A Hukin and Heath Snake-handled silver-mounted Claret Jug.
Heath and Middleton for Hukin and Heath.
A tall late Victorian Claret Jug, the trumpet-shaped body of clear glass with an entwined green glass snake handle, the silver mounts Birmingham 1896. Struck also with French tax marks. The lid of the jug can be raised using the long silver wire handle [stamped with a design registration number 187357]. This registration was dated 10th February 1892 and the mechanism was used by Hukin and Heath on a number of their jugs. It seems reasonably certain that the glass used by the company for their pieces at this period was supplied by Stevens and Williams. The glass bodies are sometimes plain, sometimes decorated with parallel tram lines, sometimes with spiralling flutes and sometimes deeply cut spiralling bands with flower-heads between.
The history of Hukin and Heath, one of the most interesting of manufacturers of silver and plate of the period 1870-1940, remains to be investigated. The employment by the company of Dr. Christopher Dresser as a designer from 1878 to circa 1884 has over-shadowed the multiplicity of other innovative designs introduced by the firm.
Several sizes of snake-handled jugs were made by Hukin and Heath in 1896 – some with all silver mounts. Those with a glass handle, as this example, have a forked tongue cut into the plain glass.
Jonathan Wilson Hukin, the founder of the company, who had been born in Sheffield in 1811, retired in 1881 and was succeeded by his son-in-law John Hartshorne Middleton. Although the partnership was then between (John Thomas) Heath and Middleton, the company continued as ‘Hukin and Heath’.
Good overall with a small dent to the silver rim. The interior of the lid and rim are silver-gilt and there is some surface marking to the exterior of the rim which would suggest that this part also was gilt.
Height – 36.50 cm.; Diameter of base – 12.60 cm.; Weight – 1293.70 gms.