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Dutch silver wine Siphon

J.M. van Kempen III

Utrecht, 1846

228 grams; 38,8 cm long


The wine siphon consists of a long small silver pipe in u-form, with a parallel, elongated silver mouthpiece, fitted with a screwed knob and a chain. One end pierced with small dots, the other end with a detachable tapering stopper with facetted knob engraved with Greek key motif. The open worked grip is placed on a dice-formed ornament with rosette. The marks are struck at both ends and at the grip.


The earliest Dutch wine siphons date from the end of the eighteenth century. By using a wine siphon the wine in a bottle could be separated from its residue. In first part of the nineteenth century wine siphons, made and supplied by several silversmiths, could be purchased at Bennewitz & Bonebakker in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam master silversmith Helweg used to make wine siphons in the ‘30s and 40s of the nineteenth century. The one he made in 1847 is registered in literature (Van Benthem 2005). In the second half of the nineteenth century there was less demand for wine siphons. Not many have remained.


Johannes Mattheus van Kempen III (1814-1877) was born into a family of silversmiths. His grandfather and father, who both were his namesakes, were also silversmiths. After his father in 1831 and his grandfather in 1833 had died, he bought his own premises at Choorstraat 32 in Utrecht in 1835, in the same street where his mother and her new husband continued his father’s workshop till 1840. Within twenty years his company increased to fifty employees. Therefore, he had to look for other premises, which could be found outside Utrecht, in Voorschoten near The Hague.


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Associate literature:

-Tentoonstellingscatalogus Mensen in Zilver, bijna twee eeuwen werken voor Van Kempen & Begeer, Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam/De Zonnehof, Amersfoort, 1975-1976.

-Barend J.van Benthem, De werkmeesters van Bennewitz en Bonebakker, Amsterdams grootzilver uit de eerste helft van de 19de eeuw, Zwolle, 2005