A wee bit of Dundee history today, courtesy of auctioneers Bonham’s.
This is a Victorian parcel-gilt wine ewer, with an accompanying pair of goblets, on a richly decorated circular base. The set was fashioned in silver by the London maker Stephen Smith, of 35 King Street, Covent Garden, and bears his marks dating it to 1866.
The ewer is engraved with a Classical scene of horses, riders and chariots at full gallop with a highly-stylised angular handle issuing from a ram’s head and terminating in a lion’s mask.
The goblets are similarly decorated, with the stand engraved with the Molison family crest and the inscription, ‘To Francis Molison Esq. of Dundee, as a mark of esteem from a few friends on his retirement from business 1st January 1867.’
Molison was a weel-kent figure in Dundee and was equally well known for his many acts of kindness.
A successful and wealthy merchant, he lived at Mayfield, Ferry Road, Dundee, and afterwards at the Carse of Gowrie mansion Errol Park. Following his retirement in 1867, he and his wife Elizabeth devoted their time to good works. They supported Dundee Royal Infirmary by paying for its kitchen and wash-house, gave funds to the Dundee Poorhouse and he and his wife built the Dundee Institution for the Blind. He was also chairman of Dundee Parochial Board.
He died at Errol Cottage in 1877, aged 81.
The vase-shaped ewer and goblets appeared at Bonham’s Homes and Interiors sale in Edinburgh on April 10.
With 82 ounces of Victorian silver, and the ewer standing at 17 inches, the overall diameter roughly the same, they eclipsed pre-sale hopes of £4000-£6000 to take £10,000.
Picture: Wine ewer and goblets with Dundee connection, £10,000 (Bonham’s).