THE BREADALBANE BASKET taymouth castle scotland vtg antique british monarchy art For Sale
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THE BREADALBANE BASKET taymouth castle scotland vtg antique british monarchy art:
Colin Campbell of Carwhin (1704-1772)HOUSE OF HANOVER ~HOUSE OF GLENURCHYBUCKINGHAM PALACE ~ TAYMOUTH CASTLETHE BREADALBANE BASKETJohn Campbell, 4th Earl and 1st Marquess of Breadalbane (1762-1834) Paul de Lamerie (1688-1751) ~ William Cripps (1715-1766)
A "cake basket" was the largest and mostprestigiouspiece of an 18th century table setting. It was a conversation piece and, as such,this bug-adorned basket does not disappoint! Offered here is Taymouth Castle's Cake Basket.
King William IV and John Campbell IVwere friends andWilliam crowned John,"1st Marquess of Breadalbane" onthe very same day He himself was crowned King of England! Williamand John's 1831 coronations,and this basket's engraving, coincide with thelavish 1830s reconstructions of Buckingham Palace and Taymouth Castle that turned them into the grandiose structures we see today.
In 1842 Queen VictoriavisitedTaymouth Castle where she declared the interior décor"the wealthiest in the World". She specificallypraisedJohn's and fondly recalls being served a batch of freshly baked oat cakes! We can only surmise: The Queen of England ate from this basket!
The basket wascustom-designedfor a Scottish Highlander. The metalwork highlights what we believe to be the endemicSpotted ScotchBurnet Moth andtheNorthern Damselfly.The Campbell's were a military family ofpipers and one can imagine bagpipes replacing the over-the-shoulder garlandheld by the side-figures supportingthe handle. Those figuresare reminiscent of piper, John Campbell, 3rd Earl of Breadalbane, as pictured in a famous 1708 painting by Charles Jervas. Notethe curlylocks of hair, rounded face, knotted neck kerchief, tight tailored jacket and the cut &length of hisopen-split kilt.
The massive handle is capped by a cold blowingwind as found inOlaus Magnus'History of the Northern People (1555).
Wealthand prosperity are represented bytheabundant display of flora, fauna and grain. Scottish oat cakeswere the main food source for the Clan Campbell armies. We believe the stocks of rounded-grain on this basketare oats so this isn't just any "cake basket", it's a Scottish Oatmeal Cake Basket,payinghomage to Scotland'smighty military. The basket's artwork is open to interpretation and we could well-be reading to much into itbut the 1555 coldnorth wind, spotted Scottish moth & snow dwelling dragonfly leave littledoubt that the basket was indeedcreated for a Highlander (Breadalbane is Gaelic for "Highlands").
It's our understanding that the face-adorned feet and the wide-outer-oval-rimof the basket (the bugs, fairies etc) arefrom moldscreated byPaul de Lamerie (d. 1751). The basket measures about 16" across and weighsjust under fivepounds (72.91 troy oz.). It's constructed ofcast, raised, molded, pierced and engraved sterling. The London andsterling hallmarks areworn but discernable and confirm it was crafted between the years of 1756 and 1820. But as laid out below, it pre-dates 1760.The outline of the exact year hallmark is visible but unreadable and it has no makers mark. The hallmarks areon the underside and in smooth areas, almost certainly identifying it as George II (d. 1760). Pieces after 1760 are most often marked on the handle or hidden within the top decorations. This basket was hand-pierced (1730-1759). Hand-piercing was skillful work and ended in 1760. The area to be pierced was first drilled with a hole, then a wire saw was threaded through the hole to cut out the desired shape. According to the V&A this tedious hand-cut method (as seen in the photo above) ended abruptly in 1760 with the invention ofthe fly-press. The Victoria & Albert Museumhas this very same bug-adorned basket on permanent public display in room 65, case 4.Long believed to be the only example in existence, the V&A basket iscataloged "UNIQUE". Their basket was crafted by William Crippsin 1744. Andanother basket has since been discovered in New York City. It was crafted in 1750.So,there are threeidentical baskets, onedated 1744 (V&A), the2nd, 1750 (NYC) and this 3rd,1758 (BREADALBANE BASKET).
UPDATE on July 2019: the V&Ahas been very helpful with the research of this basket and they have recently updated the description of their basket. The coat of arms on their basket has not yet been identified but theybelieve it is"probably ofHamelyn". It is important to note that our Scottish interpretations ofour basket's decorations are incorrect ifthe two earlier baskets(V&A & NYC) do not also haveScottish connections.
Without dispute, our basketwas crafted between the years of 1756 and 1760. When looking back in history tothat time period,the most logical date of creation is 1758 (by William Cripps) as awedding gift to Colin & Elizabeth Campbell of Carwhin (John's parents) and from King George II (it's London made).
$3,500,000.00 US ($3.5mil.)
Our price reflects what less important, much newer Taymouth Castle sterlinghas broughtat the major sale houses: $250,000.00+, i.e. the Gavin era Breadalbane Vase (1894) and Breadalbane Casket (1894) (both areheld byThe National Museum of Scotland). This Breadalbane Basket (1758) had beenservingnobility at the Balloch/Taymouth Castle for nearly 140yrs by the time those189os Gavinpieces werecreated. This basket is now 262yrs old (over a quarter of a millennium!). It pre-dates the current 1806 Taymouth Castle by almost half a century and has likelyfedfour King's and the Queen of England!
Taymouth Castle in 1831, theyear Buckingham Palace crowned John, 1st Marquess of Breadalbane.
We estimate the cost ofthe 5lbbasket to have been the annual salary of an average 18th century worker, by today's standards, $50,000.00. It was a gift from someone of great wealth. Colin, John, John and Gavin were the landowners of nearly half-a-million acres.Themselves monarchs (House of Glenurchy), they werealso the military protectors,advisers and closest friends toBritain'sroyal family: George, George, George, William and Victoria (House of Hanover).Craftedcirca 1758,it would not be unreasonable to believe this London-made basketwas, in fact, a gift from King George II.And be sure tovisit our store where we are currently offering a nice selection of other hugely important and historically significant pieces of Art. The most-prized possession of the last reigning monarch of The Kingdom of Hawai'i, an artifact from The White House and Porcellian Club (the birthplace of Facebook), the first man to the moon's 1st appearance in Space, an authentic Witch coven's serving charger and an 1885 New York City "Sitting Bull" Cigar Store Indian are but a few of our most interesting pieces.
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