Georgian Silver Argyle, 1811 by Emes & Barnard

Georgian SIlver Argyle London 1811 by Emes Barnard
Georgian SIlver Argyle London 1811 by Emes Barnard DSCN2379 DSCN2381 v2 DSCN2382 DSCN2383 v2 DSCN2385 v2 DSCN2386


Argyle - Urn-shaped with Heating Iron - London 1811 by Emes & Barnard - 17.5cm high; 19cm handle to spout tip; 648g gross weight - DZ/4814

Argyles come in many forms and are clever pots for delivering warm gravy (or sauce) to the table. They are so called because their use was first promoted by the 5th Duke of Argyle. The story goes, that John Campbell, the fifth Duke of Argyll, and his wife Elizabeth Gunning, Baroness Hamilton of Hameldon, disliked the cold gravy that arrived at their table from the kitchens of Inverary Castle. So through several adaptations, where heat was retained in some form next to the gravy in a variety of ingenious methods to maintain its temperature prior to use, the argyle was born.

This Georgian silver argyle (or argyll) has a central cylinder in to which a heating iron is inserted - the iron being pre-heated in a fire and acting as a heating element for the gravy. The removable silver cylinder is hallmarked to match the rest of the piece and the heating iron is a perfect fit suggesting it is original too - this is a particulalrly rare achievement as most go missing. This argyle retains its original wooden handle which protects the user from heat and the side of the urn-shaped body and the cover are both engraved with a matching ducal crest.

Many argyles of the period were made by the Emes & Barnard workshop and this example has the further bonus of being in excellent condition.

The crest is for Wodehouse and being surmounted by a baron's coronet will mean the argyle first belonged to Sir John Wodehouse, 1st Baron Wodehouse (1741-1834) - an ancestor of the English writer PG Wodehouse. Between 1784 and 1797, John was Member of Parliament for Norfolk, upon his stepping down as MP he became Baron Wodehouse of Kimberley. A professional report about this crest and and the original owner of the argyle is available as a pdf to the new owner.

More information, including a portrait, can be found on Wikipedia at this link:,_1st_Baron_Wodehouse