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Chats on Old Silver

Chats on Old Silver
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Title: Chats on Old Silver
Release Date: 2019-01-23
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Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
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CHATS ON
OLD SILVER


BOOKS FOR COLLECTORS

With Frontispieces and many Illustrations.

CHATS ON ENGLISH CHINA.
By Arthur Hayden.

CHATS ON OLD FURNITURE.
By Arthur Hayden.

CHATS ON OLD PRINTS.
(How to collect and value Old Engravings.)
By Arthur Hayden.

CHATS ON COSTUME.
By G. Woolliscroft Rhead.

CHATS ON OLD LACE AND NEEDLEWORK.
By E. L. Lowes.

CHATS ON ORIENTAL CHINA.
By J. F. Blacker.

CHATS ON OLD MINIATURES.
By J. J. Foster, F.S.A.

CHATS ON ENGLISH EARTHENWARE.
(Companion volume to “Chats on English China.”)
By Arthur Hayden.

CHATS ON AUTOGRAPHS.
By A. M. Broadley.

CHATS ON PEWTER.
By H. J. L. J. Massé M.A.

CHATS ON POSTAGE STAMPS.
By Fred. J. Melville.

CHATS ON OLD JEWELLERY AND TRINKETS.
By MacIver Percival.

CHATS ON COTTAGE AND FARMHOUSE FURNITURE.
(Companion volume to “Chats on Old Furniture.”)
By Arthur Hayden.

CHATS ON OLD COINS.
By Fred. W. Burgess.

CHATS ON OLD COPPER AND BRASS.
By Fred. W. Burgess.

CHATS ON HOUSEHOLD CURIOS.
By Fred. W. Burgess.

CHATS ON OLD SILVER.
By Arthur Hayden.

CHATS ON JAPANESE PRINTS.
By Arthur Davison Ficke.

CHATS ON MILITARY CURIOS.
By Stanley C. Johnson.

CHATS ON OLD CLOCKS AND WATCHES.
By Arthur Hayden.

CHATS ON ROYAL COPENHAGEN PORCELAIN.
By Arthur Hayden.

CHATS ON OLD SHEFFIELD PLATE.
(Companion volume to “Chats on Old Silver.”)
By Arthur Hayden.

CHATS ON OLD ENGLISH DRAWINGS.
By Randall Davies.

CHATS ON WEDGWOOD WARE.
By Harry Barnard.


BYE PATHS OF CURIO COLLECTING.
By Arthur Hayden.
With Frontispiece and 72 Full page Illustrations.

LONDON: T. FISHER UNWIN, LTD.
NEW YORK: F. A. STOKES COMPANY.


COFFEE-POT.

GEORGE II PERIOD, 1741.

Maker, Peter Archambo.

Frontispiece.


CHATS ON
OLD SILVER

BY
ARTHUR HAYDEN

AUTHOR OF“CHATS ON COTTAGE AND FARMHOUSE FURNITURE,” ETC.

WITH FRONTISPIECE AND
NINETY-NINE FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

TOGETHER WITH
ILLUSTRATED TABLES OF MARKS

T. FISHER UNWIN LTD
LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE


First published1915
Second Impression1917
Third Impression1919
Fourth Impression1922
Fifth Impression1925

(All rights reserved)


TO
ALFRED DAVIES,
IN REMEMBRANCE
OF OUR FRIENDSHIP


{11}

PREFACE

The study of old silver usually begins when theinquiring possessor of family plate sets himselfthe task of ascertaining the date and the probablevalue of some piece long in his family and possiblylately bequeathed to him.

With old china, and probably with old furniture,the taste for collecting is oftentimes an acquired one,but it is in the Englishman’s blood to ruminate overhis old plate, and the hall-marks of the assay officesin London and in the provinces, in Scotland andin Ireland, have been placed thereon with aforethought.The plate closet is cousin to the strong-box,inasmuch as the coin of the realm and goldand silver plate have been subjected to stringent lawsextending over a period of five hundred years. Thetechnical word “hall-mark” has become a commonterm in the language synonymous with genuineness.The strictest supervision, under the parental eyeof the law, has upheld the dignity of the silversmithsguarantees. Hence the pride of possession of oldsilver. Pictures and furniture and engravings whoseancestry is doubtful thrust themselves in the market{12}without fear of the watchful official eye. Butold silver bearing the hall-marks of ancient andhonourable guilds of silversmiths, stamped at theaccredited assay offices, is, with few exceptions,what it purports to be. It is a proud record anda splendid heritage.

