George I Antique Silver Covered Sugar Bowl


Stock: 10216

Date: Circa 1719

Maker: Sarah Holaday

Country: England

A rare antique silver gilt sugar bowl of circular form raised on three pad feet. To the front and top...

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A rare antique silver gilt sugar bowl of circular form raised on three pad feet. To the front and top cover there is a finely engraved coat of arms with a coronet above for the Russell family. In the early 18th century sugar bowls or sugar boxes nearly always had covers which, when reversed, could be used as a saucer or spoon tray.

Weight 263 grams, 8.4 troy oz.
Height 9.5cm. Diameter 11cm.
Circa 1719.
Maker probably Sarah Holaday.
Britannia Standard silver purity.
18th century.

See also 10215 George I Antique Silver Hot Milk Jug

Marks. Stamped underneath with a full set of English silver hallmarks which are badly struck and very difficult to make out. The “H with a star above” is likely to be Sarah Holaday’s diamond shaped widow’s mark for Britannia Standard silver. We have no reason to doubt Michael Clayton’s “Christies” attribution of the date and maker. Scratchweight 9=8.

Provenance: The Schroder Collection of Works of Art. Illustrated in Michael Clayton’s “Christie’s Pictorial History of English & American Silver” page 120 illustration 6 – sold on 13.12.67.

Literature. Early sugar bowls, like the small size teapot, were of small capacity due to the rarity of tea. Small circular bowls from the late 17th century can occasionally be found, these were probably tea bowls originally but by 1710 the sugar bowl started to appear. These often had a cover which could be inverted for use as a saucer or spoon tray. Usually these early sugar bowls are round however octagonal examples are very rare and extremely desirable. Around 1730 larger bowls were introduced, possibly for slops. By the 1760s the swing handled sugar baskets and sweetmeat baskets were available.

Britannia Standard silver is 95.8% pure. In 1696, so extensive had become the melting and clipping of coinage that the silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares, but had to use a new higher standard, 95.8 per cent pure. 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.


The sugar bowl and cover are in very good condition. The engravings are sharp. The lid fits tightly. Very little loss to the gilding. Moderate wear commensurate with age. There is a mark inside where the foot has pushed through slightly and a small split to the body.

Maker Information

Maker: Sarah Holaday

Sarah Holaday, London silversmith, presumably Edward Holaday’s widow. Entered her diamond shaped widow's mark, in 2 sizes in 1719. 2nd (Sterling mark) 1725.

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