1

A Day
Observed

A story presented by

Scene 1:
‘Morning’

It was a bright cold day with glassy surfaces that looked hard.
Into the square frame he stood as if in a dream.

What emerged was precisely what he expected to find: a reflection of memory images. Contemplating his face in the photo frame he waited.

1960s lucite and chrome 3 image photo frame

By the steady hands of his watch, he listened to time. Every day for the past sixteen days he saw her. Silver lingered in the crease of
an open book.

Rolex burlwood dial, Jubilee bracelet Miniature
oar English university trophy, sterling silver.

So absorbed in his thoughts
he hardly saw the platinum catch-all, the key, or the revelation locked inside those lapis lazuli cufflinks tossed unmistakably in cold blue.

Hans Hanson catch-all. Mid-century, Danish sterling silver. Stirrup money clip, by Hermès. Padlock keyring, sterling silver " Tie bar-slide " Round lapis lazuli cufflinks" Square cufflinks, two tone rose and yellow gold, diamond."

Only by whirling on his heel could he hope to comprehend
the panorama.

Shoe horn, circa 1930. American sterling silver
Scene 2:
‘Noon’

He remained.Trapped in that enormous room,
unmistakably familiar in feeling yet so peculiar.

Above the mantle was
displayed an Austrian hound
of impeccable integrity.

Hagenauer sculpture, 1930

His gaze fell on the letter opener. By accident she had learnt more about his life from the contents of that letter than anywhere.

Dunhill letter opener with lighter top, circa 1950

Cleopatra’s eye reflected
the sun. Through the hypnotism
of precious metals there
emerged a dark slender shadow.

Cleopatra’s eye magnifying glass. Mid-century, gold plated
Hermès weighted pen. Silver plated.

A lighter presented itself, smooth to the touch
it gave the impression of
intelligent company.

Table lighter St Dupont, circa 1960. Gold plate
Scene 3:
‘Evening’

All this time light was receding from the room.

“I should explain why I spend so much time here”, said the silhouette. Leaves moved like shadows across her eyes.

Hermès rope bottle opener. Plated silver.

It’s not too late to turn back. Time moved with faint sounds.

Venini hourglass. Hand-blown lurid Murano glass.

He unscrewed the telescopic cup, rolled and remained still. Black eyes on the dice prophesied a new cycle.

Telescopic cup, J. E. Cauldwell. Gold plated. Dice,
Cartier for America. Vitreous enamel glass, silver

Staring down at the varnished surface her mouth worried him while her eyes examined the gold cufflink.

Audemar Piguet evening watch. gold plated, Roman dial, alligator strap
Scene 4:
‘Night’

Everything went crashing black.

Pale graceful hands placed
the gold stud box delicately
on the table.

Men’s Edwardian jewellery box, 1910. Gold plated.
Mid-century British cigar ashtray. Sterling silver and crystal.

He lit a match to make sure the watch had really stopped. Smoke lingered from its vesta case.

Realist wrapped tobacco leaf march vesta. Silver.

As the travel clock neared
one the figure vanished into dappled shadows.

Art Deco Jaeger LeCoultre travel clock.
Gold and silver plated. Retailed by Aspray.

On the newly varnished table two bronze shot cups sat alive like in a dream.

Tooth shot cup by Foundwell. Bronze and silver plated.
Set of 4, 3 silver 1 gold. Heath & Midleton champagne decanters circa 1900.
Sterling silver and glass.
The End

‘A DAY OBSERVED’
A story by FOUNDWELL
Photography Matthieu Lavanchy, creative direction OK-RM,
notes by Kate O’Brien and objects selected by Alan Bedwell

‘A DAY OBSERVED’
A story by FOUNDWELL
Photography Matthieu Lavanchy,
creative direction OK-RM
notes by Kate O’Brien
and objects selected by Alan Bedwell

