A jewelled and carved Chinese jade bowl mounted with gilt metal and coloured enamel
by William Burges (1827-1881).
Provenance - William Burges, Tower House, London; (…); Felix Emile Andrews (1888-1975); Philip Andrews; (...); Dreweatts, Newbury, 12 September 2012, lot 34; Daniel Katz Gallery, London; Sotheby’s, London, 12 November 2013, lot 235; Harris Lindsay, London, until 2016; Private collection until 2020.
On loan to the National Museum of Wales from 1931 to 1953.
The abbreviated Latin inscription-
"WIL’ BURGES: ME: F: F: EX: HONORARIIS: PPTER DOSSALE: EDINBURG'NSE: COLLATIS: MDCCCLXX"
Translates as -
"WILLIAM BURGES HAD ME MADE FROM THE FEES EARNED FOR THE EDINBURGH DOSSAL 1870"
William Burges's only commission in Edinburgh was for a carved stone reredos or dossal for the high altar (though moved c.1900 to the lady chapel) of All Saints Episcopal Church. This bowl was commissioned by Burges for his own collection using the funds he received for the work.
Considered by his contemporaries to be eccentric, unpredictable, over-indulgent and flamboyant. Exotic antique works of art mounted with precious metals and coloured enamels are typical illustrations of Burges's fanatical collecting and antiquarian tastes.