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Edward Farrell A George III Shell Bowl

London, 1816                                                                                                                         
Maker’s mark of Edward Farrell
Length: 42cm, 16.5in
Height 22 cm, 8.6in
Weight: 2600g, 83oz 12dwt


Silversmith Biography

Farrell's apprenticeship or freedom are unrecorded, and his early life is relatively unknown. Holden's Triennial Directory of 1805-7 described him as a silversmith, but his first mark was not registered until 1813. The most productive period of Farrell's career coincided with his association with the entrepreneur, silversmith, and jeweller Kensington Lewis, whose most important patron was Frederick, Duke of York. Lewis was supplied with extravagant sculptural plate in a variety of revival styles by Farrell, drawing principally on seventeenth-century Flemish, German and Italian designs in high relief. Lewis' business was unable to recover from the death of the Duke of York in 1827, and Farrell no longer had the opportunity to make the plate on such a grand scale. Thereafter, he was best known for highly embossed tea services chased with decoration derived from seventeenth-century Dutch genre painting.


In form of a shell, with pierced border, the edges being embellished with marine shells applied in matte texture. The handle in the form of a terminal female figure with a double fish-tail with foliage and shells below. Standing on three dolphin feet.

This centrepiece is inspired by a design for a shell basket originally made by Paul de Lamerie. The nautical theme is in line with the production of the Royal Marine Service, constantly implemented during the Georgian period. Another later pair is in the Royal Collection and is marked for the year 1751-52 and 1819-20 and bears the maker’s mark of Philipps Garden and Philip Rundell.

A George III Shell Bowl Reference: DT21.3.1