8619. Queen Anne Silver Plate - Sold

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A rare and beautiful early English silver alms dish. Britannia standard silver*. Simple plain design. Lovely patina and excellent original condition. Hand engraved to the border is an armorial within a decorative cartouche. Weight 570 grams, 18.3 troy ounces. Diameter 20.5 cms. Height 1.5 cms. London 1707. Maker David Willaume, an important Huguenot maker.

Biography - David Willaume, Huguenot maker, born 7 June 1658, son of Adam Willaume, goldsmith of Metz on the Pont des Morts. His first mention in London was in 1686 at the Windsor Castle, Charing Cross. Married Marie Mettayer 1690. Free 1693/94 as David Williams. First mark as largeworker undated probably 1697. Second and third marks 1719. His children were Anne, born 1691, wife of David Tanqueray, David, born 1693, and Adam and Suzanne, born 1694 and 1696, died in infancy. Willaume seems to have retired about 1728 (when David II entered a mark of distinctly different type to his father) and he purchased the Manor of Tingrith, Bedfordshire. Died circa 1741. David Willaume I was an important silversmith and enjoyed the patronage of the wealthiest clients in England. His many outstanding pieces display the highest qualities of rich design and impeccable execution. Among his impressive list of important works are the magnificent pair of wine coolers (Duke of Devonshire), the Luton Hoo toilet service, the pair of ivory mounted vases (British Museum), and the punchbowl and cover (Trinity Hall, Cambridge). 

David Willaume II, apprenticed to his father the master Hugeunot silversmith David Willaume I in 1707, free 1723. First and 2nd marks entered as largeworker in 1728, roughly the time of his father’s retirement. 3rd mark 1739. He became High Sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1737. Goldsmith to the King 1744 and 1746. Died 1761.

Condition - This silver dish is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. The armorial engraving is still sharp. It has a full set of clear English silver hallmarks stamped to the reverse (slightly rubbed). There is some light surface scratching from used over the years.

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.

Literature - *Britannia Standard silver. 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. Britannia standard silver still continues to be produced even today.

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