Pick of the week
For the seventh successive year, the Mayfair Antiques & Fine Arts Fair opens the capital’s market calendar at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, W1. It is one of Ingrid Nilsen’s wellregarded fairs and, this year, it will run from January 10 to 13. With about 40 exhibitors, the event has proved popular with an international as well as a local audience.
Twelfth Night will then be past, but that’s no reason to eschew wassailing for another 12 months. Winter is best endured with a good bowl of punch and a good punch deserves a good bowl. It would be hard to find a better one than that offered by the veteran silver specialist Mary Cooke, a classical Adam-style bowl measuring 111∕2in from handle to handle and weighing 73oz.
By William Pitts of London, it’s engraved with the arms of the 3rd Duke of Montrose (1755–1836) and marked for 1790, the year he succeeded to his titles. The ram’s-head masks holding the loop handles are ‘some of the most finely detailed’ that the dealer has ever seen.
The Duke held several important ministries during his political career, ending as Lord Justice General for Scotland, and he was an early president of the Highland Society of London, which successfully campaigned to end the post ’45 ban on Highland dress in 1782.