George II Silver Cruet Set
Maker: Elizabeth Godfrey
A rare early English silver cruet with two bottles for oil and vinegar and a small silver castor or pepperette....Buy NowEnquire
A rare early English silver cruet with two bottles for oil and vinegar and a small silver castor or pepperette. Excellent weight and large size. The heavy cut crystal bottles have multi-faceted cut decoration, typical of the period. The silver frame has an acanthus scroll carrying handle and side supports for the bottle tops and pepperette. The top of the frame has a hand engraved armorial which matches those on the bottle tops.
Total weight of silver 955 grams, 30.7 troy ounces.
Height 23.5cm (overall), 20.7cm (bottle), 9.5cm (pepper). Base measures 19.3 x 16.3cm.
Maker Elizabeth Godfrey, a highly respected Huguenot lady silversmith.
Marks. Stamped underneath the stand with a full set of English silver hallmarks, the base of the pepper with maker and lion marks.
Literature. The earliest antique silver Cruet frames, containing 3 castors and 2 glass bottles, were made from c.1700 onwards. At this early date the two bottle Oil and Vinegar frame was occasionally produced although these were more popular on the continent.
All the silver and crystal bottles are in very good condition. Fully matching and original.
Maker: 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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