Large antique Belgian silver gilt vase with snake handles


Replete with intricate foliate motifs, this superb rounded campagna form vase is a fine decorative ware, crafted from shining silver gilt.


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Of fine quality, this large vase was crafted in Belgium in the mid-19th century.

The vase is of elegant rounded campagna form. From the lip to the foot, the vase is replete with intricate applied decoration. Both the partly fluted flower body and the base are decorated with alternating chased acanthus and palm leaves. Connecting the upper and lower body is an applied ropework border. The upper body is applied with further acanthus and palmette scrolls, plus rosette foliage. Four identical monograms separate the scrolling foliage, each surmounted by marquess coronets. The monograms are likely the initials of the individual for whom the object was made. Beaded borders can be seen at the very top, as well as connecting the body to the foot.

Surmounting the sides of the vase are twin serpent handles, each formed of two intertwined snakes. Also crafted from silver gilt, the handles are delicately attached to the rim and body, displaying great technical ingenuity from the vase’s maker. The snakes are etched with scales throughout, rendering the animals with impeccable detail even on a small scale.

A copper liner sits inside the vase. Various marks are engraved into the rim and side of the base, including a Belgian fineness mark, an unidentified maker’s mark PI, and a French Weevil import mark.

This fine decorative piece showcases some of the excellent silverware emerging from Belgium during the 19th century.

Silver weight excluding liner: approx. 6500 grammes.



From the collection of Robert de Balkany. Previously sold Christie's, London, 22nd-23rd March 2017, lot 212.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
19th Century
Animal / Animalier, Neoclassical
Gold, Metallic


36 cm / 14.2 inches
52 cm / 20.5 inches
39 cm / 15.4 inches
6500 g


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