Early and Rare Sterling Silver Gorham Martini Mixing Bucket

Golf Cocktail Shaker
and Matching Golf Bag Cup

Sterling Silver Woven Bottle Coaster

Foundwell

A SELECTION OF ITEMS BY THE PRODUCER OF
CRAFTED GOODS & PURVEYOR OF ANTIQUE WATCHES,
JEWELLERY & OTHER SUCH OBJECTS

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A cruet set comprised of four miniature, sterling silver topped, champagne bottles in woven sterling silver basket.  This is by far and away the finest cruet set that we have both handled, and in fact seen.  In both quality and design the set is without rival.   Each bottle is made from hand blown, deeply coloured glass.  There are two dark green, a dark brown, and an almost black green.  Each neck of the bottles are made in a similar fashion, to replicate the application of foil to the top of champagne bottles, this time using sterling silver.

The tops are then made to have the appearance of the wire wrapped cages that keep the corks in place during transportation.  Each bottle is made for holding different condiments for the dinner table.  One has a pierced top, for pepper.  Another, the cork top part comes off completely containing a long fine spoon, for salt.  Another has a similar method where the cork top part is removed, this time with no spoon.  This would be for either a vinegar, or perhaps an olive oil.  The inside of the top has a cork lining, meaning a more fluid condiment would be contained.  The final bottle comes apart much nearer the base of the foiled area.  This would be for sauces; Horseradish, mustard, Worcestershire sauce etc. 

The 'basket' which holds the four bottles is also an exquisite piece of hand made Victorian silversmithing.  There is a hand made divider that has a beautiful hand applied, fine, braided finish.  This can be completely removed in order to clean any spillage onto the holder, as can be the sterling base.  This braiding is then followed onto the edge of the basket in a thicker gauge.  The handle is made to resemble a thicker braided wicker basket handle, however, this is made in a chain-like fashion.  The exterior of the basket is a masterclass of weaving.  Hard enough to complete in willow, making from a less supple sliver wire must have been quite an undertaking.  Each row has four pieces of smaller wire wrapped through the side spokes.  It is without flaw, and almost has the appearance of being cast, how good the finish has been achieved.

Long associated with luxury, England had a large influence on the development of champagne.  Being  unable to produce the drink, it was imported in ever increasing numbers during the Victorian period.  As the country prospered through the beginnings of the industrial revolution, such was the demand for excess and celebration.  

Wine was often transported to England in wooden wine barrels and merchant houses would then bottle the wine for sale. During the 17th century, English glassmakers used coal-fueled ovens and produced stronger, more durable glass bottles than wood-fired French glass. The English also rediscovered the use of cork stoppers, once used by the Romans but forgotten for centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. During the cold winters of the Champagne region, temperatures would drop so low that the fermentation process was prematurely halted, leaving some residual sugar and dormant yeast. When the wine was shipped to and bottled in England, the fermentation process would restart when the weather warmed and the cork-stoppered wine would begin to build pressure from carbon dioxide gas. When the wine was opened, it would be bubbly.

The English were among the first who saw the tendency of Champagne to sparkle as a desirable trait, and tried to understand why it did bubble. In 1662, the English scientist Christopher Merret presented a paper detailing how the presence of sugar in a wine led to it eventually sparkling, and that nearly any wine could be made to sparkle by adding sugar to a wine before bottling it. This is one of the first known accounts of understanding the process of sparkling wine and suggests that British merchants were producing "sparkling Champagne" even before the French Champenois were deliberately making it.

This is perhaps why this important piece for a high end dining table would have been designed in this fashion.  Once can find other bar and food related decanters and tools that take on the form of champagne bottles.  A cruet set that would adorn the table alongside this luxury tipple makes sense.

This exquisite piece was made in London, England in 1880.  It is hallmarked in many places and on every single piece.  In English law, any piece made of metal that is removable must also be tested for purity, and is subsequently hallmarked to ensure its sterling silver composition.  The piece was made by silversmith Thomas Johnson II.  A generational silversmith operating out of initially Holborn, and then Clerkenwell workshops.  The condition throughout is perfect with no condition issues whatsoever.


Price $8,495.00

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Item Dimensions
Width
3.75 inches (9.525cm)
Height
5.75 inches (14.605cm)