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"A Gift" is something given without expectation of payment. 

It is intended to be free of encumbrance. 

It can be an expression of love or friendship, gratitude, charity, aid - or simply "celebration".

At Christmas, gifts recall the Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh brought by Wise Men from the East.

Gifts also regenerate the warmth and affection of the spirit in which they are given -

something equally treasured.


The following are a few of our favorite "anticipations",

all suitable for "the very special gift"

- all small and easily shipped.

We would like to show you more; however technology does limit email space.

You may always visit the full website for additional fine and unusual "anticipations".





Rare Silver-Mounted Burr Maple Apostle Spoon

St. Paul, Swiss / German, c1600-1650

with a deep round wooden bowl and tapering faceted wooden stem, the pentagonal silver collar

having a finial of St. Paul, holding a Bible and long sword,

(the sword an emblem of martyrdom and "the good fight"),

6.75" Long




James I Provincial Silver Seal Top Spoon

Bristol, c1610

 the Seal pricked '1612'

Marked with a fleur de lys and 4 pellets to the bowl

& an incuse reversed R sided by two five-petaled roses to the shaft

6-3/8" Long / 1.4 oz.




For those of you unfamiliar with early-spoon collecting, this 'addiction' may seem rather mundane. 

However...there really are a few aspects to consider. 

Until c1700, most people had only one spoon, given to them at birth. 

And that spoon "traveled" with them throughout their lives -

sometimes just through a slit in a hat.

The personal spoon endured questionable hygiene, rough portage

(foot, cart or carriage, horseback, maybe ship) and doubtless much unsavory food. 

 Each spoon thereby carries with it an unwritten diary of its owner's life - beit long or short.

 It just might be the most personal item you can own from the past.





MARROW SCOOPS : A Collection from Queen Anne to George III


 Roasted bone marrow was considered a great delicacy during the Queen Anne period,

when meat was quite expensive.

To accommodate the extraction of the marrow from the bone centers, silver spoons

with a long narrow scoop at one end were used, followed by scoops on both ends.

The earliest marrow spoons on record dates c1690. 

These scoops date from 1712 (Queen Anne) to 1762 (early George III).

 Today the delicacy has regained great popularity, and these spoons are ready for use. 





George II Silver-Mounted Cowrie Shell Snuff Box

Jacobite Interest, with winged putti holding the flaming heart

William Hutchison II, London, c1736

The "flaming heart" is recorded as a visual image for Jacobite propaganda :

Jacobitism and the English People 1688-1788)

Gilt Interior / 2.75" Long



Carved Crowned Hunchback Fruitwood Snuffbox, Late 18th Century

The crowned crouching hunchback with tilt

& turn of the head to the left, wearing a ruff,

sliding cover verso and plug below

(Possibly representing Richard III)

Ref : Treen & Other Wooden Bygones,

2.75" High

Well Carved Coquilla Nut "Bugbear" Snuff Flask

19th c, Probably France

An seated angel being kissed by a hound to one side, the other with a musical medallion, all among fruiting trees

Ref : Treen & Other Wooden Bygones

3.5" Long

Scottish Burr Elm Root Snuff Mull

Early19th Century

With hinged bottom cover, the interior inscribed for "George Sinclair",

possibly the 19th century

contemporary Scottish horticulturist

of that name

.5" Long x 1.5" High




Rare Queen Anne / George I Blonde Tortoiseshell & Silver Snuff Box

John Obrisset, Signed OB, England, c1714-20,

the silver illegibly marked to the box interior;

Portrait of Queen Anne, after the medal by John Croker

Blonde tortoiseshell boxes are rare by Obrisset.

An example by Obrisset of Charles I is in the collection of the V&A, no. M.364-1921

3" Long x 2.25" Deep x .75" High  


Victorian Highly Chased Large Silver Scent Flask, Rosenthal & Jacob, London, 1890 


Victorian Highly Chased Large Silver Scent Flask

Rosenthal and Jacob, London, 1890

Chased in the Dutch genre manner of  painter David Teniers the Younger (1610-90),

each side with descending vignettes; crisp marks on both body and cover

10.25" Long / 2.5 oz.



Chinese Export :



  Rare Kangxi Chinese Export Blue & White Porcelain Crucifixion Beaker

China, c1690

Each side painted with a detailed scene of the Crucifixion beneath a plaque inscribed 'INRI'

the eyes and nose of dotted drawing, each Cross flanked by long elaborate curing leafy scrolls with two as upward facing flowerheads (possibly a lily).

