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SHAKESPEARE'S BIRTHPLACE. An important & very rare castle top vinaigrette made in Birmingham in 1847 by Nathaniel Mills.


This Vinaigrette is of shaped oval form with scalloped edges, the cover being engraved with a view of Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, with a flock of birds above, within a decorative border. The base with central scroll bordered shield shaped cartouche engraved with the contemporary script initials 'WP', all surrounded by repeating linear pattern of engraved decoration, set to the diagonal within a plain border. The sides are engraved with scroll work and display a serpentine shaped thumb piece. The interior is finely gilded and the grille is pierced and engraved with pluming scrolls and a central flower head. The view is exceptionally rare and is the earliest and crispest example noted with this scene.

The house originally belonged to William's father John. John & Mary Shakespeare moved to Stratford shortly after getting married and Stratford records show the Shakespeare family were residing in Henley Street by 1552. William was born here in 1564. In 1847, the date of the Vinaigrette, Shakespeare's birthplace was sold at auction and after an appeal by the Shakespeare Birthday Committee, it was purchased for £ 3000. The trust extensively refurbished the house to secure its future for the nation.

This important example is in excellent, crisp, condition and is very well marked.

Length: 1.45 inches, 3.63cm.
Width: 1 inch.
Height: 0.45 inches.