George Wickes, Silversmith: Musician and Works Analysis


In this essay or dissertation I have chosen to analyse an 18th centuries British operate of decorative art. The article I will probably be closely taking a look at is a 2 handled sterling silver cup and also cover. Often the piece was initially produced by George Wickes within 1735 as well as currently to be found in Collection 53 while in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. With my essay I actually shall refer to the article and the specialit and their devote the craft movement and the majority. My a conclusion shall be drawn from my researching and personal viewpoints.

George Wickes and 18th Century Yellow metal Art

George Wickes was given birth in Suffolk in 1698. He moved to Birmingham to become an apprentice that will silversmith Samuel Wastell on 1712. Ten years later Wickes registered the first tag in 1722 even while working in Threadneedle Street. In those times it is a large number of probable which the young silversmith found standard work on the city through rich purchasers employing the skills as being a repairer of items rather than a fashionable and manufacturer of silverware: “…even very wealthy people spent typical sums of money more than long periods within the repair associated with basic residence items (candlesticks, punchbowls, and so forth ). ” In 1730 he travelled into joint venture with Nicole Craig together with moved so that you can Norris Lane in Haymarket which was: “ easily succeeding Cheapside as the jewellers’ quarter about London. ” When Craig died all five years later Wickes started out his own company in Panton Street, Haymarket (this will be when he released the two maintained silver drink and handle I am analysing). In 1747 he go into union with Edward Wakelin together with jeweller Samuel Netherton to generate Wickes & Wakelin; this company that were in the future to become Garrard & Supplier Limited: “Crown jewellers as well as goldsmiths while in six reigns and in 3 centuries. ” George Wickes eventually deceased in 1761 at the associated with 63.

Many experts have rumoured the fact that Wickes tutored a young newbie during his / her London ages. This apprentice was conceivably one of the greatest Mediterranean artists of them all; Thomas Gainsborough: “Legend experience it that Gainsborough’s first mentor in London must have been a silversmith. A number of suggestions happen to be made to the main identity on the artisan making an attempt. Two opportunities are George Wickes and George Coyte, both Suffolk men. ” It is also helpful to note which will Wickes themself was usually trying to enhance his skills and artsy abilities and often sought to discover new tactics from her peers in addition to contemporaries: “Wickes achieved differentiation in the write as a shut down follower associated with Paul Crespin and Paul de Lamerie. ”

The metallic cup and even cover On the web analysing is approximately 25cm in height and 35cm in width together with was most probably designed as a possible object connected with display rather then an actual consuming vessel. From the 1730s, dealt with cups happen to be no longer typically intended because drinking shipwrecks, even though they might still have ended up drunk coming from on ceremonial occasions, however were right now more important simply because objects for display even though fine gifts passed involving gentlemen. Typically the overt grandeur of the drink heralds a period in British history this applauded abondance and routines of riches. The new interpersonal practice for social etiquette was centred around the home: “The desk was the centre of communal activity from the 17th along with 18th many years and, like earlier within polite modern culture, the sterling silver with which obtained dressed reflected the accomplishment and sociable standing in the host. ” With this in mind it is rather easy to think the cup positioned proudly as the table’s centrepiece as the family and friends sit within wonder on the host’s brilliance. The cup is fashioned as if this were some sort of trophy, and all intents and functions that is actually is; covered with elaborate, elaborate throw and chased representations involving flourishing vine leaves plus bunches of tempting watermelon; both exaggerating the images of sumptuousness along with overflowing affluence. The item falls accurately into the premature Rococo cycle with its Bacchic theme, proudly pointing to the original perform of the ceremonial vessel in the hands associated with Bacchus, the main god associated with wine.

The main vase-shaped two-handled cup was a popular model in British silver over the 18th millennium and this item is perhaps probably the greatest representations in the style. Those actions literally limits it all may be the regal overhead sat within the very top. Utilizing this type of motif Wickes has without any doubt demonstrated that they believes this particular piece to become one that have to adorn the table associated with nobility.


I believe that the decorative a thing of beauty by Wickes is a superb portrayal of eighteenth century United kingdom design. The main sheer elegance of the goblet is a accounts to a interval when in order to lavish detail was great to the object’s design as opposed to the object’s performance. It is a planet poles aside than the one in which I are living, in fact I actually do not believe a similar thing would be manufactured today; the exact absurdity of any cup that is not should be like that drunk by would be an excess of for some! I believe that Wickes was an extremely important figure in the Mediterranean art motion who has really been largely outweighed by his or her contemporaries, in particular William Hogarth. The fact that Wickes’ cup has found a home on the Victoria & Albert Museum is accounts both towards artist and the work of art.

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