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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Object of the Year 2011

After reaching the final last year, we have entered another wonderful item for this years "Object of the Year" competition!

LAPADA (the antique dealers association) have run a competition for the past few years for 'Object of the Year' in partnership with Country Life Magazine. We reached the final in 2010 with our Victorian Framed Wax Mirror (pictured below), which has now been added to our general stock following it's retirement from international competition! This year, we have a really special item entered, discovered in the wilds of Scotland during one of Graham's regular buying adventures.

A very unusual Victorian oval dressing mirror

The 2011 entry is an 18th Century Battersea Enamelled casket, which is rare for two key reasons. First of all any Battersea enamel is a rare find as the factory was not open for very long, so not many pieces were originally produced. The Victoria and Albert museum commentary on Battersea Enamel  says "This factory, though very short-lived, produced some of the finest as well as earliest of all English transfer-printed enamels". The second reason our casket is so rare is that is of unusually large dimensions. Even the V & A's collection of Battersea Enamel does not include a casket of this size, they mainly have plaques and plates, so this gives you some idea of how rare this item could be!

The casket has wonderful landscape scenes transfer printed to the four bow sides and the dome lid, each panel is held within a gilt metal frame. The lid hinges open to an interior that has been lined with red velvet - this is not original.

To the underside of the base is part of an old label that is difficult to read, "From Coll. M.H.H. Princess . . . . . . . ouki". The box does have some very minor cracks to the edge. (Circa 1760) 
We hope you've enjoyed learning about Battersea enamel and the Object of the Year competition. To receive regular updates about what's happening at Graham Smith Antiques, join out Facebook page or follow us on Twitter

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