Of delicate proportions, the shaped Regency period japanned tin baskets having brass mounts including shell handles, the flared sides polychrome painted en grisaille with classical medallions, ram masks and polychrome swags in very much the Regency taste, the wholes raised and resting on brass paw feet.
There are minor faults apparent from the illustrations, including discoloured gilding with attractive verdegris, paint scratches and wear and some of the mounts are slightly loose but aside from one section of swag to one basket they remain complete and un-restored which is why we love them.
A process known as japanning has decorated these baskets which was an imitation of East Asian lacquer widely used on furniture and base-metal wares from the 17th to the 19th centuries. A series of coats of black asphaltum varnish were applied to the surface of the basket, which was then dried in an oven, which effectively baked them on to the surface. This was then heightened with gold, often with popular chinoiserie designs. The process was first developed at Bilston in Staffordshire, but was also used in Monmouthshire at Pontypool and Usk.
Extremely attractive and in wonderfully original condition, these baskets simply encapsulate the Regency period.