An Early Tunbridge Ware Open-Topped Swing-Handle Basket with van Dyke Border c1840


Product Code:KJ004

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Heading : Tunbridge Ware – An Early Open-Topped Swing-Handle Basket with van Dyke Border 
Date : c1840
Period : Victorian
Origin : Tunbridge Wells. possibly Brighton

Decoration : classic van Dyke triangles around the four sides; handle and edge inlaid with parallel keylines; lined with original pink silk; the handle affixed with turned wooden pegs
Size : 20.5 x 15.3 x 5.2 cms – handle 13.9 cm high
Condition : excellent; veneers all in outstanding condition; the only ware to be seen is to the silk lining. which is rather tired. though intact
Restoration : none
Weight :  651 grams

Notes : Considered to be one of the signature Tunbridge Ware design features. van Dyke triangles are not often found on labelled – and thence readily identifiable – pieces; the Burrows and Wise families. and Messrs Handford and Ubdsell are. however. all known to have used them. The first two of these may be considered a little early for something of this nature. but the handle shape does hark back to Regency whitewood baskets and trays. so perhaps they cannot be precluded on that basis …

The purpose of the basket is equally open to conjecture; it has been suggested – due to the shape – that it may be a ‘book basket’. but why on earth would you put a book in such a thing to carry it. when it could just as easily be held in the hand ? Fondant Fancies had yet to be invented when the basket was made. so we are left to assume that – as with the vast majority of other Tunbridge Ware baskets – its purpose was something related to sewing; reels of silk or thread would. for instance. have sat very comfortably in such an item…

Additional information

Weight1000 g


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