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A Victorian silver-mounted Emu Egg Jug by Kilpatrick and Company.

A Victorian silver Claret Jug formed as a silver-mounted Emu egg, the mounts formed as fern fronds, London 1865, by John Kilpatrick, apparently over-striking another mark. The jug is with its original outer case.
The family firm of John Kilpatrick and Company worked in jewellery and silver in London and in Melbourne, Australia. John Kilpatrick was born in Lanarkshire in 1810 and married Mary Drummond, daughter of William Drummond and Janet Young, at St. Ninian’s in Stirling. Mary Drummond’s elder brother, Andrew, was later became a partner in Kilpatrick’s business.The eldest daughter of John and Mary Kilpatrick, Jessie Young, was born in 1840 and, in 1858, married John Thomson, a Glaswegian born in 1829, who was then living in Melbourne and was a partner in Kilpatrick’s business. ‘The Argus’, of Melbourne, of the 13th October, recorded the marriage: ‘on 28th July, at Trinity Church, Cloudesley-Square, Islington, of John Thomson, Melbourne, to Jessie Young, eldest daughter of John Kilpatrick, Esq., Alton House, Highbury, New Park.’

According to John Culme, Kilpatrick was established as a jeweller working from number 2, Northampton Square in Clerkenwell, London, from circa 1846. The Australian branch of his business, as wholesalers, began in 1853 at 20, Queen Street, Melbourne. The firm soon moved [in 1855] to Collins street and developed into a retail outlet. It would seem likely that John Kilpatrick had first travelled to Australia in 1849, arriving on the 24th December at Geelong Point Henry on the ‘Andromach’. Whether John Thomson was connected with the family prior to his marriage to Kilpatrick’s daughter is unclear, but the partners in Melbourne were John Kilpatrick, his brother-in-law Andrew Drummond, and John Thomson. A wholesale business and a manufacturing business operated from the Northampton Square address in Clerkenwell at the same time. The partnership in Melbourne was dissolved in 1875 when John Thomson became the sole proprietor of John Kilpatrick and Company in Australia.

John Kilpatrick died in 1884, leaving a very substantial estate and the London business was continued by his surviving son, John William.

It seems very likely that there was a family connection between Mary Drummond’s family in Stirling and William Drummond, another Melbourne silversmith, who was born in 1838, the son of Peter Drummond and Frances McBean, and who lived in the same parish, St. Ninian’s, in Stirling. The Drummonds were a remarkably entreprising business family – notable for the ‘Celebrated Scotch Clan Tartan Warehouse’ in King street, Stirling.

Given the undoubted movement of goods between the Kilpatrick businesses in London and Melbourne, it is impossible to be certain whether this emu egg jug was silver-mounted in Australia and hall-marked in London, or mounted in London using an imported egg.



SKU: O3957 Category:



Good. Some staining and shrinkage to the original retailer’s case.

Dimensions [excluding the outer case]:

Height – 27.10 cm.; Weight – 376.50 gms.

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