Andy McConnell, "The Decanter, An Illustrated History of Glass from 1650", 2004, p. 440, pl. 616, illustrating another early claret jug by Reily & Storer dated 1844, with an emerald-green glass body. Here glass and silver play an equal role, with silver grapevines enclosing the neck and a grapevine ring around the body, while below the spout is a large detachable vine leaf pierced with the word 'claret'.
A very beautiful pair of Victorian sterling silver mounted glass claret jugs by Charles Reily & George Storer, one of an emerald green and the other of a ruby glass body, each of baluster form, the elongated neck with trailing grapevines and body encased within a naturalistic openwork cast and chased entwined grapevine trellis, with a reeded tapering handle, the hinged cover with a grapevine finial
London, dated 1843
Fully hallmarked. Height 25.5 cm. each.
The present pair compare closely with a single Reily & Storer claret jug of 1840 (Kent Collection, America), with its ruby glass body enclosed, as here, within an openwork grapevine trellis. This style gained popularity from about 1830 onwards coinciding with the increased fascination with naturalism (which itself was a reaction against the formality of the preceding Regency style). Entwined vines with their ornate leaves and bunches of grapes were perfectly suited as ornaments for claret jugs, especially in the climate of increased naturalism. Coloured glass also became more widespread during the 1840's. This was partly due to fashion and the demand for objects of ever increasing luxury but also as a result of the developments of the British glass industry. Ruby and emerald green were the most popular colours though occasionally claret jugs came in an amber or amethyst colour.
Charles Reily and George Storer's partnership began in 1829. Together they produced superb quality pieces in a fascinatingly varied and eclectic range of designs. While their range included presentation pieces, they tended to specialize in fine quality domestic ware, especially richly cast claret jugs and figural wine coolers as well as delicately ornate snuffboxes and other small pieces. Charles Reily was the son of Mary (née Hyde) and John Reily, who were both London silversmiths. After his father's death in 1826 Charles went into partnership with his mother in Carey Lane - the same address from which he and Storer first operated. They moved to Lovel's Court Paternoster Row in 1835 but the following year returned to their original premises. Their work was retailed by other firms including S.H. & D. Gass and Reid & Sons.