George II Sterling Silver Cake Basket
Paul de Lamerie, London, 1742
Oval on four mask feet, the body pierced and engraved with foliate scrolls and wheat sheafs, the rim applied with reeded band and masks, the later pierced handle cast with flowers and scrolls. Length 13 3/4 inches (35 cm.), approximately 49 ounces.
Paul de Lamerie (1688-1751) was the Huguenot silversmith widely regarded as the finest to ever work in an industry crowded with talent. It was de Lamerie who introduced his wealthy clientele to the Rococo style, a fashion trend that had already swept France.
This cake basket is a superb example of de Lamerie's finest work. The feet and rim are decorated with richly cast figural and lion masks giving an aire of whimsy to the piece. The body is pierced and engraved with sheafs of wheat giving a hint to the contents of such baskets used at fashionable dining tables. The cake basket was introduced by de Lamerie to London society in the 1730s and this style with "wild-mask" feet was used from 1738 to 1744.
A basket of this design also dated 1742 but with the original figural handle was in the collection of Jaime Ortiz-Patino sold at Sotheby's New York, April 22, 1998, lot 23 for $662,500. A further example dated 1741 is in the collection of Paul Cahn and illustrated in Beyond the Maker's Mark: Paul de Lamerie Silver in the Cahn Collection, fig. 34, pp. 97-98.
Cake baskets by Paul de Lamerie are currently found in many great public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute among others.
C Property from a Prominent Philadelphia Family
Additional Notes & Condition Report
For illustrations of Lamerie baskets with similar cast elements and pierced and engraved sides, please see the following:
E. Alfred Jones, "Catalogue of the Collection of Old Plate of William Francis Farrer", London, 1924, p. 154, pls. 82/3 (now in the Ashmolean Museum)
Sotheby's, London, 28 May 1953, lot 157; 7 June 2007, lot 125
Sotheby's, New York, 4 June 1974, lot 77; 17 June 1981, lot 86; and 22 April 1998, lot 23
Christie's, London, 27 June 1956, lot 125; 30 November 1960, lot 48; and 18 March 1970, lot 119
Cake Baskets by de Lamerie are known in the following public collections:
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (three, two dated 1744 and one 1745)
Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama (1740)
Harvard Art Museums, Massachusetts (1738)
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia (1742)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania (1742)
Victoria and Albert Museum, London (three, 1732, 1741 and 1742)
Clark Institute, Massachusetts (1744)
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (1747)
Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Doyle New York shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging.
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