Birmingham, England, First Quarter 19th Century
Of very refined Robert Adam-influenced Neoclassical design,
the twin-handled campana form bodies having collared liners,
and engraved with the arms of The Honourable Thomas Villiers :
Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of
Clarendon, Charles Bestland, after Thomas Hudson
Stipple Engraving, Published 1 June 1803 / National Portrait
the arms resting upon the Prussian eagle denoting an augmentation for the
Barony of the Kingdom of Prussia
granted by the King of Prussia to
Hon. Thomas Villiers.
The arms below an upper rim with gadrooning
punctuated by anthemion,
the lower sections cast & chased as a horizontal band of anthemion
above upright acanthus leaves;
the body raised on a pedestal foot headed by an annulated gadrooned knop
and resting on a spreading foot,
the rim with further gadrooning punctuated by anthemion,
the squared u-shaped foliate handles arising from berried leaves;
each marked below with the Boulton twin suns (stars) with faces
Wine coolers exist from the early 18th century.
However most date from the late 18th and the 19th centuries.
The characteristics of this pair of coolers exhibit the strength yet still some classical restraint
associated with the Regency and George IV reign.
The dating on this pair is likely between 1815-20.
However, Boulton is known for many such neoclassical designs during the late 18th century.
Bust of Matthew Boulton, St. Mary's Church,
Handsworth, Birmingham (Sibadd)
Matthew Boulton is known in the antiques field as a premier maker of
fine Neoclassical silver,
particularly excelling in 'Old Sheffield Plate' silverwares.
Regarding both silver and Old Sheffield Plate wares, Boulton's
quality exceeded most makers in the trade.
His works epitomized the Neoclassical, showing influences British
architect & designer Robert Adam -
a 2011 publication even entitled
'The Age of Matthew Boulton,
Masterpieces of Neoclassicism',
illustrating a collection of Matthew Boulton objects, and great
Also, most silver aficionados know that Boulton was responsible for obtaining
the first assay office for Birmingham, as well as for Sheffield.
However, much more than a producer of silver wares,
Matthew Boulton was
'intensely ambitious, restless, far sighted, ingenious, shrewd and intelligent...
an entrepreneur, an innovator, a problem solver, a perfectionist'.
He played a major role in paving the way for the industrial revolution in Great Britain --
not only with his participation with James Watt in the development and patent for the steam engine,
but the invention of in-line manufacturing process - the production line of modern industry.
It is further said, that
'if he done nothing more in the world than ...improving the coinage
his name would deserve to be immortalised'.
From the mid-1760s, these innovations to the developing industrial world
originated from Soho Manufactory,
on the outskirts of Birmingham.
On May 29, 2009,
the Bank of England announced that
Boulton and Watt would appear on a new £50 note.
For additional information about
Matthew Boulton & the Soho Manufactory, please click
'Matthew Boulton' (1792), by Carl Frederik von Breda,
depicting the Soho Manufactory in the upper right background