an article of Giorgio Busetto - www.silvercollection.it
- Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver
a small collection of antique silver and objects of vertu
click on images to enlarge


John Campbell 5th Duke of ArgyllInveraray Castle Argyll ScotlandJohn Campbell, the fifth Duke of Argyll, and his wife Elizabeth Gunning, Baroness Hamilton of Hameldon, hated the way that gravy arrived cold to their table from the kitchens of their Inverary Castle during the cold Scottish winters.

gravy tureens with spouts on either sideThe Duke (1723-1806), succeeding his father, the fourth Duke of Argyll in 1770, was the promoter of a new piece of tableware designed to maintain the warmth of the gravy in its vessel. This, with a bit of imagination, was the origin of a warmer called 'argyle' in honour of the Noble Family that first made a wide use of this device. The first example was a gravy tureen with spouts fitted on either side to hold a piece of hot iron, wich maintained the gravy's warmth.
argyle with internal cylinderdouble jacket argyle: lip to pour hot water is on the left
Later, the system was improved upon by the introduction of a jacket to contain hot water or an internal cylinder into wich a hot iron was placed.
bulbous body and small footbulbous body and small footArgyles were made in a variety of shapes and sizes but most had a rounded body and a small foot, which maximized the capacity for the gravy or sauce.

spout rests at the bottom of the bowlspout rests at the bottom of the bowl


Usually the spout was placed at the bottom of the container, which allowed the gravy to be drawn off from underneath the layer of fat that settled out on the top.

Georgian plate coffee pot obtained by a modified argyleArgyles were produced up until the Victorian period in both silver and Sheffield plate. They are very rare and only a limited number now survive, as many of the early examples were later converted into coffee or tea pots. On the left a Georgian plate coffee pot abtained, presumably, by a modified argyle

An Argyle of William Grundy

argyle William Grundy London 1773

lip for hot water

William Grundy London 1773 hallmarks

This argyle has an exterior jacket for hot water which is poured in through this lip Hallmarks indicating London manufacture in 1773 by the English silversmith William Grundy
hallmark William Grundy ent. 1748
William Grundy's hallmark
Giorgio Busetto - 2005 -

this article is published on website                               
English home page

This is a page of Silvercollection.it "A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu", a 1000 pages widely illustrated website offering all you wish to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington), history, oddities ...