lot 9

A Victorian novelty electroplated pepper pot, maker's mark of W.W.H, with a design lozenge for 28 January 1878, modelled as an obelisk with hieroglyphs, pierced top, on a spread square base, height 10.5cm. The London obelisk, known as Cleopatra's Needle is in the City of Westminster, on the Victoria Embankment near the Golden Jubilee Bridges. It was originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, around 1450 BC. In 1819, Muhammad Ali Pasha gave Britain the obelisk as a gift. However, Britain's Prime Minister at the time, Robert Jenkinson, hesitated on having it brought to the country due to shipping expenses. It remained in Alexandria until October 1877 when its transport to London was funded by William James Erasmus Wilson. This pepper pot was probably commissioned to celebrate its arrival in the United Kingdom.