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THE COUTTS URN. An exceptionally fine George III Neo Classical Tea/Water Urn made in London in 1785 by James Young.


The Urn stands on a square pedestal foot, which is decorated with a circular band of beading and an eclectic mix of bright cut and herring bone designs. The vase shaped main body is decorated with bright cut designs, floral garlands and Neo-Classical swags tied with medallions. The front displays a shield shaped Armorial, contained within an oval bright cut cartouche, with crossed branches above. The pull off domed cover is engraved with the same bright cut designs as are seen on the main body, as well as a contemporary Crest, with Motto above. The cover is also decorated with a single beaded band and terminates in a Neo-Classical urn finial. The Urn has two reeded bright cut loop handles, attached to the main body with acanthus mouldings. The beautiful angular tap is decorated with beading, Neo Classical floral medallions and an oval moulding where it is attached to the main body. The shaped tap is made of ivory.

The Armorial, Crest and Motto are those of the Coutts family impaling those of Starkey. The Armorial bearings undoubtedly commemorate the marriage of Thomas Coutts and Elizabeth Starkey. Thomas was the fourth son of John Coutts, a Scottish banker and merchant, who became Lord Provost of Edinburgh in 1742. Two of his sons, James and Thomas, founded the eponymous banking house of Coutts and Company. The banks headquarters is still located on The Strand in London. Thomas became the sole head of the bank upon Jamess death in 1778.


Height: 14.1 inches.

Length, handle to handle: 8.25 inches.

Weight: 37oz.