Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu (26 March 2019)

Date of Auction: 26th March 2019

Sold for £7,000

Estimate: £10,000 - £15,000

An important waterlily mazer bowl, in silver gilt, titanium, laburnum wood and enamel, by Louis Osman, for Peter Jenkins, 1991, accompanied by the original design drawing, the polished laburnum wood bowl with an oval titanium and silver gilt oversized rim in the form of a pool of water, the bowl containing a removable silver gilt and enamel centrepiece of flowering waterlilies, the base hallmarked and bearing maker’s mark, accompanied by the original pastel, gilt and ink designs, on buff paper, framed, bowl length 25cm, design dimensions 113 x 33cm. £10,000-£15,000


In 1988 Peter Jenkins retired as clerk of the Goldsmiths’ Company after 13 years. The company wished to give Peter a retirement gift, he suggested a piece by Louis Osman, who he had known many years and whose work he admired. It was decided the piece should be a mazer bowl (a medieval drinking vessel) and Louis set to work researching the history of mazer bowls and determined that the design should be “in the medieval tradition but completely contemporary in feeling” and based on a rare waterlily, found in the Bodnant Gardens in North Wales.
The lip of the bowl is silver gilt on a titanium core, with a slight ripple effect, to suggest moving water, work which tested silversmith Peter Musgrove to his utmost. For the bowl itself Louis selected Laburnum wood, “cream[ier] in colour and a marvellous contrast with the silver gilt. In the centre of the bowl sits a realistically modelled waterlily ‘cover’, worked by Michael Knight and masterfully enamelled by Louis’ wife Dilys. This ‘cover’ can be removed from the bowl and used as a free standing smaller centrepiece. The accompanying design shows that Louis had intended that the bowl to bear a presentation inscription - work that was never undertaken on the final piece.