George I Antique Silver Bell


Stock: 10384

Date: 1701 - 1720

Maker: David Greene

Country: England

A rare early English silver hand bell from the early 1700’s. Lovely plain style with concentric bands around the centre...

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A rare early English silver hand bell from the early 1700’s. Lovely plain style with concentric bands around the centre and bottom rim. Heavy cast silver.Owner’s initials “MP” engraved to the top of the handle.

Weight 207g, 6.6 troy oz.
Height 13.3cm. Diameter 6.7cm.
London circa 1701-1720.
Maker David Green.
Britannia Standard silver, 95.8% purity.

This lovely bell is a very rare piece of early English silver. It could either have been made to stand alone on a desk or table, or it may have been a detachable part of an inkstand.

Marks. Stamped twice inside the crown of the bell, with the maker’s mark for David Green. This is his “New Standard” mark, see Jackson’s “Silver and Gold Marks” page 165, entered in 1701 which was superseded by his “Sterling” mark entered in 1720. The clapper is unmarked.
Britannia Standard. In 1696, the silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares, but had to use a new higher standard, 95.8 per cent. New hallmarks were ordered, “the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia” and the lion’s head erased (torn off at the neck) replacing the lion passant and the leopard’s head crowned. This continued until the old standard of 92.5 per cent was restored in 1720.

Literature. English silver table bells can date to as early as the early 1700’s. They are very rare. The standalone table bells are fully marked close to the lower rim, on either the inside or outside of the bell. Some early 18th century inkstands had a bell, which was used to call the servant when the letter was ready for dispatch; detachable parts such as these would have been struck solely with the maker and lion marks.


The table bell is in very good condition. With a small amount of surface pitting and moderate signs of wear commensurate with age.

Maker Information

Maker: David Greene

David Greene, London silversmith, apprenticed to Thomas Gardner 1691, turned over to Joseph Bird, free 1699 or 1700. 1st mark as largeworker 1701. 2nd (sterling mark) 1720. His mark is usually found on candlesticks and tapersticks, as did his master Joseph Bird.

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