An Elkington aesthetic silver and copper English vase

Price: Reserved

An exceptional, large, Elkington aesthetic vase, fully hallmarked for Birmingham 1879. The vase uses copper plating on sterling silver to recreate the effect of mixed metal silver that Tiffany launched to great effect at the 1878 Paris International Exhibtion. The vase perfectly captures the global influence of Japan on design at this time via Tiffany in New York, to Paris, to Birmingham.  The strict English assay laws make this an exceptionally rare combination in English silver and even rarer to find a hallmarked piece.

The vase is decorated with Japanese motifs in silver, silver gilt (worn) and copper. The handles  show more  of a Chinese influence and are of dragons in silver with bands of copper.  The design of the vase is attributed to Adolphe Wilms, Elkington’s leading designer at the time.

Maker:  Elkington

Designer:  Adolphe Wilms (attrib)

Date: 1879

Marks: FE, Birmingham “E”

Material: Sterling silver, silver gilt, copper

Condition: Very good. Gilding is worn. A slight bruise can be seen to the body.

Size: 30cm tall

Weight: 943 grams, 33oz

SKU: A125 Category:


The archives of Elkington held at the Victoria & Albert Museum contain the notes from Elkington’s representative sent to the 1878 Paris Exhibition to report back on the work of the Exhibitors.  He writes on Tiffany “…the new hammered ground work possessing great character is susceptible of adaptation to many objects, either plain, embossed or etched… Great attention must be paid to the colour of bronzes, the application of which to silver and gold work gives them a distinguished appearance when not too freely used. The strong contrasts of colour in red and black on silver are very good.”