In dealing with the subject of old silver in avolume of this size sufficient details have beengiven to enable the collector to identify hissilver if it be in the main stream of silversmiths’work. On the whole, except where it is necessaryin certain fields to illustrate the only examples,sumptuous specimens have been avoided in theillustrations as being outside the scope of thisvolume and the public to whom it is intended toappeal.

The collector of old silver must have a prettytaste and a fine judgment. It is not an absolutelaw that age determines beauty. Hall-marks, thoughthey denote date, do not guarantee excellence ofdesign. Everything that bears the hall-mark of theGoldsmiths’ Hall of London is not beautiful, whetherit be old or whether it be new. The connoisseurmust digest the fact that the assay marks of the lion,the leopard’s head, the date-mark, and the rest,are so many official symbols, accurate as to dateand sufficient guarantee as to the standard of themetal, but meaningless in regard to the art of thepiece on which they stand. The assay offices aremerely stamping machines. What Somerset Houseis to legal documents so the assay offices are tosilver and gold plate, and nothing more. Hence{13}the necessity of placing such mechanical controlunder Government supervision.

The excellence of a piece of plate is governedby the same laws which control all other branchesof decorative art.

Rarity is a factor not especially treated in thisvolume. Rare specimens are not necessarilybeautiful even though they be unique.

In covering so wide a field in so small a volume,much has had to be omitted. There are manyvolumes on old English silver plate, but in regard toresearch, the work of Mr. C. J. Jackson, “EnglishGoldsmiths and their Marks,” with over eleventhousand marks, stands alone and supplants allother volumes. Every collector must regard thiswork as the bible of silver-plate collecting.

I have given sufficient space to marks in thepresent volume to indicate those used by the Londonand other assay offices. Some marks are givenwhich do not appear elsewhere, and the arrangementof the tables should enable the beginner tocome to a definite conclusion as to the date of hissilver. In especial, the Table of variations in theshapes of shields in the hall-mark and standard-markemployed at the London Assay Office fromthe accession of Queen Elizabeth to the presentday, is a feature not before given in so concise aform in any other volume.

The marks on silver are stamped, the design thusappears in relief, while the edges of the shield onwhich it appears are sunk. The reproduction of thishas offered a difficulty in illustration in all volumes{14}on old silver. To print black letters or designs ona white background, although easy, is unsatisfactory.On the contrary, to print the raised design inwhite on a dead black background is not arealistic presentation of the mark as it appears tothe eye. After many experiments I have reproducedthe marks in a manner more closely approachingtheir actual appearance, and less suggestive ofblack-and-white designs on paper.

I have to express my thanks for the kind assistanceI have received in regard to photographs and waxcasts and drawings of marks, and for permission toinclude them in this volume as illustrations, to thefollowing: the authorities of the Victoria and AlbertMuseum, the British Museum, and the Royal ScottishMuseum, Edinburgh. By the courtesy of the WorshipfulCompany of Clothworkers and the WorshipfulCompany of Mercers I am enabled to reproducesome fine examples from their Halls. To LordDillon I am indebted for his courtesy in allowingthe inclusion of an interesting example in hispossession.

Messrs. Crichton Brothers have afforded me accessto their records, including the use of copyrightphotographs of specimens which have passed throughtheir hands, and courteous assistance in reproducingexamples in their possession. Messrs. Elkington& Co., and Messrs. Garrard & Co., have similarlyextended to me their practical aid; Messrs. JohnEllett Lake & Son, of Exeter, have enabled me todo justice to the art of the Exeter silversmith, andMessrs. Harris and Sinclair, of Dublin, have enriched{15}my chapter on Irish silver. I have also to acknowledgethe kindness of Messrs. Carrington & Co. forthe Frontispiece and for the fine design of an IrishDish Ring shown on the cover. Mr. A. E. Smith, myphotographer, has given exceptional care in obtaininggood results.

It is, therefore, my hope that this volume willstand as an authoritative outline history of thesubject of which it treats, that it may point theway to possessors of old silver to arrive at soundconclusions as to their heirlooms, and that it mayindicate to collectors the salient features of theirhobby.

