Damian de Castro silver ember bowl (pipe lighter) - Spain
This is a silver ember bowl with two ivory handles. Before friction matches were invented, smokers lit their pipes and cigars with embers from the fireplace or stove. As a glowing ember is difficult to hold in tongs, to avoid dropping it on the table, shallow bowls were designed to be passed (coolly) from one person to another or placed on the table without burning it. These devices were called "pipe lighter" or "smoker's brazier" and in Spanish "chofeta" and "brasero" (braserillo).
The bowl stands on four Devil masks hoofed feet legs. It was made in Cordoba (Spain) in the second half of the XVIII century by the famous silversmith Damian de Castro.
Silversmith Damian de Castro (Cordoba, 1716 -1793) worked in Cordoba and is the most important representative of -rococo' cordobes- style that revivified the city of Cordoba's silversmithing in the second half of the XVIII century. The style was imitated also by Sevillian silversmiths and Cordoba's production spread all over Spain.
Damian de Castro qualified as master of the guild of goldsmiths in Cordoba in 1736, was appointed Cathedral Goldsmith in 1761 and substitute assayer of Cordoba from february 1758 to february 1759.
His work is characterized by the use of extended and twisted shafts and the Rococo ornamentation in his work takes the form of lively scrolls in high relief.
His personal hallmark is the name CAS TRO divided in two parts and included within a square.
Among known works of Damian de Castro are:
- pyx , Cordoba, Mezquita, 1761
- monstrance, La Orotava, Tenerife, Concepcion Church, 1768
- goblet, Segovia's Cathedral, 1769/72
- goblet, patena and spoon in Santa Maria de Benafarces Church (Valladolid), 1788
- candlesticks, snuff box and cup with handle, in private collections.
His work had such a decisive influence on goldsmithing in Cordoba in the late 18th century that the adoption of Neoclassicism there was retarded.
This bowl measures 5 in. (cm. 13) plus 6 inches (cm. 15) for the handles and was bought by a U.K. dealer through the Internet.
This item is not for sale, but most of my pieces were bought through the Internet. On the right bar of this page there are some advertisings of websites of silver and antique dealers
most of informations regarding ember bowl were obtained from
Robert L. Downing website, where you'll may find all you wish to know about ember bowls |
Most of informations on Damian de Castro silversmith were kindly supplied by Josť L. Munoz