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.Messrs. PAIRPOINT BROTHERSSilversmiths. 80a Dean Street, Soho LondonThe grandfather of the present proprietors of the business was William Pairpoint, the celebrated water-gilder, who was well-known at the beginning of the present century. That branch of the business is still carried on, under the name of W. Pairpoint and Sons, in Gerrard Street. Mr. Edward Pairpoint, the father of the brothers Pairpoint, who had been apprenticed to one of Lambert's subsidiary houses, began business in 1848. Of the place occupied by the four brothers Pairpoint in the silver world little is necessary to be said, for their silver mark JP over FP, may be seen in every retail silver merchant's window in London. It is admitted on all sides by experts, sometimes with a sigh of regret, sometimes with a grin of malice, that " Pairpoint " copies of ancient patterns are dangerously near being indistinguishable from the originals, whilst their new manufactures carry one back to the days when the master silversmiths employed the first artists of the day to assist them in their productions " devised in love and fashioned cunningly." The firm is principally known to the trade as manufacturers of large and important works, such as centerpieces, presentation vases, and the like. To the amateur of antique silver and Sheffield plate, whether he be in Europe or America, the name of Pairpoint is a household word, and the quantity of antique plate and old " Sheffield " that has passed through the hands of the firm since the renaissance of 1874 is little short of fabulous.