition to any collection.