Pair of George II Salt Cellars by Paul de Lamerie
Maker: Paul de Lamerie
A pair of superb quality silver salts by the sought after Huguenot silversmith Paul de Lamerie. Each salt with plain...
A pair of superb quality silver salts by the sought after Huguenot silversmith Paul de Lamerie. Each salt with plain styling and gilded interior, the bodies having the original hand engraved decoration. The paw feet are mounted with magnificent lions heads; the quality and modelling of these is outstanding. Total weight 332 grams, 10.6 troy ounces. Height 4.3 cms. Diameter 6.5 cms. London 1734. Maker Paul de Lamerie.
Literature: The use of salt cellars is documented as early as classical Rome. During medieval times elaborate master salt cellars evolved which had not only a practical use but above all, a ceremonial importance, indicating the relative status of persons by their position at the table in relation to the large salt.
By 1600 the trencher salt was in use in England, replaced during the late 1730s by the more traditional circular salt standing on 3 legs. This shape remained popular until the late 18th century when the advent of the Industrial Revolution rendered both salt and salt cellars commonplace. From this time onwards silver salts were produced in a variety of forms, some with blue glass liners, and had become commonplace on the English dining table.
These rare silver salts are in very good condition with no restoration. Good patina. Original hand engraved decoration which is a bit worn. Fully stamped with clear and matching English silver hallmarks. Fully functional and original. Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
Maker: Paul de Lamerie
Paul de Lamerie (9 April 1688–1 August 1751). The Victorian and Albert Museum describes him as the "greatest silversmith working in England in the 18th century". Born in Bois-le-Duc, his French Huguenot family chose to follow William of Orange to England during the Glorious Revolution. In August 1703, de Lamerie became the apprentice to a London goldsmith of Huguenot origin, Pierre Platel (1659-1739). De Lamerie opened his own workshop in 1713 (1st mark "LA" - Britannia mark) and was appointed goldsmith to George I in 1716. 2nd mark 1733 - sterling mark). He worked in partnership with Ellis Gamble - formerly apprentice to Master William Hogarth- between 1723 and 1728. His early work is in the simple Queen Anne style, following classical French models, but de Lamerie is noted for his elaborate rococo style of the 1730s, particularly the richly-decorated works of an unidentified craftsman, the Maynard Master. Leaving his first premises in Great Windmill Street he moved to 40 Gerrard Street in 1738. Here he lived and probably had his shop, his workshops being located in one of the 48 properties he owned in the area. His customers included Tsarinas Anna and Catherine, Count Aleksey, Sir Robert Walpole, Benjamin Mildmay (Earl Fitzwalter and Viscount Harwich), the Earl of Ilchester, the Earl of Thanet, Viscount Tyrconnell, the Duke of Bedford, and other members of the English aristocracy. He also worked for King George V of Portugal. One of his productions to the Portuguese Court was a huge solid silver bath tub lost in the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake. A two-handled silver cup and cover by Paul de Lamerie, dated 1720, was among the wedding gifts of Queen Elizabeth II. Paul de Lamerie ranks as one of the stars of England’s finest period of silver. He was the most prolific silversmith of his time and his fame still lives on today.
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