A Fine and Impressive William III Bronze Mortar
Having wonderful proportions, this much documented late 17th century mortar is cast for William Brainch, the date 1699 and the motto “God Direckt Mee in My Beginning”.
It is reasonable to suppose that William Brainch was an apothecary by trade, hence asking for God’s guidance in the making up of his pills and potions, together with the size of the mortar, which is larger than necessary for domestic use.
Note the very fine fleur de lys which surround the date.
This mortar was cast at the Rudhall Foundry in Gloucester by Abraham Rudhall I (fl. 1684-1718). In his excellent book “English Decorated Bronze Mortars and their Makers”, Michael Finlay discusses the Rudhall Foundry at length and illustrates this mortar on page 39, image 44.
Recent provenance – the Adler Collection of European Sculpture, Works of Art and Early Furniture, sold Sotheby’s, London, 24th February 2005, lot 131.
Height 9.25 inches.