View full screen - View 1 of Lot 13. A silver-gilt ewer and basin, illegible marks, probably Palermo circa 1595 | Aiguière et son bassin en vermeil, poinçons illisibles, probablement Palerme vers 1595.
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A silver-gilt ewer and basin, illegible marks, probably Palermo circa 1595 | Aiguière et son bassin en vermeil, poinçons illisibles, probablement Palerme vers 1595

A silver-gilt ewer and basin, illegible marks, probably Palermo circa 1595 | Aiguière et son bassin en vermeil, poinçons illisibles, probablement Palerme vers 1595

A silver-gilt ewer and basin, illegible marks, probably Palermo circa 1595 | Aiguière et son bassin en vermeil, poinçons illisibles, probablement Palerme vers 1595

A silver-gilt ewer and basin, illegible marks, probably Palermo circa 1595


the ewer shaped as a Oenochoé, on cast circular foot with gadrooned border, the body chased above and below with broad bands of stylized scrolling acanthus, centering flowerheads, and burnished scrolls, framed by bands of guilloche, the central band with various animals in the water, with bulrushes in the background, the narrow neck is similarly decorated to the foot and a flared lip, the rising scroll handle chased with acanthus foliage, terminating into a female mask, the circular basin with a frieze similar to the ewer's with various animals and with bands of tressing, scrolling foliage and beads, the applied central medallion chased with a coat-of-arms with a coronet above and leaves in both sides


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Aiguière et son bassin en vermeil, poinçons illisibles, probablement Palerme vers 1595


l'aiguière en forme d'oenochoé, sur pied circulaire mouluré d'une frise godronnée, le corps ciselé au-dessus et en dessous de larges bandes de feuille d'acanthes stylisées, de têtes de fleurs au centre, et d'importantes volutes, encadrées par des bandes guillochées, la frise centrale représentant divers animaux marins, des joncs en arrière-plan, le col étroit décoré de façon similaire au pied, le bec verseur évasé, l'anse en volutes ciselée de feuillages d'acanthe se terminant par un masque féminin, le bassin rond orné d'une frise similaire à celle de l'aiguière, avec divers animaux et motifs de vannerie, de volutes feuillagées et de perles, le médaillon central appliqué d'un blason couronné entouré de feuillages

The ewer bumped on one side and slightly bent, otherwise in overall good condition, stamped with a lozenge-shaped mark difficult to read, also with assay-scrape. 

The large basin, with 7 thin cracks around the central medallion (almost invisible), some minor dents, bumps and scratches commensurate with age and use, otherwise in overall good condition. Also stamped with the same mark and with assay-scrape.



In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

This ewer and basin is illustrated in Alaine Apap Bologna, The Silver of Malta, FONDAZZJONI PATRIMONJU MALTI, 1995, p.26-27

After 1530, Emperor Charles V gave the archipelago of Malta to the Knights of Rhodes (later the Sovereign and Military Order of the Knights of Malta) who founded the new Maltese capital, Valletta. The new city thus became a center of commerce and a city with splendid palaces and incomparable fortifications. At the end of 16th century, the island experienced a period of prosperity, and probably in this context, this splendid ewer and basin arrived on the island. The central medallion on the silver-gilt basin attests the presence of this rare object in Malta. The arms in this medallion are those of four of the most important families of Malta: Falsoni, Testaferrata, Abela, and Xara. The diplomatic and commercial relations with Sicily favored the exchange and purchase of silver and other beautiful pieces between the two islands. By the quality of the execution, this ewer and basin were presumably created in Sicily, more probably in Palermo.

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Après 1530, l'empereur Charles Quint donne l'archipel de Malte aux Chevaliers de Rhodes (plus tard l'Ordre souverain et militaire des Chevaliers de Malte) qui fondent la nouvelle capitale maltaise, La Valette. La nouvelle ville devint ainsi un centre de commerce et une cité dotée de splendides palais et de fortifications. À la fin du XVIe siècle, l'île connaît une période de prospérité, et c'est probablement dans ce contexte que cette splendide aiguière et son bassin sont arrivés sur l'île. Le médaillon central du bassin en argent doré atteste de la présence de cet objet rare à Malte. Les armes de ce médaillon sont celles de quatre des plus importantes familles de Malte : Falsoni, Testaferrata, Abela et Xara. Les relations diplomatiques et commerciales avec la Sicile favorisaient l'échange et l'achat d'argent et d'autres belles pièces entre les deux îles. Par la qualité de l'exécution, cette aiguière et ce bassin ont vraisemblablement été réalisés en Sicile, plus probablement à Palerme.