We are listing these extremely rare very unusually mask or face decorated circa 1730 Georgian double monogrammed sterling silver sugar nips (or tea tongs, as they were known in the 1700s) by the London silversmith Henry Renaud. Sugar nips were the predecessors of cast and bow shaped tongs (which continue to the present day), and it is very rare to find a pair this early with mask or face decorations (in this case on the outside of the bowls). The nips have different very striking raised masks or faces on the outside of their bowls, they are incised on both sides of their hinge with different ornate cursive monograms, marked on the top of one shaft with a lion passant, and marked inside one finger ring with an HR maker's mark with a crown above it. This mark was registered in 1727 by London silversmith Henry Renaud (see page 84 of Grimwade's London Goldsmiths 1697-1837). The reference book on nips, Eighteenth Century Silver Tea Tongs (whose author also has the silverteatongs website), cites only four known pairs of nips with this mark (and certainly none with these unusual bowl decorations), so obviously this is a very rare pair. The nips are 4.5 inches long, weigh 1 ounce, they are double monogrammed, uniquely decorated, and in very good condition. Almost all surviving nips have been repaired (due to their fragile designs), but I see no obvious evidence of repairs on this pair. Please view the closeup pictures and judge for yourself (the nips have not been professionally polished). An extremely rarely seen uniquely decorated very early pair of Georgian nips.

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