Rare silver tea and coffee set by Edward Charles Brown

By Edward Charles Brown (English, founded 1843)


Of an unusual design and depicting hunting and musical motifs, this superb set was most likely made for or to celebrate an aristocratic Scottish family.


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This exceptional tea and coffee set was manufactured in the late 19th century by a renowned English silversmith, Edward Charles Brown.

The set comprises a teapot on stand, a coffee pot, a sugar bowl and a milker. Each piece is made from silver and silver-gilt using various manufacturing techniques. Shaped in the form of a kettle drum with silver-gilt rope mouldings, the pieces in this set are full of intriguing musical, hunting and aristocratic motifs.

All pieces apart from the teapot on stand are supported on three lion mask and paw legs. The spouts adorning three of the four pieces are cast in the shape of roaring lion heads. The teapot is supported on three more prominent lion legs appearing from superbly cast forms imitating a lion’s skin. These motifs are evocative of hunting themes, adding an intriguing design aspect to this stunning set.

The flush-hinged lids on the milker and teapot are beautifully decorated with drumstick finials placed on top of a music book and a laurel leaf garland. These motifs further emphasize the musical theme of the set.  

The handles are expertly formed in the shape of coiled belts and buckles, and the ones attached to the teapot and milker are covered with rattan. This was done to prevent one from getting burnt by the hot metal once the pieces were filled with hot liquids.

The front of each piece in the set is engraved with the arms, supporters, coronet and motto of Archibald Kennedy, 2nd Marquess of Ailsa, KT (25 August 1816 – 20 March 1870), as evidenced by the arms being encircled by the motto of the Order of the Thistle, 'Nemo me impune lacessit' ('No one assaults me with impunity') with the star pendant below and surmounted by a marquess’s coronet. The engraving is in the English style with the Kennedy clan motto 'Avise la Fin' ('Consider the end') serving as a compartment on which the supporters stand.

Edward Charles Brown was an English silversmith. In 1845, he was an apprentice to George J Richards (1817-1876) with whom in 1857 entered a partnership and registered a conjoined mark. However, Brown also had his own maker’s mark, ‘ECB’ in a trefoil shape, which entered in 1867. Edward C. Brown retired in 1882, but his work continued to be very desirable.  

Made by a prominent Victorian silversmith, this tea and coffee set would be an exceptional choice for anyone interested in music, hunting or Scottish history.

Milk jug: Height 7.5cm, width 14cm, depth 10cm
Teapot on stand: Height 29cm, width 23cm, depth 20cm


Artist / Maker
By Edward Charles Brown (English, founded 1843)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
Militaria / Military, Music / Musical, Victorian


29 cm / 11.4 inches
23 cm / 9.1 inches
20 cm / 7.9 inches


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