Antique George II Silver Strawberry Dish
Date: Circa 1735
Maker: Benjamin Godfrey
A fine quality antique silver strawberry dish of circular form and raised on cast shaped feet. Ribbed and scalloped border....
A fine quality antique silver strawberry dish of circular form and raised on cast shaped feet. Ribbed and scalloped border. Good weight and patina. The surface and border are hand engraved with a well executed decoration of shells and scrolls, typical of the period and displaying the Huguenot influence associated with this maker. To the centre is an excellent armorial within a decorative cartouche. This could also be used as a salver or small tray.
Weight 715 grams, 22.9 troy ounces. Scratch weight 23=6.
Diameter 24 cm, inner diameter 19.5 cm. Height 4 cm.
Maker’s mark only for Benjamin Godfrey.
Marks. Stamped underneath with the makers mark for Benjamin Godfrey and an incuse crown struck 3 times (unidentified).
Literature. Antique Silver Dishes were originally made for very specific purposes such as the shell “butter” dishes and scalloped “strawberry dishes” (also known as “salad dishes”) which first appeared in the early 1700’s.
Very good condition. Stamped underneath with the makers mark for Benjamin Godfrey and an incuse crown struck 3 times (unidentified). The engravings still have good definition. The scratch weight is also engraved underneath.
Maker: Benjamin Godfrey
Benjamin Godfrey (1699-1741) was apprenticed to John Craig the Westminster jeweller in 1716 for 7 years. In 1729 he acquired a jeweller’s premises in Norris St, just 18 months before the goldsmiths Abraham Buteux and his wife Elizabeth (Eliza) moved their silver manufactory to Norris St. When Buteux died in 1731 his widow Eliza (daughter of Simon Pantin) continued the family business and several months later in 1732 she and Benjamin were married. Benjamin was not a Huguenot but born to an affluent English family with cousins in the aristocracy. He continued both the retail jeweller’s shop and the silversmith’s premises in Norris St and despite having no experience of silvermaking he entered marks at Goldsmiths Hall as a largeworker, presumably for use by Eliza. 1st mark in 1732, 2nd and 3rd marks in 1739. When Benjamin died in died 1741 Eliza entered her own widow’s mark. The Godfreys’ work displays strong Huguenot influences in design and fine execution, their later works incorporating rococo designs. Just as one would expect from a family background such as Eliza’s. biography extracted from Sandra Robinson's "Simon Pantin & His Children"
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