Messrs. Elkington and Co. have recently manufactured at their Birmingham establishment a very elaborate casket intended to contain an address to Mr. Alderman Walker, the late Mayor of Liverpool. The casket, designed by Mr. Williams, is a work of great importance and rare merit, both as regards its size and as a specimen of art metal work. At the base it measures about twenty-seven inches by twenty-one. The material is silver, " parcel " gilt, and enriched with very choicely-finished enamels. The necessity of including a model of the building in the memorial necessarily determined the general character of the design. As the model crowns it, the casket is arranged so as to resemble an architectural plateau, rising by successive stages to the flat, which supports the model of the Gallery. The base is enriched all round with groups of children, modelled from the famous designs of Fiamingo, and executed in repousse, in oxidised silver. At each of the four corners is a mermaid, emblematic of the maritime character of Liverpool. In the centre of the front is a panel, bearing the arms of Liverpool, enamelled in their proper heraldic colours, and supported by winged figures, indicating the Arts and Sciences, and surmounted by the figure of the liver—the bird which forms the crest of Liverpool, and gives its name to the town. On one side of the base the arms of Mr. Walker are emblazoned on a shield in enamalled colours, on a panel; and at the opposite side the corresponding shield bears the monogram of Mr. Walker, combined with that of his wife, and surmounted by a mural crown. Above this highly enriched base—every part of which is covered with ornament—are two stages, or broad steps, plain and gilt. At the corners of these steps are statuettes of figures representing Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, indicating the world-wide trade of Liverpool ; these are exquisitely carved in ivory. On the flat of the steps we have the inscription, which is as follows : —" Model of the Walker Art Gallery ; scale 32 ft. to an inch. First stone laid by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T., on 28th September, 1874. Opened by the Right Hon. the Earl of Derby, 8th September, 1877. This casket, containing an illuminated address, was presented by his fellow-townsmen to Andrew Barclay Walker, Esq., Mayor of Liverpool, in acknowledgement of his magnificent gift to the town of the Walker Art Gallery, on its being opened." The model of the building crowns the work, and stands out conspicuously on its broad gilt plateau. The sculpture which ornaments it—statues of Raffaelle and Michael Angelo, and an emblematic group, all of them by Mr. Warrington Wood—is executed in ivory, and this charming relief is given to the general mass of the silver model. Altogether the whole work is a triumph of skilful design and of ingenious execution. The ornamental silver enrichments are as perfect as art could make them, the ivory carvings are exquisite in their delicacy and grace, and the enamels challenge comparison with the best works of their kind.
Source: The Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmith - 5th January 1878