Description & Technical information

The ovoid body with a reeded band to the middle, raised on four elegant strap supports with rounded feet, upon a X-shaped square plinth with concave sides featuring a domed centre and baluster finial rising to meet the base of the ovoid, long upscroll spout opposite a square-off D shape wooden handle, the lift-off lid with wooden turned-knop finial, revealing within a central tapering lidded compartment for hot water, the body engraved to the side with a coat of arms within a shield and surmounted by a griffin head crest, the same crest engraved in larger form opposite, accompanied by a photocopy of a 1972 valuation for insurance from Garrard.

Silver argyle (silver Argyll) is a gravy-warmer made in various shapes similar to a covered coffee pot with one handle and one spout. The gravy is kept warm by means of hot water contained in a compartment created by a double exterior wall.

Legend has it that John Campbell, the fifth Duke of Argyll, and his wife Elizabeth Gunning, Baroness Hamilton of Hameldon, hated the way that gravy arrived cold to their table from the kitchens of their Inverary Castle during the cold Scottish winters.

The Duke (1723-1806), succeeding his father, the fourth Duke of Argyll in 1770, was the promoter of a new piece of tableware designed to maintain the warmth of the gravy in its vessel. This, with a bit of imagination, was the origin of a warmer called 'argyle' (silver argyle, silver Argyll) in honour of the Noble Family that first made a wide use of this device.

(Background courtesy of BADA)
Height 20.5cm / 8''
Width of body 11.5cm / 4¼''
Length across handle 22cm / 8¾''
Weight: 743g / 23.88oz

Date:  1799
Period:  18th century
Origin:  London
Medium: silver
Categories: Jewellery, Silver