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A George I silver Sponge Box by David Willaume.

A George I silver Sponge Box, London 1720, by David Willaume, the lid pierced and engraved and the front side engraved with the crest of Barry for the Earls of Barrymore. The assay scrape is visible on the base.

Another pierced box of this most unusual type has been noted, also by Willaume, and was accompanied by another box, of similar shape but with engraved and unpierced top – evidently for use as a soap box. Sadly, these two boxes survive in very worn condition. Clearly, however, all these boxes would have been intended as part of a gentlemen’s dressing sets. No other parts of the Earl of Barrymore’s set have been recorded as surviving.

Provenance: by descent through the family of James Barry,4th Earl of Barrymore; died 1747. Sold Christie’s, London, 29 July 1964, lot 180.

SKU: O3775 Category:



Good. A substantial box of good colour with some surface marking. There is a very small knock on the edge of the foot rim and there is a slight shadow of the external hinge on the interior surface of the box. An old vertical scratch is visible on the back exterior of the box beneath the hinge.


Height – 5 cm.; Width – 11.30 cm.; Depth – 8.50 cm.; Weight – 297.20 gms.

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