Shaving Basin

Scottish (Edinburgh)
Marked by Thomas Ker

Object Place: Europe, Edinburgh, Scotland


7 x 34.5 x 24.5 cm (2 3/4 x 13 9/16 x 9 5/8 in.) Weight: 791 gm (25 oz 9 dwt)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View





The elliptical basin is raised from sheet and has a flared rim and a semicircle cut out of one of the long sides. The rim is strengthened on the underside with a half-round wire. The raised body of the elliptical ewer rests on a stepped food. The triangular spout has a baluster drop. A reeded wire lines the rim of the ewer. The domed cover is attached by the scolled thumbpiece, which is joined to the hinge on the handle. the ear-shaped handle is cast in two pieces and ahs a baluster drop at the top. The body has been rehammered, particularly at the base, and highly polished.


ARMORIALS: engraved on each, the arms and motto of Hamilton quartering Melrose for Thomas sixth Earl of Haddington.
SCRATCHES: scratched on underside of rim "1/62".


On underside of rim, maker's mark TK (Jackson, p.545); castle; assay mark P for James Penman; date letter r.


1702/1703, probably made for Thomas Hamilton, 6th Earl of Haddington (b. 1680 - d. 1735); by descent within the family [see note 1]. October 19, 1961, anonymous sale ("property of a nobleman"), Sotheby's, London, lot 156, to Garrard and Co., London, for £2,650; 1962, sold by Garrard and Co. to the MFA for £2,782 [see note 2]. (Accession Date: January 10, 1962)

[1] The basin was published as being in the Earl of Haddington collection as late as 1956; see Ian Finlay, Scottish Gold and Silver Work (London, 1956), p. 124. Whether the family consigned the ewer and basin to the 1961 auction has not been determined. [2] Sold together with MFA accession no. 62.4.

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour