The handle, formed by a winged monster, is based on an ancient Assyrian dagger given by Burges to the British MuseumThis decanter, formed from a pear-shaped bottle of glass encased in a silver mount, was designed by William Burges (1827-1881), architect, designer and a leading figure in the Gothic Revival movement.
Burges was fascinated by the architecture of Medieval Europe, but also by Islamic art and classical antiquities. The decanter is highly decorated with ancient coins and seals, semi-precious stones and engraved gems that Burges collected on his travels. The lion's head on the handle is made from mother-of-pearl, while on top sits a Chinese jade carving of two horses and a monkey.
The lid of the decanter has a silver arch with a bell that jingled when it was used. The spout is formed from a goat's head, the curling horns connecting to the main body of the decanter. Around the base, like the illustrations on a Medieval manuscript, are carvings of a lizard, a butterfly and a caterpillar, a snail, a ladybird, and a stag beetle.
The handle, formed by a winged monster, is based on an ancient Assyrian dagger given by Burges to the British Museum