Warwick Castle Bears
(c) Vin Callcut 2002-2017. Small extracts can be used with acknowledgements to 'Oldcopper.org' website.
Helpful comments are very welcome.
The crest of the Earls of Warwick is one of many emblems that have been added to useful brass items to give them individuality and souvenir value. They were mostly sold through local hardware stores, like those for HMS Victory also featured.
These items are a change dish, three types of bedroom door knockers and a corkscrew. They all feature an earlyish emblem of good quality with a hollow back.
On the right is the back of the emblem mentioned above. On the left is the reverse of an open mould different version, probably later.
These three crumb scoops (crumbers), the bottle opener and the toasting fork all have the emblem as shown above left. None show a maker's mark.
Two letter racks of ingenious design. The one on the left has a Warwick bear letter opener in the top slot and a crinoline lady (Queen Elizabeth?) at the front. It has a Rd No of 811903 registered to Lloyd Pascal (Elpec) in 1936.
The right hand design includes a symbol for the famous Warwick Castle itself. It has a Rd No of 535916 which was registered to John Jewsbury & Co (later Peerage) in 1910. .
Here are three versions of the emblem in horse brasses. The top one seems to mounted over a Staffordshire knot but perhaps there is a better explanation.
This caddy spoon has an emblem somewhat different to the others. The 'Warwick' name is hand engraved. It is about 11.5mm (4") overall.
This is a male die that would have been used by a silversmith for stamping the image into sheet metal.
The origin of the emblem adopted by the Earls of Warwick date back to at least the 14th century. This postcard shows an illustration of an Arthurian legend with chained bear and ragged staff.
This door stop is a splendid example of brassfoundry expertise. It has a height of approximately 35cm (13 1/2")
An excellent door knocker that is better detailed and larger than most. Unusually the bear does not have the left leg raised to a climbing position. Besides the letters 'LP' set in the back casting, it bears the trademark of 'Elpec' for Lloyd Pascal & Co. and has a height of 15cm (6").
These two rare 'go-to-bed' holders for small night light tapers both have hinged heads. It is not clear whether they are intended to represent the Warwick bear in particular since the emblem of bear and ragged staff is common elsewhere in Europe. In heraldry it implied boldness and courage.