A Victorian teapot in sterling silver by London makers Daniel and Charles Houle with an ivory finial - a presentation piece. Hallmarked for London, 1874.
This piece was presented to a 27 year old Walter Gray as 'A Token of Faithful Service' for his work as a steward at Keble College in 1874, the year of his marriage to Emily Alive Savage of Bennington in Hertfordshire.
Through independent education, Gray would go on to make a fortune in property development while continuing his work as a steward of Keble College for quite a few years.
In 1888 he was elected Mayor of Oxford, and was re-elected mayor three more times before his death. Gray was knighted by King Edward VII in 1903 and today is considered by some to be the Father of English Conservatism.
Sir Walter Gray went on holiday to Northumberland in 1918 to get over the disappointment of being rejected for parliament by the Tory selection committee, but died there.
What a joy it is to be in possession of something this beautiful from the early life of a great historical figure.