Antique Charles II Silver Boxes


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Object Description

A very rare matching pair of early antique silver boxes of octagonal form, with pull off tops, dating from the reign of King Charles II. Good size and weight. Sterling silver. Simple plain form with a large hand engraved armorial within tied plumage feathers, very typical of the date. Superb antique colour. At this date boxes of this type would have originally been part of an extensive toilet service.

Total weight 645 grams, 20.7 troy ounces.

Height 6.3 cm. Width of top 12.7/13.5 cm.

London 1675.

Maker’s mark “B” – see Jackson’s page 133*.

Object Literature

Fire at Goldsmiths Hall. *It is unusual to have a maker’s name for a piece of silver of this early date as there are no precise records of silver makers’ marks prior to 1697. All records were destroyed in the fire at Goldsmiths Hall in 1681 when the Assay Office and apartments of the Assayer and Clerk in the south west wing of the building were burned down. From 1697 onwards Goldsmiths Hall has preserved a complete record of workmen’s marks, addresses, together with their names and the dates. Sometimes the details of makers can be discovered from old records such as the inventories of noble houses and other institutions.

The first surviving record at Goldsmiths Hall is the 1682 copper plate made to start the recording process again. This has recently prompted a study by Dr David Mitchell, supported by Goldsmiths Hall, resulting in the publication of his 2017 “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”. This reference work identifies previously unknown makers marks and assigns marks struck on existing plate to individuals (attributions for 540 separate marks).

Object Condition

The boxes are in good but used condition. Fine antique patina. Both bases are fully stamped below the lid and inside the body with English silver hallmarks. There are some minor dinks and unevenness compatible with their age. There have been some old repairs to the seams. A past restoration to the lid of Box 1 can be seen on the central vertical line of the shield and explains the shallow clarity of the silver hallmarks below the lid.

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.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)207 288 1939
+44 (0)7904 297419

Dealer Location

Vault 31-32
The London Silver Vaults
53-64 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1QS

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