English (London)
Marked by Edward Farrell (English, registered in 1813), Probably retailed by Kensington Lewis (English, 1790 - 1854)


H. 22.2 cm x W. 16.5 cm x D. 9.3 cm ( 8 3/4 x 6 1/2 x 3 11/16 in.) Weight: 1,077.3 gm (34 oz 13 dwt)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gilded silver

Not On View





Each salt is composed of a spiral shell with a fluted lip on clawed legs. Beneath the lip of the salt is a bearded, turbaned demifigure. The whole rests on a base formed of a tortoise. The handle is formed from the serprent’s tail of a fantastic winged creature who perches, as the thumbpiece of the salt, blowing a conch shell. The salt is assembled from heavily cast components, richly chased and thickly gilt.

In the first part of the nineteenth century, Farrell worked closely with Kensington Lewis, a leading silver retailer and a promoter of historicism. Lewis and his patron the duke of York, who commissioned this salt, were renowned for their taste in flamboyant, highly sculptural metalwork and extravagant reinterpretations of earlier styles.


ARMORIALS: engraved on the lip of both salts to the right of the handle, the Royal crest with the Garter motto and surmounted by a Royal coronet, presumably for the Duke of York.


To right of handle, lion passant; leopard's head crowned; date letter i; sovereign's head; to left of hanlde, maker's mark EF (Grimwade 585)


Made for, Frederick Augustus, Duke of York (1763-1827); March 19, 1827, sold from the Estate of the Duke of York at Christie's, London, lots 85-86, and bought by Thomas B. L. By 1953, with the Rt. Hon. Earl Howe; July 1, 1953, sold by Earl Howe at Christie's, London, lot 109. By 1985, Villiers David, Esq.; November 27, 1985, sold from the collection of the late Villiers David, at Christie's, London, lot 122 and bought by Robert Eaton, for Museumpiece, Zurich. By 1989, with James Robinson, Inc., New York; 1989, sold by James Robinson to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 25, 1989)

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour