Silver and ivory ewer carved with Bacchanalian figures. The handle is in the form of a reclining nymph and putto. Bacchanalian figures, including satyrs, maenads, putti and animals are carved in ivory on both pieces. The silver mounts of the ewer are marked with the marks 'RC', a wavy line and perhaps an image of a pouch. The wavy line is a Tremolierstich, a small amount of silver being removed for quality testing, a procedure abandoned in 1886, because of a change in legislation.
This ivory ewer and basin (Mus. no. 997:2-2208) are in the baroque style, but were fashioned in the second half of the nineteenth century. Bacchanalian figures, inculding satyrs, maenads, putti and animals are carved on both pieces.
The style of the mounts suggests they were manufactured by the goldsmiths J.D. Schleissner and sons. This was a goldsmiths' company founded in Hanau in ca. 1817. The founder, Johann Christian Daniel Schleissner (1793-1862), came from a family of Augsburg goldsmiths. His son, Daniel Philipp August (1825-1892), specialised in silver objects in a historicising style, exhibiting at many international exhibitions in the 1870s. He sometimes used earlier goldsmiths' stamps to mark his creations, although these were considered 'fantasy pieces', 'Phantasieartikels', not necessarily intended to deceive (Thiele, 1992).
Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.