An exquisite antique silver inkstand by the master craftsman John Bridge. Sterling silver with the original bright gilt finish. All contained within a boat shaped dish, this charming piece has a carrying handle surmounted by a model bee. The cut crystal inkwell sits within a decorative raised gallery, the candle holder is formed as a flower raised on a leafy stalk, and the candle snuffer nestles alongside a second flower tendril. Excellent fine quality. Weight 542 grams, 17.4 troy ounces. Height 7.8 cm. Spread 20.5 cm. Top 18.5 x 10 cm. London 1825. By the prestigious John Bridge, royal goldsmith to King George III and IV.
Biography – John Bridge, London goldsmith, apprenticed 1769 to William Rogers of Bath. Arrived in London aged 22 and became shopman at Pickett and Rundell. Date of partnership with Philip Rundell circa 1788 and the two were appointed Goldsmiths and Jewellers to the King circa 1797. In order to keep up with their prestigious orders this successful partnership started a collaboration with Paul Storr and Benjamin Smith and Storr joined the partnership from 1807-1819. John Bridge’s first mark alone was registered as plateworker (4 sizes) in 1823 after the retirement of Philip Rundell. 2nd mark (3 sizes) 1823. Bridge’s nephew John Gawler Bridge became partner in 1827 having joined the firm in 1804, free by redemption 1816, Livery 1818, Court 1831, Prime warden 1839. In 1830 Bridge formed a new firm with his nephew and Thomas Bigge which lasted until 1834. In 1842 the firm was liquidated.