Early Elegance: Georgian Hot Water Jug

Thank you for sending me an image of your silver hot water jug on stand. It is a fine Georgian period piece created by the London silversmiths John Wakelin and William Taylor.

The term Georgian refers to an era of the period in Great Britain during the reign of King George I, George II, George III and George IV. The period spans from 1714 to 1830. English items produced during this time period are classified as Georgian.

English silver is wonderful because it is always clearly hallmarked with information that lets us know not only the maker, but also the region in which it was made and assayed, and the date of manufacture. The touch-mark that features a cartouche with a lion passant facing towards the left is also the mark declaring that the piece is made of sterling silver. English silver is not generally stamped "sterling" like in the United States, but instead bears the lion symbol. I have heard unfortunate stories of people selling their tea set as silverplate rather than sterling as they were not aware of the markings.

In 1776 silversmihs Wakelin and Taylor became the owners of the London silver-making firm now called Garrard and Company, which was originally founded in 1722. When William Taylor died in 1792, Robert Garrard took his place and later changed the name of the company in 1802. For 160 years Garrard and Company was honored as Crown Jeweller to the British Royal Family. The company markets itself as "The World's Oldest Jewellers" and today has locations all over the world.

Your piece - a vessel with an integrated stand and burner - was intended to heat water, primarily for tea. Wood was chosen for the handles because it does not conduct heat; therefore, users could pick up the jug without burning their hands.

Because of the date stamp, we know that this piece was made in 1778.

Wakelin and Taylor silver items can sell in excess of $30,000. Your piece has a few minor condition issues and its form, although rare, is not as desirable on the marketplace as others.

I would estimate your item for replacement value at $4,000.

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