A flask designed by Victorian architect William Burges in honour of his star pupil could achieve in excess of £18,000 ($28,881) at a Wiltshire, UK auction tomorrow (May 16).
The flask was designed as a tribute to Sir Thomas Manly Deane, who studied under Burges before joining his father, Sir Thomas Newenham Deane, in practice.
Bearing the inscription "W Burges in Remembrance of Tommy Deane his pupil MDCCCLXXIV" in medieval script, the piece was likely designed by Burges to remind himself of Deane, who, at the time, was exceeding the successes of Burges' career.
The two-handled flask, glazed in a beautiful speckled turquoise, features a domed cloisonné cover set with semi-precious stones. Mounted with white metal wire-work and decorated with acorns and oak leaves, it is likely that an earlier Chinese vase was used as a base for the piece. A design for the flask is currently housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
The piece was originally estimated at £8,000-12,000, but following the auction house's discovery of the item's importance, the estimate has been upped to at least £18,000.
While predominantly working as an architect, Burgess often designed jewellery and metalwork items for himself and his friends, which were funded with his winnings from architectural competitions.
These superb items, of which the majority are missing, have previously achieved impressive results at auction. A brooch, designed as a wedding present for fellow architect John Pollard Seddon, brought £31,000 in August 2011, following an appearance on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow.
Paul Fraser Collectibles will be bringing you the results from the sale, so be sure to check back to find out how this exciting discovery fared.