This is an unusual, rare even, decanter of magnum capacity with a silver-mounted rim and snake neck ring. It is only just a magnum, but two full bottles can be accommodated - and even very easily if a small taster is taken first!
The basic outline of this decanter is the shaft & globe, but this example is very unusual. The neck rings, which make it easier to hold a decanter, were first introduced in c.1790-1800 and those in the form of a snake appeared very soon afterwards. However snake-ring decanters have always been a rarity - particularly at this date (1895) The head of the reptile is more accurately modelled than most we have seen.
The lip has a silver mount which is clearly original (ie not put on later to hide a chipped rim) and is hallmarked for London in 1895. It also bears the makers' mark for William Hutton & Sons who were to become one of the most prolific firms of silversmiths in Britain in the early 20th century.
The decanter is very gently ribbed vertically and the heart-shaped hollow stopper is also an unusual feature.
The decanter is 16", 40.6 cm. high.
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