An American silver ice bowl By Tiffany & Co,  circa 1860,
Lot 80
Of Canadian Interest: An important American silver ice bowl By Tiffany & Co, circa 1860, incuse stamped Tiffany & Co, English Sterling 925-1000, 550 Broadway, 1133 and 7481
Sold for CA$ 28,800 (US$ 26,160) inc. premium
Auction Details
An American silver ice bowl By Tiffany & Co,  circa 1860,
Lot Details
Of Canadian Interest: An important American silver ice bowl
By Tiffany & Co, circa 1860, incuse stamped Tiffany & Co, English Sterling 925-1000, 550 Broadway, 1133 and 7481
The base formed as three polar bears, standing on a jagged ice formation supporting a hemispherical bowl with egg and dart beaded rim engraved with presentation inscription 'Presented to Charles John Brydges Esquire Managing Director By the employees of The Great Western Railway of Canada as a token of their respect and esteem. Hamilton 17th May 1861' , height 22.5cm, diameter 32.8cm, weight 162.2oz.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    The bowl was passed to Brydges daughter, Margaret, and thence by descent to the current owner.

    Charles John Brydges was born in England in 1827. A railway official, civil servant and Hudson's Bay Company land commissioner, he started as a junior clerk in the London and South-Western Railway Company in 1843. In 1852 he accepted a position as Managing Director of the Great Western Railroad Company of Canada. He was a controversial and headstrong manager causing some concern among the English investors, which culminated in an internal stockholder's commission into the line's management. The resulting backlash was a vote of confidence from the stockholders in Brydges and the other directors on April 11th. 1861.

    The inscription on this bowl would seem to bear out the confidence of the employees of the Great Western Railway in their Managing Director, as well as that of the stockholders.

    Brydges moved from the Great Western Railway to the Grand Trunk in 1862. He became Tory advisor to Sir John A.Macdonald. He represented Ontario on the Board of Railway Commissioners, and in 1879 he was appointed Land Commissioner for the Hudson's Bay Company. He died in Winnipeg in 1889.

    Note:
    A silver Punch bowl, designed by Edward C.Moore (1827-1891) with similar polar bear supports, was made by Tiffany & Company c. 1877. Ref.Tiffany & Company Archives, Order Book # 4293, p.398

    Literature:
    Antiques Magazine February 2007. An article titled "Icy Embellishments: Arctic imagery and the decorative arts" by Robert McCracken Peck.
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