A MAGNIFICENT CHINESE CANTONESE IVORY OPENWORK BASKET WITH LID AND ORIGINAL PINEWOOD FITTED BOX

China, Canton, circa 1820

The basket and lid decorated with six openwork panels with figures in a garden landscape, the hinge faux bamboo, with a finial carved as fruit, twigs and leaves, one panel of the lid with an oval with initials H.H., with original pinewood fitted box, with hand-written label reading:

 

Ivory Basket “H H” given to me by my Mother Dec(em)ber 1866. Brought from China by her sister Lady Urmstow & given to my Mother before her marriage in 1823 (Sept. 4th). The initials “HH” stand for Harriet Hanson, daughter of John Hanson of Great Bromley Hall, Essex. The basket was a present given to Harriet on the occasion of her marriage to John William Bridges on September 4 1823, by her sister Elisabeth Hanson who was married to Sir James Brabazon Urmston of Chigwell House, Essex. Lord Urmston was President of the “Honourable East India Company’s Affairs in China”.

H. 17 x W. 27.5 x D. 18 cm
Box: H. 24 x W. 32 x D. 21.2 cm
 

Note:
The initials “HH” stand for Harriet Hanson, daughter of John Hanson of Great Bromley Hall, Essex. The basket was a present given to Harriet on the occasion of her marriage to John William Bridges on September 4 1823, by her sister Elisabeth Hanson who was married to Sir James Brabazon Urmston of Chigwell House, Essex. Lord Urmston was President of the “Honourable East India Company’s Affairs in China”. Harriet Hanson, born at Great Bromley, Colchester, Essex 13th April 1802, is the daughter of John Hanson Esq. of Osmondthorpe and Killingbeck, and later also of Great Bromley and Russellsquare (London), and of Mary Isabella Oliver.
She married John William Bridges, Esq. Of Lawford Hall, Essex, born 27th July 1795 in London. He was a wine merchant, till 1828 working in the firm “Corny, Son and Bridges”. John died 1866 and Harriet in 1867, both were buried in the St. Peter Parich Church Cemetery in Birch, Sussex. Out of their marriage, twelve children were born. Harriet’s sister Elisabeth, married Sir James Brabazon Urmston, of Chigwell House, Essex on December 22 1808. Sir James was born in 1785. From 1819 till 1826 he was “Chief of All Affairs of the British Nation in China”. He was knighted by King George IV on April 28 1824. The Urmston Road, a waterway between the island Lantau and Tuen Mun in Hong Kong in 1823 is named after Sir James Urmston.
A family portrait of John William Bridges as a young boy with his parents and his seven siblings, painted by John Constable in 1804, in 1863 was owned by John William and now is in the Tate Gallery, London. Similarly formed baskets from China are not only known in ivory (see next item) but also in silver filigree (see our catalogue Uit Verre Streken, December 2013, nr. 34) and in a silver filigree basket with enamel decoration by Master Cutshing (active 1820-1840) in the Hermitage Collection (M. Menshikova e.a. Silver Wonders from the East, Filigree of the Tsars).

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