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Basket

Silver

Origin: London

Date: 1686-1687

56 cm overall length; 40.2 width; 8.5 cm height; 3300 g weight

Marks/Maker: London, sterling standard, 1686-7, maker's mark of Pierre Harache I

Heraldry: Arms of Capell impaling Bennet for Henry Capell (1638-1696), who married in 1658 Dorothy, daughter of Sir Richard Bennet

Provenance: Henry Capell (d.1696); anon; sale, Christie's 14 May 1928, lot 137; F.C. Minoprio Esq., sale, Sotheby's, 23 June 1938, lot 95; sale, Sotheby's 8 December 1949, lot 153; Garrard & Co., London, 1966; Richard Meech, Toronto, sale, Sotheby's New York, 22 October 1993, lot 50; Whitely Trust

Accepted by H M Treasury in lieu of inheritance tax on the estate of A.H. Whiteley and allocated to the Ashmolean Museum, 2003; WA2003.93

T. Schroder (2009), no. 245

Baskets of this size were unusual in plate of this period. The Capell basket has been described as a 'layette' basket, a form traditionally made in Holland for the linen of a newborn baby. This example is more likely to have been made as a grand decoration for the sideboard or a 'voiding basket', used to clear the table at the end of a meal. This basket is the most significant and the earliest of Harache's surviving works and epitomises the sophisticated design of the Parisian court plate that migrated across the channel with the Huguenots at the end of the seventeenth century.

Information derived from T. Schroder, British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean (2009)

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