Georgian Silver: 1806 Digby Scott and Benjamin Smith Creamer and Sugar Bowl
Digby Scott and Benjamin Smith, in partnership, are acknowledged as producing some of the finest silver work of the Regency period. Scott and Smith ran workshops between 1802 and 1807 in Greenwich, London and during this time were the primary silver masterpieces suppliers to Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, who were the official ‘Jeweller, Gold and Silversmiths to the Crown’ between 1798 and 1843. They were the most prestigious jewellers in London, supplying the official plate requested by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office.
Our spectacular creamer and sucrier do not bear the Rundell, Bridge and Rundell retailer's mark, so they must have been sold directly by Scott and Smith. The two pieces are hallmarked for London 1806, with the king's portrait indicating tax payment. The sponsor's mark is in the centre of the hallmarks.
The creamer weighs 328 grams. It is 9 cm tall and 15.5 cm wide. The sucrier is 606 grams, and is 10 cm tall and 21.5 cm wide. Both are girdled by an applied band of reeding encircled with grapevine. The handles for each are modelled as pairs of serpents. There is residual gilding inside each piece. There a few small uneven dents(?) visible inside the jug behind the applied band, either from manufacture or later repair: not visible on the outside band.
Each is engraved with a crest surmounting a monogramme. The crest is a bird, and the monogramme is, I think, ET or ES. The crest is a bird on a coronet, listed by Fairbairn as being possessed by Belfarge, Belfrage, Dighton, Kirkeland, Kirkland, Skynner, Lownde, and Willyams families. There is no motto or shield on the silver to narrow it down. I do not recognise the rendition of a jewelled coronet with three strawberry leaves as British. They came from an Irish family.
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