waxantiques

Elizabeth Godfrey

Eliza didn’t have a formal apprenticeship, instead she must have learnt her trade as a child in the family’s London workshop belonging to her father Simon Pantin (born c.1680 died 1728). Pantin was a leading Huguenot goldsmith with a prestigious clientele and examples of his fine work can be seen in major museums and collections worldwide.

Eliza’s marriage in 1720 to London silversmith Abraham Buteaux (born 1698), godson of David Pantin, will have allowed her to continue her craft skills. It’s likely that Buteaux worked with one of the Huguenot workshops, and his work bears similarity to that of Simon Pantin – mainly plain cups, other hollow-ware and salvers. When Buteaux died in circa 1731 Eliza continued the business and entered her own widow’s mark as Elizabeth Buteaux.

The following year in 1732 Eliza married Benjamin Godfrey, Abraham Buteaux’s former journeyman, and Godfrey entered his first mark. His work displays strong Huguenot influences in design and fine execution, just as one would expect from such a prestigious family workshop, his later works incorporating rococo designs. Godfrey appears to have died in 1741 when Eliza entered her second widow’s mark as Elizabeth Godfrey. She was active until at least 1766 and her work was known for its high quality and sophisticated style. Her trade card described herself as “Goldsmith, Silversmith and Jeweller to the Duke of Cumberland” and her success is evident by the considerable quality and quantity of her surviving work.

A significant number of strong and powerful female silversmiths achieved successful careers during the 18th century, a time when women enjoyed very few rights, especially in a male dominated industry. The Goldsmith’s Company records 63 women silversmiths working between 1697 and the Victorian era.

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Elizabeth Godfrey

Eliza didn’t have a formal apprenticeship, instead she must have learnt her trade as a child in the family’s London workshop belonging to her father Simon Pantin (born c.1680 died 1728). Pantin was a leading Huguenot goldsmith with a prestigious clientele and examples of his fine work can be seen in major museums and collections worldwide.

Eliza’s marriage in 1720 to London silversmith Abraham Buteaux (born 1698), godson of David Pantin, will have allowed her to continue her craft skills. It’s likely that Buteaux worked with one of the Huguenot workshops, and his work bears similarity to that of Simon Pantin – mainly plain cups, other hollow-ware and salvers. When Buteaux died in circa 1731 Eliza continued the business and entered her own widow’s mark as Elizabeth Buteaux.

The following year in 1732 Eliza married Benjamin Godfrey, Abraham Buteaux’s former journeyman, and Godfrey entered his first mark. His work displays strong Huguenot influences in design and fine execution, just as one would expect from such a prestigious family workshop, his later works incorporating rococo designs. Godfrey appears to have died in 1741 when Eliza entered her second widow’s mark as Elizabeth Godfrey. She was active until at least 1766 and her work was known for its high quality and sophisticated style. Her trade card described herself as “Goldsmith, Silversmith and Jeweller to the Duke of Cumberland” and her success is evident by the considerable quality and quantity of her surviving work.

A significant number of strong and powerful female silversmiths achieved successful careers during the 18th century, a time when women enjoyed very few rights, especially in a male dominated industry. The Goldsmith’s Company records 63 women silversmiths working between 1697 and the Victorian era.

  • 1758

    Elizabeth Godfrey

    9843 George II Silver Salver

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    Excellent large size. A fine early English salver with the square form and plain styling typical of the period. The hand engraved border has a detailed band of scrolls, shells and matting with mythical face masks to the corners and erupting volcanoes to the sides. To the centre is a family coat of arms within a decorative cartouche. Weight 2194 grams, 70.5 troy ounces. Height 3 cm. Diameter 40 cm. London 1758. Maker Elizabeth Godfrey, whose Huguenot origins can be seen in this piece.

  • 1741

    Elizabeth Godfrey

    9910 Set of 4 George II Antique Silver Candlesticks

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    An exceptional set of antique silver candlesticks in the French Huguenot taste. Fine quality and made of heavy gauge cast silver. The early rococo style bases are decorated with seashells, flowers and scrolls. Total weight 2,444 grams, 78.5 troy ounces. Height 20.3cm. Diameter of base 12.3cm. London 1741. Maker Elizabeth Godfrey.

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