13th Jan, 2024 9:30 GMT/BST

Jewellery, Watches & Silver

Lot 2246


A Victorian Silver Vinaigrette
by Alfred Taylor, Birmingham, 1861

oval, the hinged cover engraved with a view of the International Exhibition of 1862, opens to reveal a flower and foliage pierced and engraved grille, the base engine-turned and centring a vacant shield
47mm wide, 13dwt, 20gr

The 1862 International Exhibition opened in London in May and was visited by some six million visitors by the time it closed in November. It had been the original intention that the building, on a site of what is now the Natural History Museum, would be kept. Unfortunately the government of the day declined to fund the purchase so the structure was instead dismantled with the many of its constituent materials being used in the construction of the Alexander Palace.

The present example is almost certainly engraved after a design published by A. Park of 7 Leonard Street, Finsbury Park and interestingly varies from the final design, presumably as it, and the vinaigrette, were produced in advance of the completion of the structure and in anticipation of a great demand when the exhibition opened. The design is almost certainly that registered by Alfred Taylor of 9 Howard Street, Birmingham as number 143413 ‘an ornamental panel shaped design with image of building’ on 12 September 1861.

Tennants are grateful to an Irish academic for their assistance in identifying the view on the present vinaigrette.

Sold for £900
Estimated at £150 - £250


Marked inside base with makers mark, Birmingham town mark and date letter. Further marked inside cover with makers mark, duty mark and lion passant. The grille marked inside with duty mark. The marks with some but but generally legible. There is some overall surface scratching and wear, consistent with age and use. The cover does not close completely flush. The engraving crisp. Some corrosion/tarnish inside.


We are happy to provide Condition Reports to prospective buyers, but would welcome your request as soon as possible, preferably at least 48 hours before the Day of Sale. We cannot guarantee a reply to any requests made within 48 hours of the start of the auction. The absence of a Condition Report from a lot does not mean that the lot is in perfect condition. A Condition Report is an honest expression of our opinion, not a statement of fact and is provided as a service to the seller. All lots are available on public view ahead of an auction and we encourage prospective buyers to inspect an item in person where possible. Our Condition Reports are not prepared by professional conservators, restorers, or engineers, and are prepared with the naked eye unless otherwise stated.

Regarding Pictures, Prints and Works on Paper, works are not examined out of the frame, unless specifically stated. Tennants Auctioneers do not cover damage to gilded wood or plaster picture frames, or to picture frame glass whilst the item is in our possession.

We accept no liability for the opinions expressed in any Condition Report.

Auction: Jewellery, Watches & Silver, 13th Jan, 2024

Jewellery, Watches & Silver Sales bring together a wide a range of affordable period and modern jewellery, vintage and collectable watches, and silver from the 18th to 21st century.


Wednesday 10 January - Friday 12 January 10am-4pm, and morning of sale from 8am

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