The Orr and Sons department store, which still trades from Anna Salai in Chennai, was founded by Scotsman Peter Orr in 1846 and initially sold primarily jewellery and silver. It was the place where the first Rolex watch was sold in India (for 198 rupees).
As pictured in Wynyard Wilkinson’s seminal book Indian Silver 1858-1947 (published in 1999), the design for this tankard appears in a sales catalogue of c.1880.
The body is embossed with the Jagannath procession at Puri with the handles formed as coining serpents with a seated female figure. Here the cover is surmounted by a detachable cast finial of a racehorse and it is inscribed to the rim of the base Won by Captain Hickmans Moonstone (owner) Madras Sky Races 1880, presented by C.V. Cunniah Chetty Esquire.
Brought to a charity event hosted by south Lakes valuer David Brookes in Ulverston earlier this year, it went on to sell for £4000 (estimate £400-600) at Mitchells (22% buyer’s premium) Antiques & Fine Art Sale in Cockermouth on September 13-15.
Underlining the rising interest in the best colonial-era silver, Chiswick Auctions sold a silver three-piece teaset by Peter Orr and Sons for an extraordinary £27,000 (estimate £800-1200) in February (ATG No 2583).
It formed part of the white-glove sale of the Stewart collection of Indian and Burmese silver of the Raj period that had been collected across the previous 20 years. The same teaset had sold at Bonhams in September 2016 for £2000.