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A6540 Teapot, silver / emu egg, made by Evan Jones, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1870. Click to enlarge.

Emu egg teapot by Evan Jones

Made
Providing a stark contrast to polished silver, green emu egg shells were used by colonial silversmiths to create distinctively Australian presentation pieces throughout the second half of the 19th century. The vivid green colour faded to less attractive light brown with time, and these pieces were generally not fashionable beyond the first decade of the twentieth century; thus it is not surprising that few silver-mounted emu eggs have survived.

It remains unresolved as to who among Australian silversmiths first designed and made the silver-mounted emu egg. They were first recorded in the mid 1850s. Evan Jones (active 1873-1917), a renowned Sydney silversmith who arrived from England about 1855, made them at least from the 1870s. A former apprentice of Hogarth, Erichsen & Co, and subsequently of Christian L Qwist, he was frequently represented in colonial and international exhibitions. It was reported, for example, that in the Sydney International Exhibition of 1879 (Australia's first), he showed "emu's eggs ...mounted in 101 different ways". Jones was also a prolific jeweller and accomplished medalist. He also made rowing and sculling trophies and large testimonials with Australian motifs.

This unique bachelor teapot is most likely part of a set Jones exhibited in the 1886 Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London and in the Jubilee International Exhibition in Adelaide in 1887.

Eva Czernis-Ryl, May, 2007

Summary

Object No.

A6540

Object Statement

Teapot, silver / emu egg, made by Evan Jones, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1870

Physical Description

Teapot with body of emu egg, one end being sectioned and hinged as a lid. The vessel's interior is lined in silver gilt. The stand of rolled sheet silver is soldered to a round planished base. The inner flange around the rim is finely beaded at the outer edge, above a scalloped and pierced silver band. The lid is lined in silver, turned to a band of cut card work around the outer rim, the design echoing the rim of the vessel. The finial is of a cast emu on a raised, chased disc with cut card work boarder. The handle is in the form of a log with cut-off laterals and is attached to the body below the hinge. The spout is in the form of a silver emu head and neck and is roughly riveted inside the vessel.

Marks

Stamped on side of foot ring: EVAN JONES SYDNEY.

Dimensions

Height

200 mm

Width

145 mm

Depth

90 mm

Production

Notes

This teapot was made by Evan Jones, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1870.

History

Notes

The teapot is most likely part of a tea service displayed in the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London in 1886 and Indian Exhibition in London and in the Jubilee International Exhibition in Adelaide in 1887.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1976

Acquisition Date

1 October 1976

Cite this Object

Harvard

Emu egg teapot by Evan Jones 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 14 April 2021, <https://ma.as/186750>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/186750 |title=Emu egg teapot by Evan Jones |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=14 April 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}