A rococo sauce boat of shell form with snake handle on a single ‘rocaille’ foot, made in London in 1747.
Although this piece carries no maker’s mark, stylistic features suggest that it was probably made by Nicholas Sprimont (active as a silversmith 1743-47) or a close associate. It is identical to a pair hallmarked 1761 in the Ashmolean museum, by William Robertson of London (see item 158 of Timothy Schroder’s “British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean Museum” , pp. 406-407). Schroder states of the Robertson pair, that ‘the design follows one established in the mid-1740s by Paul Crespin and Nicholas Sprimont… [and that] … a similar model (inverted) was used by De Lamerie for a distinctive salt-cellar design of 1739’. William Robertson, of whom very little is known, is not recorded as registering his first mark until 1753 and so is unlikely to have made this .