A Danish Régence miniature silver watering can, later engraved with crowned monogram DSL. Maker Alex Johannes Krøyer, mark AK 1720, Copenhagen townmark 1721. Weight 193 gr. H. 10.5 cm.
Illustrated and discussed in ABR Preview III, p. 36.
“The wonderful watering can by Jesper Bruun Rasmussen, 1983”
Until a few years ago, I was not aware that water jugs made of silver even existed in the 18th century. It was during an evaluation event at a manor house in Zealand that I discovered, for the first time, that they indeed did. The wonderful watering can was made in 1721, in Copenhagen, by the silver smith Axel Johannes Krøyer. Engraved with a crowned monogram and LDS, the initials of a member of the family Danneskiold-Samsøe, it originally came from Gisselfeld Castle. A while later, the watering can was consigned for auction. There was much skepticism regarding this particular piece of silver. Some silver connoisseurs were of the opinion that it was a tea caddy, only later changed into a watering can, but the reverse was inscribed with scratch weight 13 lod 1 quint and 1 ort (which adds up to 194 g), and this accurately represents the weight of the watering can. Therefore, the theory that the handle and spout should have been added on to a tea caddy at a later date, does not apply. The owner of the watering can thought it had probably been used as a sort of spicebox. However, the tiny size of holes in the spreader of the spout would have been almost impossible to sprinkle the spice. The possibility that one would have used it as a watering can, of course still exist. Since it was only about 10 cm high, it would have been a very slow process to water the houseplants with it, for it would have needed constant refilling. Personally, I leaned more towards the theory that it was a gift made for a special occasion, either to a gardener's wife, or perhaps a young girl who was very enthusiastic about gardening. It was a charming, symbolic piece that had nothing to do with practical use. The watering can was sold, shortly hereafter a lady came and showed me a similar watering can made by Sivert Thorsteinsson in Copenhagen in 1743.