Particularly close, in the choice of motifs and the technique, are pillow and book covers made in England the mid-17th century, as shown below (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

3" High






Kangxi Molded Silver-Mounted Bottle Vase

China, c1690

Each upright molded petal painted differently

Verso with an artemesia leaf within concentric circles

The mounts European, 18th century

10.5" High


English :



Bow Scroll Pattern Plate, & Dublin Delft Scroll Pattern Plate after the Bow

England, c1750-2, & Ireland, c1755-60

The Bow an exact copy of a Chinese export original;

Bow example exhibited English Ceramic Circle 1948, with label and reference number 154;

also cited in Bow Porcelain, Geoffrey Freeman, p.57, Pl. 67, as "the Toppin example"

Bow influence on Dublin delftwares discussed Irish Delftware (2000), Francis, pp. 105-6

9.25" & 8.75" Diameter




Chelsea Porcelain 'Damask'd"

Octagonal Soup Plate

England, c1754-5 (Red Anchor Period)

Molded after the Meissen Gotzkowsky erhaben blumen pattern

centering two shadowed butterflies;

 three spurs verso

9.25" Diameter

Chelsea Porcelain Red Anchor

Grape Leaf Dish

England, c1755

Small Red Anchor mark verso,

well painted, in polychromes

with puce veining and

centering a floral spray

8" Long / 7.75" Wide 

Worcester Octagonal Polychrome

Deep Plate

England, c1778-80

An exact copy of a Chinese Famille verte plate, two long-tailed birds in a pinus

within a green border

of phoenix and flora

8.25" Diameter 






George II Jacobite Trumpet Form Wine

England, c1745

With Stuart Rose and two buds, the sun and a

white oak leaf

Ref : The Book of Wine Antiques, Butler & Walkling:

Also Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Royal House of Stuart,

Nicholson. 6" High

Early George III Double Series Opaque Twist Wine Glass

Irish Interest, England c1765


Howth Peninsula forms the northern tip of Dublin Bay.

Its rocks date back 550 million years,

making them the oldest rocks in Ireland,

with evidence of human habitation to 3500 BC / 7.75"High




 George III Opaque Twist Firing Glass

England, c1770

The thick short shaft with a loose white enamel twist, over a thick foot

Snapped Pontil / 4" High


Georgian Masonic Firing Glass

England, c1800

With Masonic emblems, concave sun & moon, with conjoined script initials 

"HG" / 4" High


George II Firing Glass

England, c1750

The drawn funnel bowl over a thick short shaft, a plain thick stem and flanged foot

Snapped Pontil / 3.25" High



During the 18th century, wine during meals only accompanied toasts. 

The attending footmen would bring fully charged small glasses to each diner, to be drunk all at once.

 The glass was then returned to the footman, who would refill it for each toast.

Often a toast elicited such fervent agreement that very sturdy glasses became necessary :

 the "firing glass"- a small glass with a short stem and thick foot - which

guests banged on the table, making a sound just like gunfire - hence the name.


After dinner, the more serious imbibing took place for the gentleman.

 The ladies withdrew to the "withdrawal room" - probably out of self defense -

whilst "manly conversations" of politics, business - and bawdiness - began. 

If William Hogarth's engraving "A Modern Midnight Conversation" (1732-3) has any accuracy,

it is a wonder either the gentlemen - or the glasses - survived!






Robert Cozad Henri, American (NY / PA) 1865-1929

"Final Touches", "December 25, 1925"

Pencil on Buff Paper, pencil signed within the drawing,

numbered twice verso : F . 2  . F-05.61

Image Size : 12" x 16" / Framed Size : 24" x 28"

The central figure reminiscent in many ways of Berthe Morisot's portrait of Julie Manet, "Fillette au chat"




   The 'Annunciation', the 'Birth of Christ' and the 'Journey of the Magi' have inspired

some of the most extraordinary art in the history of mankind.

From the more stoic medieval art to the full blown renaissance, the examples are rich and myriad. 

We have chosen three works to illustrate this celebrative Christmas season.

Each is remarkable in its own way.


What better could represent "The Gift" than the remarkable

Mosaic at the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy. 



The "Magi" mosaics, completed in 565 AD, are part of the mosaic panels on the north side of Basilica nave.

They appear as part of a procession of 22 Virgins moving toward the Madonna and Child, attended by angels. 

 The three Magi are depicted in Persian ("from the East") clothing, with leopard-print breeches, capes and Phrygian caps,

gazing upward at a star, each bringing gifts to the Christ Child. 

They are named in the mosaic : "Balthassar", "Melchior" and "Caspar".

This is thought to be the earliest example of the three names being assigned to the Magi in Christian art.


Each tiny tile is smaller than a fingernail.  Yet they are as bright and colorful originally made.

In 1995, UNESCO placed the Basilica on the World Heritage List, deeming it one of the

"most important buildings from this period of crucial cultural significance in European religious heritage art".


To view larger representations and a few details on this mosaic, please click here or on the images above.

Remember that complimentary shipping (on items packed in a 16" square box) ends November 30th.



And the best of Christmas and holiday wishes to you, 


Millicent Creech

Caroline Harrison Kelly

Keith Rainer




Please click below for our other Christmas Catalogs :



Anticipation : Advent / Preparation



Anticipation : The Celebration



901-761-1163 (gallery) / 901-827-4668 (cell)



Hours : Wed.-Sat. 11-6, or by appointment

Complimentary Gift Wrapping


mfcreech@bellsouth.net  or  mfordcreech@gmail.com



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Anticipation : The Gift