Milk jug presented as part of a silver tea and coffee service in 1847 to William Westgarth, a Scottish merchant and financier who was returning to Britain after having played a prominent part in the civic life and affairs of the Port Phillip area from 1840-1847.

The kettle is inscribed 'Presented to William Westgarth Esquire by one hundred and twenty of his fellow colonists in testimony of their high esteem for his character and appreciation of the benefits conferred on the Province of Port Phillip by his statistical writings and other public services, 1847'.

William Westgarth had become a leading merchant and businessman in his seven years in the colony, active in the Benevolent Society and Mechanic's Institute, and written a book publicizing the colony's potential.
Westgarth returned in 1849, helped found the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce in 1851 and was a member of the first Victorian Parliament.

The silver service was made in Edinburgh by J. Mckay, circa 1846, and had probably been imported to Melbourne as a presentation piece.

Physical Description

Ornate silver milk jug, large, with impressed decoration and engraved inscription. The jug was produced as a presentation piece, as there is space on both sides for an engraved insciption to be added within the decoration. The decoration includes flowers, leaves, baskets of fruit, ribbons and scrolls. The edge of the jug is decorated with curls, and the inside is lined with gilt. Five marks are impressed under the lip of the pourer. A detailed inscription is at the front of the pot.


The silver service presented to William Westgarth is an extremely fine example of presentation ware from early colonial Melbourne and Victoria. William Westgarth was one of the key early businessmen in the colony, and a tireless promoter of the economic potential of the colony.

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