ARTHUR HAYDEN.

January 1915.


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CONTENTS

PAGE
PREFACE11
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS19
CHAPTER I
THE MARKS STAMPED UPON SILVER23
CHAPTER II
ECCLESIASTICAL PLATE65
CHAPTER III
THE MAZER, THE STANDING CUP, THE FLAGON, THETANKARD, THE BEAKER, THE WINE CUP83
CHAPTER IV
THE SALT CELLAR139
CHAPTER V
THE SPOON177
CHAPTER VI
THE POSSET-POT, THE PORRINGER195{18}
CHAPTER VII
THE CANDLESTICK221
CHAPTER VIII
THE TEAPOT, THE COFFEE-POT, THE TEA-CADDY239
CHAPTER IX
THE CASTER, THE SUGAR-BOWL, THE CREAM-PAIL,THE CAKE-BASKET267
CHAPTER X
THE CREAM-JUG299
CHAPTER XI
SCOTTISH SILVER311
CHAPTER XII
IRISH SILVER329
APPENDIX, CONTAINING TABLES OF DATE LETTERS.LONDON (1598-1835)347

TABLE OF DIFFERENCES IN SHIELDS. LONDON(ELIZABETH TO GEORGE V)

357

ILLUSTRATIONS OF MARKS: LONDON, PROVINCIAL,SCOTTISH, AND IRISH

359
INDEX411

{19}


ILLUSTRATIONS

George II Coffee Pot, 1741. Maker, Peter Archambo.Frontispiece
PAGE
Chapter II.—Ecclesiastical Plate

Elizabethan Chalices

67

Elizabethan Chalice; Charles I Chalice

71

Charles II Cup; William III Flagons

75

Charles II and Queen Anne Patens

79

George II Communion Cup

81
Chapter III.—The Standing Cup, the Flagon, the Tankards, the Beakers,and the Wine Cup

Mazer, with inscription dated Exeter, 1490

87

The Leigh Cup and Cover, 1499

91

Cup and Cover, 1585

95

Stoneware Jug with Silver Cover and Foot, 1570

95

The Samuel Pepys Standing Cup and Cover, 1677

99

Flagon, 1572; Flagon, 1599

105

Tankards, Charles II, 1679, and William III, 1701

111

Charles II Tankards, York, 1684

111

Queen Anne Tankard, Exeter, 1705

115

Mug, 1733, and Tankard, 1748, Exeter

117

Beakers: James I, 1606; Charles I, 1631; Charles II, 1671

121

James I Wine Cup

125

Stuart Wine Cups; Seventeenth-century Candlestick

129

“Monteith” Punch-bowl, 1704

135{20}
Chapter IV.—The Salt Cellar

Hour-glass Standing Salt Cellar, 1500

143

Bell-shaped Salt Cellar, 1601

147

Circular Salt Cellar, 1638

151

Octagonal Salt Cellar, 1679, “The Sumner Salt”

155

Lambeth Delft and Rouen faience Salt Cellars

161

Group of Small Circular Salts, Queen Anne, George II, andGeorge III

165

Salts with Glass Liner, George III

167

Group of Oblong Salts with three feet, George III

167

Group of Salt Cellars, George III, showing transition

171

Group of Salt Cellars, George III, George IV, and William IV

173
Chapter V.—The Spoon

Seventeenth-century Spoons

181

Seventeenth and Eighteenth-century Spoons

185

Seventeenth and Eighteenth-century Spoons

189
Chapter VI.—The Posset-pot and the Porringer

Commonwealth Porringer, 1653

197

Charles II Posset-pot and Cover, 1662; Porringer, Silver-gilt, 1669

197

Charles II Porringer, 1666

201

Charles II Posset-cup and Cover, 1679

201

Posset-pot and Cover, 1683

205

Charles II Porringer, 1672

209

Queen Anne Porringer, Exeter, 1707

209

James II Posset-cup and Cover, 1685

213

Staffordshire Earthenware Posset-cup, dated 1685

213

Plum Broth Dish and Ladle, 1697

217
Chapter VII.—The Candlestick

Charles I Candlestick, 1637

223

Lambeth Delft Candlestick, dated 1648

223

Charles II Candlesticks, 1673

227

Snuffers and Tray, 1682

231

Candlesticks Queen Anne, 1704, 1706; George I,

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