8011. Victorian Presentation Shovel - Price £3,950

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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. Length 88 cms. Width 19 cms. London 1884. Maker Sibray, Hall & Co. The handle with silver mount, part marked, probably Birmingham 1888. Maker Hall & Co

Biography - 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.

Signed - 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

Condition - This unusual collectors piece is in good condition with no restoration. The engraving and embossed decoration is crisp. The silver marks are clear, the silver mount on the handle is 4 years later than the shovel piece. 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.

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 - 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”.

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