Stunning, English Sterling Silver Neff, ‘Sailing Ship’, Fine Detail. 26" Tall
An absolutely stunning and rare sterling silver Neff. Superb quality and detail, and an unusual size.
This three masted neff is fully manned and rigged with sailors, the deck detachable, the hull with putti riding dolphins and numerous fish and dolphins among chased waves and applied with a mask at the bow. Also Unusual to be made and hallmarked in England, as they were often German made in 800 silver. This neff is solid sterling silver, and is English hallmarked throughout. Made in London by Pairpoint Brothers In 1923. Stands at 26" tall x 24" in length.
Neff (originally spelt nef) was an ornamental model ship, galleon, usually made in silver, silver-gilt or gold, and made specially for the dinner table. They were often quite elaborate with masts, sails, rigging and various figures on board. Early examples (13th-16th century) were drinking cups or receptacles for dining implements. Neff's originated from the continent and were used in France, Germany, Spain and Italy but most neff's found today were made in Germany at the end of the 19th century.
Traditionally the neff was made in two sections and the top half was removable so that the hollow hull could be used to contain the spoon, knife, napkin, spices of the host. Later neffs were fashioned to hold wine, sweetmeats or a variety of special condiments. Sometimes the nef had wheels, so they could be rolled from one end of the table to the other.