Width: 10 1/2" 26.5cm
Depth: 6" 15cm
The brass finial topped lids above rectangular shaped urns, with scrolling arms, supported on similarly shaped plinths.
The floral decoration, which is in gold, silver, red and blue is of outstanding quality and in excellent condition.
Hot chestnut urns, which were fashionable in the late Eighteenth century and early Nineteenth century in Britain and were usually made in a distinctive Neo-Classical style. They were used to carry boiled or roasted Spanish chestnuts from the hearth to the table and when not in use formed part of the furnishings of a dining room.
The urn is decorated by a process known as japanning. This was an imitation of East Asian lacquer widely used on furniture and base-metal wares from the 17th to the 19th centuries.
A series of coats of black asphaltum varnish were applied to the surface of the urn, which was then dried in an oven, which effectively baked them on to the surface. This was then heightened with gold, often with popular chinoiserie designs.
The process was first developed at Bilston in Staffordshire, but was also used in Monmouthshire at Pontypool and Usk.