This magnificent antique Victorian English cast sterling silver wine ewer has a rounded ovoid shaped form onto a domed circular foot.
The waisted neck is encircled with impressive concave fluted decoration accented with a matte texture and bead motifs to the lower portion.
This fluted ornamentation is overlaid with impressive cast and applied leaf festoons and scrolling leaf designs, enveloping from the posterior surface.
The underside of the pouring lip is ornamented with a simplified band of leaf decoration paralleling the shaped scrolling rim, in addition to a large cast and applied layered leaf textured design.
The bulbous portion of the body is surmounted with magnificent cast and applied female figures attired in floating fabric knee-length dresses, reflecting the classic design of a chiton (Greek: χιτών, khitōn) and strapped sandals; one character reclines against the scrolling lower handle terminal, and the other is sat with a quiver on her back and hunting hounds to either side.
One side of the body features a magnificent cast scene depicting a stag being assailed by five hunting hounds, with a vast rural terrain design surrounding and incorporating female hunting figures to the backdrop.
The other side of the silver jug bears a second cast scene depicting Artemis* sat with her fellow hunters and hounds, featured with the deceased stag and further terrain ornamentation to the background.
Each frieze/scene is flanked with exceptional leaf decorated borders, paralleling the sweeping rounded shape of the body.
The anterior surface of the body is further embellished with a convex cartouche encircled with a simplified leaf decorated wreath, amidst a matte textured scrolling strapwork style platform.
The aforementioned cartouche displays a contemporary bright cut engraved coat of arms depicting to the quarterly, to the first seven swallows around an inescutcheon, the second a fess charged with three escallops, the third in chief two cross-crosslet and fourth a cross charged with a spear and four roundels in quarters a lion rampant with ermine furs, overall an inescutcheon of a griffin rampant.
This antique jug is fitted with a magnificent cast sterling silver elevated handle ornamented with large scrolling leaf designs and incorporating a plain convex oval bead design below the thumbpiece.
The opposing scrolling portion of the handpiece is further ornamented with a cascading bead festoon conjoining the opposing scrolling portions.
The elevated handle terminal is embellished with an array of leaf textured layers, emanating down the posterior surface of the jug.
The lower portion of the body is ornamented with swept moulded designs accented with further leaf textured undulating borders accented with a large scrolling leaf designs with graduating bead drops.
This magnificent example of Victorian silverware is supported by a cast sterling silver foot embellished with organic flowing scrolling leaf and bead ornamentation, incorporating further matte textures and leaf designs to the incurved shaped rim.
This magnificent antique silver ewer is the finest of its type you could hope to acquire.
* Artemis (Greek: Ἄρτεμις Artemis) is the antique Greek goddess of the hunt, wild animals and the wilderness, in addition to the moon and chastity. Artemis is often portrayed with symbols such as a bow and arrow, a quiver, hunting implements, cypress trees and a deer. She became a patron and protector of young girls and was worshipped as a goddess of childbirth and midwifery along with Eileithyia. She was one of the widely cherished and idolised Ancient Greek deities and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
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