Rare Wedgwood silver plated Elkington sucrier, classical scene, c.1895

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Rare Wedgwood sucrier, with low relief classical scene, an acanthus border to the lid. Impressed WEDGWOOD and 30, also x. Circa 1895

Condition

wear to silver showing copper, chip inside lid

Size

13cm

References

This rare piece of Wedgwood is listed in the 1979 Reilly as 'experimental', expensive, and 'mercifully rare'!! It shows the close collaboration of Elkington and Wedgwood. The process went like this: the surface of the Wedgwood white stoneware was coated in black lead, to conduct current; this was connected to one pole of a battery, the other having the bar of metal to be deposited. First was the copper base coat, followed by the silver top coat. When dipped in the bath of electrolyte, the current deposited the particles of metal onto the surface until a suitable thickness was achieved. Curiously, the 1995 edition of Reilly goes completely off-track, describing under the same entry for 'silver plating' in great detail the process for a platinum slip that gives a silver- like appearance. Reilly chooses to ignore the 'mercifully rare' 'experiment' you see here, although one is illustrated on p.391

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