Sugar bowl

Ref: 1834
  • Designer / Maker

    The design attributed to John Hardman Powell (1827-95)

    Manufactured by John Hardman & Co. (1838-1900)

  • Detail

    Silver

    8.5 cm (max. diameter)

    English (Birmingham), 1870

  • Provenance

    Charles Lygon Cocks (1821-75), Treverbyn Vean, Cornwall; […]; private collection, 1993-2015; with H. Blairman & Sos; private collection 2015-24

  • Literature

    Martin Levy, ‘Some Silver by John Hardman & Co for Charles Lygon Cocks’, Decorative Arts Society Journal, 20 (1996), pp. 1-10.

  • Notes

    On 27 May 1870, Cocks requested ‘an estimate of cost of sugar bowl I enclose as soon as possible … The inscription I wish to be in a single line letter home content [in gothic script] on a bright ground and the ornament below burnished on a hatched ground.  The bowl will be the size of drawing.’  On 31 May Cocks wrote again to Hardman asking the firm to ‘proceed with the sugar basin as quickly as possible.’  The bottom was to be engraved: ‘The Gift of Jemima A. Cocks to Charles Lygon Cocks on his marriage 1870’ (see below).

    Recorded in the Hardman Day Book (metalwork) 1869-71 is: ‘A Silver Sugar [noted in red below, 8oz 1] Basin, top 4 3/8dia. base 3 3/6 dia. height 2 7/8″ gilt inside, outside engraved with ornament & inscription … £10  / Engraving Presentation Inscription on underside of above … 17/6’.

    Levy (op. cit.) describes silver supplied to various members of the Cocks family and, in depth, a group of silver supplied in 1870 for Charles Lygon Cocks, on the occasion of his marriage to Josephine Nagle. Each piece of this wedding gift, presumably designed by John Hardman Powell, but overseen by Cocks himself, was paid for by a family member or by a friend.  The article lists, in an appendix, eight items, of which only three had been traced; these are now all in the collection of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

    On 16 July 2013, lot 285 at Holloway’s (Banbury) was a toast rack purchased in 1856 by Charles’s sister Henrietta Cocks.  Until it re-appeared in Oxfordshire, this piece (which originally resurfaced with Alan Landis in Sydney, Australia) had only been known from a drawing in the Hardman Archive (Levy, fig. 3); it is now in a private collection.

    This sugar bowl brings to five the number of pieces traced.