Victorian Presentation Shovel


Stock: 8011

Date: 1884

Maker: Sibray‚ Hall & Co

Country: England

Superb quality antique silver commemorative shovel with carved mahogany handle. Very interesting railway inscription. The decorative silver mounts have intricate...

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Superb quality antique silver commemorative shovel with carved mahogany handle. Very interesting railway inscription. The decorative silver mounts have intricate engraved borders and deeply chased decoration with flowers and leaves. Fascinating collector’s piece and an intriguing interior design item.

Length 88cm. Width 19cm.
London 1884.
Maker Sibray, Hall & Co.
Sterling silver.

Marks. Stamped on the spade with a full set of clear English silver hallmarks for 1884, made by Sibray, Hall & Co. The handle bears a silver mount, part marked for 1888 (probably), maker Hall & Co.

Literature: A presentation trowel was traditionally given to commemorate laying the foundation stone of a building. It should bear an inscription with the name of the dignitary laying the stone, the building and the date of commencement (or completion) of the project. Special examples can sometimes have an engraved representation of the building. On rare occasions a life size presentation shovel was given to commemorate “the turning of the first sod”.

Signed/Inscribed: Inscription – Foreign Cattle Market – This spade was used by Thomas Briggs Esq – Chairman of the Cattle Markets Committee of the Corporation of London – in turning the first sod for the New Railway 13th December 1898 Sir John Wolfe Barry KCB FRS engineer J. Strachan contractor


This unusual collectors piece is in good condition. The engraving and embossed decoration is crisp. The silver has a full ripples where the spade has been used. The mahogany wood is in good condition with no splits, just a few minor scuffs.

Maker Information

Maker: Sibray‚ Hall & Co

Sibray Hall was founded in Sheffield by Frederick Sibray and Job Frank Hall, active as manufacturing silversmiths and electroplaters at Fitzwalter Works, 111 St Mary's Road and had London showrooms at 30 Ely Place, Holborn (c. 1890). On Frederick Sibray’s death in 1891 Charles Clement Pilling entered into partnership with Job Frank Hall until (1896) becoming the limited liability company Sibray, Hall & Co Ltd. F.J. Hall retired (c. 1900) and ownership transferred to C.C. Pilling. The firm displayed its silverware (dessert services, trophies and shields, cups and bowls, tea and coffee services, etc.) at the Jewellers' Exhibition of 1912.

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