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THE APLEY CASTLE BASKET. An important & sunstantial George III Bread/Fruit Basket made in London in 1803 by Richard Cooke.

£ 8,500

The Basket is modelled in the rare "Boat" form and is of a substantial size. This piece stands on an oval spreading, applied, foot decorated with gadrooning. The slightly baluster sides, are decorated with a lower wide lobed band and the everted rim is also decorarted with gadrooning. The high, arched, swing handle is decorated with flat fluting and displays a vacant oval cartouche. The centre of the bowl is engraved with a contemporary Armorial, with Crest above, all surrounded by a finely executed cartouche of drapery mantling. The basket is of a most exceptional weight, in excellent condition, and is very well marked on the side of the main body. The Arms are those of Charlton, of the fabulous Apley Castle, County Salop, impaling the arms of Grierson. They are specifically those of William Charlton of Apley, who succeeded his brother to the estates in 1802, therefore this basket was probably made to celebrate his accession. In 1796 he married Catherine Thomason, nee Grierson, widow of Dr Thomason of York. They had three daughters and a single son, who duly succeeded. Charlton was High Sheriff of Salop in 1807 and died in 1816.

Richard Cooke was a quite exceptional maker, as is seen with this piece. He was working in the close circle around Paul Storr and A.G. Grimwade in his work, "London Goldsmith's 1697-1837 - Their Works & Lives", emphasises that his work is always of a high standard and of semi Classical inspiration. His quality of design and production led him to supply the leading Royal retailers of the day, these being Rundell & Co and Jefferys, Jones & Gilbert.

Length: 14 inches, 35 cm.
Width: 10.25 inches, 25.63 cm.
Height, to the top of the handle: 27.5 cm.
Weight: 60 oz.