The J. Paul Getty Museum


Object Details




Possibly by Jean Leroy (French, master 1625)

probably altered in London in 1698 by Ralph Leake (English, elected freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths of the City of London 1671 - died 1716)

altered between 1758 and 1762 by Phillips Garden (British, elected freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths 1738 of the City of London - resigned 1763)




Paris, France (Place Created)





Object Number:



65.1 × 35.9 × 36.2 cm, 11250 g (25 5/8 × 14 1/8 × 14 1/4 in., 361.6954 ozt.)

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Object Description

This fountain, although altered, is a rare survivor of seventeenth-century French silver. The fountain would have held water and stood on a sideboard, displayed with other pieces of ceremonial silver. The servants would have poured water from it to wash utensils between the courses of a meal.

The fountain must have arrived in England from France before 1698, because Ralph Leake, a London silversmith, made a copy of it in that year. He also created a silver basin for each of the fountains. Sometime between 1758 and 1761, Nathanial Curzon, then 5th Baronet Curzon of Kedleston, owned the group of two fountains and their basins, which he had engraved with the arms of Curzon impaling Colyear (for his wife, Carolyn Colyear). From the 1760s until the mid-1940s, these vessels stood in an alcove in the dining room of the Curzon country residence, Kedleston Hall, in Derbyshire, England, designed by Robert Adam.

Very little French silver has survived from the late 1600s because almost all of it was melted down by 1709 at the order of Louis XIV. The silver bullion was used to replenish the French royal treasury, which had been nearly bankrupted by the king's constant wars. This vessel survived because it left France soon after it was made.

by 1698

Private Collection , England, by 1698, when probably adapted from a tri-handled ewer with a spout mounted higher, and when a matching fountain and two basins were made by Ralph Leake.

by about 1750 - 1804

Nathaniel Curzon, fifth baronet and first baron Scarsdale, English, 1726 - 1804 (Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, England), by inheritance to Nathaniel Curzon.
Source: Nathaniel Curzon married Caroline Colyear (1733-1812) in 1750. The armorial of the Curzon arms impaling Colyear was engraved between 1758, when he succeeded to the baronetcy, and 1761, when he was elevated to the peerage.


Nathaniel Curzon, second baron Scarsdale, English, 1751 - 1837 (Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, Endland), by inheritance to Nathaniel Curzon.


Nathaniel Curzon, third baron Scarsdale, English, 1781 - 1856 (Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, England), by inheritance to Alfred Nathaniel Holden Curzon.


Alfred Nathaniel Holden Curzon, fourth baron Scarsdale, English, 1831 - 1916 (Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, England), by inheritance to George Nathaniel Curzon.

1916 - 1925

George Nathaniel Curzon, fifth baron and first viscount Scarsdale, English, 1859 - 1925 (Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, England), by inheritance to Richard Nathaniel Curzon.

1925 - 1945

Richard Nathaniel Curzon, second viscount Scarsdale, English, 1898 - 1977 (Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, England) [unsold, together with an English version of the fountain and a pair of matching cisterns all made by Ralph Leake 1698, Christie's, London, July 16, 1930, lot 72; unsold, same pairs as in 1930, Christie's, London, November 7, 1945, lot 114], and transferred to Kedleston Settled Estates.

1945 - 1947

Kedleston Settled Estates, 1945 - 1947 (35 St. Mary's Gate, Kedleston, Derby, England), sold privately to James Harris of S. H. Harris & Son Jewelry, London.

1947 -

S. H. Harris & Son Jewelry (5 Hatton Garden, London EC1N, England)

after 1947

Jacques Helft, French, 1891 - 1980 (Paris, France until 1940 and again from 1946; New York City, New York active 1940 - 1948)

before 1948 - 1962

Arturo López-Willshaw, Chilean, 1901 - 1962 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his wife, Patricia López-Willshaw.

1962 - 1982

Patricia López-Willshaw, Chilean, 1912 - 2010 (Paris, France) [offered for sale, Sotheby's, Monaco, June 23, 1976, no. 48, bought-in; sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum through Sotheby's, Monaco, 1982]

5ème Salon des Arts de la Table (June 3 to September 15, 1950) (lent by Arturo Lopez-Willshaw)
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), June 3 to September 15, 1950
Louis XIV, Faste et décors (May to October 1960) (lent by M[onsieur] A. Lopez-Willshaw)
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), May to October 1960
The Life of Art: Context, Collecting, and Display (February 7, 2012 to December 3, 2017)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 7, 2012 to December 3, 2017

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Reitlinger, Gerald. The Economics of Taste. Vol. 2, The Rise and Fall of Objets d'Art Prices since 1750 (New York: Barrie and Rockliff, 1963), p. 648.

Frégnac, Claude. Les Grands orfèvres de Louis XIII à Charles X. Collection Connaissance des arts "Grands artisans d'autrefois." (Paris: Hachette, 1965), pp. 60-61,fig. 3 (caption states "collection de Mme A. Lopez-Willshaw").

Frégnac, Claude. French Master Goldsmiths and Silversmiths from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century (New York: French & European Publications, 1966), pp. 60-61, fig. 3 (caption states "belonging to Mme. A. Lopez-Willshaw").

Hardy, John and Helena Hayward, "Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire - III, The Seat of Viscount Scarsdale." Country Life CLXIII, no. 4205 (February 9, 1978), p. 325.

Hardy, John. "Robert Adam and the furnishing of Kedleston Hall." The Connoisseur 198, no. 797 (July 1978), pp. 203, 207n13.

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French Silver in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), p. 9, ill. cover and p. 10, fig. 6.

Lomax, James. "Silver for the English Dining Room 1700-1820." In Ole Villumsen Krog, ed. A King's Feast: The Goldsmith's Art and Royal Banqueting in the 18th Century exh. cat. (London: Kensington Palace, 1991), pp. 129-131, 133n16.

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Snodin, Michael. "Adam Silver Reassessed." The Burlington Magazine 139, no. 1126 (January 1997), pp. 17-25.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 94, no. 191.

Bimbenet-Privat, Michèle. Les Orfèvres et l'Orfèvrerie de Paris au XVIIe Siècle: Tome 1 Les Hommes,Tome II Les Oeuvres (Paris: Éditions des Musées de la ville de Paris, 2002), Tome I, pp. 206, 410-411 and Tome II, p. 211, no. 66, ill pp. 210-211.

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Wilson, Gillian, et al. French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence: Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), p. 373, app. no. 17.

Pijzel-Dommisse, Jet. "Huguenot goldsmiths and French influence in The Hague in the late 17th century." In Tessa Murdoch, ed. Beyond the Border: Huguenot Goldsmiths in Northern Europe and North America (Portland: Sussex Academic Press, 2008), pp. 38-40, 44n49, figs. 24, 26.

Murdoch, Tessa. Case 11 2010-11: The great silver wine cistern of Thomas Wentworth. Expert Advisor's Statement, Export Reviewing Committee, Case 11, 2010-11 (London: Arts Council England, 2011), p. 9, no. 6.

Lomax, James. "Baroque Silver Fountains, Cisterns and Coolers in England." In Diplomats, Goldsmiths and Baroque Court Culture: Lord Raby in Berlin, The Hague, and Wentworth Castle. The Proceedings of the 2012 Wentworth Castle Conference. Patrick Eyres and James Lomax, eds. (Stainborough: Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust in association with Northern Heritage Publications, 2014), pp. 142-145, 156n6, fig. 3.

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