Early 19th Century Regency Derby pair of vases, the everted rim with gilt band against white ground raised over baluster body of green ground and gilt cartouche depicting polychrome foliate motif flanked with twin parcel gilt handles of a swan supported on outscrolling socle with egg and dart motif and gilt banding, circa 1820.
Provenance: Lord Leverhulme
William Hesketh Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme (19 September 1851 – 7 May 1925) was an English industrialist, philanthropist, and politician. In 1886, together with his brother, James, he established Lever Brothers which is now part of the Anglo-Dutch transnational business Unilever. In politics, Lever briefly sat as a Liberal MP for Wirral and later, as Lord Leverhulme, in the House of Lords as a Peer. He was elevated to the viscountcy on 27 November 1922.
An aspiring patron of the arts, Lever began collecting artworks in 1893 when he bought a painting by Edmund Leighton. Lever’s rival in the soap industry, A & F Pears, had taken the lead in using art for marketing by buying paintings such as “Bubbles” by John Everett Millais to promote its products. Lever’s response was to acquire similarly illustrative works, and he later bought ‘The New Frock’ by William Powell Frith to promote the Sunlight soap brand.
In 1922 he founded the Lady Lever Art Gallery at Port Sunlight in Cheshire which he dedicated to his late wife Elizabeth. Lever was a major benefactor to his native town, Bolton, where he was made a Freeman of the County Borough in 1902. In 1899, he bought Hall i’ th’ Wood, one-time home of Samuel Crompton, and restored it as a museum for the town.