Elkington & Co silver and ivory claret jug designed by Christopher Dresser sold for £21,000 at Roseberys in south London.

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It has hallmarks for Elkington & Co, Birmingham 1885 and the registration number 22870.

Michael Whiteway’s collecting monograph Christopher Dresser 1834-1904 illustrates a similar jug (in silverplate with variations to the finial and the handle) to the inside back cover and a page from Elkington’s silver pattern book, 1885, which shows the original drawing.

It attracted many admirers at a keen estimate of £2000-3000 at Roseberys' Design: Decorative Arts 1860 to the Present Day sale on April 26 and sparked a contest that ended at £21,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium). The buyer was from Paris.


The jug has hallmarks for Frederick Elkington, Birmingham, 1885 – the year the design was registered.

Dresser designed a series of claret jugs for Frederick Elkington.

In the register for designs dated March 2, 1885, in the National Archive at Kew, there is a group entry for Elkington and Co reading Design for a Claret or Water jug applicable to both pattern and shape, 22870-2. Five-figure sums have been bid for two equally daring designs inspired by vessels from antiquity; one with a conical base and the registration number 22872 and a ‘coopered’ flask-shaped jug numbered 22871.