A Vessel No Less Worthy

Our upcoming Silver & Luxury Accessories Auction (24 November) is quite simply brimming with fun, fine and curious objects of virtue and wonder.



Within this carefully curated sale, perhaps one group stands out as being of particular pertinence. With the festive season soon upon us and talk of draughts and drams in the air, what better way to welcome in the winter than with a warming toast poured from a fine decanter.

Throughout history, we as humans have found all manner of ways to store and pour our most delectable concoctions, from the grand and imposing to the downright bizarre. This sale presents a small but noteworthy collection of such vessels.



To begin with, perhaps our favourite has to be lot 195, an early 20th century zoomorphic decanter modelled as a pinscher. This masterfully crafted work of sheer novelty is a unique take on the old adage, hair of the dog that bit you. The piece is of Austrian origin and would most likely have housed some form of schnapps in its day. Indeed, every dog must have its day, and a tot or two of that sweet Germanic liqueur poured from our canine friend would be an apt way to put fire in one’s belly as the frosty weather creeps in.

If wine is more your tipple, another piece to set itself apart is lot 154. This Edwardian claret jug is a magnificent representative of the Arts & Crafts movement, with the angular handle owing more than an afterthought to one Dr. Christopher Dresser. The ovoid glass body is also finely worked, being profusely cut with hobnails and diamonds in such a way that, when full, the effect must be heady.

If a work more fully crafted from silver is what you desire, then look no further than lot 68. This Mexican ewer may be of modern construction, though it’s elegant curves and lobes are far more suggestive of a Renaissance beauty, one that would sit quite comfortably upon the table of a Tuscan Grand Duke. At a healthy size of twenty-nine centimetres, to pour from this vessel amongst friends, then sip (or rather quaff) would produce a positively Bacchanalian atmosphere.


Smaller in size, though not in stature is lot 206, an engine turned silver hipflask. The flask wears a quality that cannot deceive, and it is hardly surprising that the piece was crafted by one Asprey of London, purveyors of splendour to kings and queens. Fitted with a removable cup, it would make the perfect addition to that frosty New Year’s Day walk.

So, whether for gifting or hoarding, these fine treasures and more will be offered to you in our November Silver & Luxury Accessories Auction.



For a complimentary, no-obligation valuation, visit our Glasgow Galleries or contact a specialist on 0141 810 2880 or auction@mctears.co.uk

James Bruce

James Bruce


Valuer and Auctioneer


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