Ostrich egg ewer

English (London)
about 1675
Marked by Unmarked

Object Place: Europe, London, England


Overall: 27.5 x 22.2 x 13cm (10 13/16 x 8 3/4 x 5 1/8in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ostrich egg with silver gilt mounts

On View

Alyce Morrissey Gallery (Kunstkammer) (Gallery 143)





The ewer is composed of an ostrich egg set vertically on a stepped spreading foot that is embossed with acanthus leaves against a matted ground. Four flat vertical straps with a foliate outline support the egg and are attached at the top to a spool-shaped neck that is embossed with bands of acanthus foliage. The spout is in the form of an ostrich’s neck and head. The S-shaped handle is modeled with acanthus foliage and abstract auricular motifs surrounding a claw. The domed cover is embossed with acanthus foliage; it has a finial in the form of a berry and a thumbpiece in the form of bud. The foot is raised, embossed, and chased and has an applied base wire. It is soldered to a raised cup-shaped disk with a pierced and engraved border that supports the base of the egg. The four straps arc formed of flat sheet with pierced and engraved borders; they are hinged at the base to the disk and at the top to the shoulder of the ewer. The shoulder and neck are formed of three raised pieces, embossed and chased. The handle is cast in two pieces; it is pinned to a cast cluster of acanthus leaves soldered onto one of the straps.


The Earl of Yarborough by 1911; purchased from S. J. Phillips, Ltd., London, by the MFA for £1,500. (Accession date: September 18, 1963)

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour