A fine late 17th century lignum vitae monteith
Lot 4
A fine late 17th century Lignum Vitae monteith
Sold for £7,500 (US$ 9,730) inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine late 17th century Lignum Vitae monteith
Of usual form with scalloped top, the bowl with an ogee and reed band of turning, on a large spreading foot, 30.5cm in diameter, 26cm high (12" in diameter, 10" high).

Footnotes

  • Provenance: The W.J.Shepherd Collection of Treen, Sold Sotheby's London, 30 November 1983, lot 575 (No.D 1883)
    Csaky Antiques 20th August 1985 £6500.

    Literature: Edward H. Pinto Treen and Other Wooden Bygones, 1969, pl. 59.

    The present lot is a rare example of a Monteith bowl made from the exceptionally dense timber Lignum Vitae, as opposed to the more common medium of silver. Bowls of this kind were drinking-glass coolers, designed so that glass vessels may be suspended by their feet from the indentations in the rim, allowing the glasses to be immersed in chilled water. The Term Monteith is reputed to have been derived from a fantastical Scot Monsieur Monteigh whose cloak was similarly notched at its hem. It has been suggested that examples such as the offered lot may have been created as models or 'try-outs' for Monteiths in silver or earthenware (see Pinto op.cit., p.65. However the prevalence of recorded drinking vessels in Lignum Vitae, dating from the same period, including wassail bowls would appear to contradict this theory.
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