A fine quality antique sterling silver salt cellar modelled in the form of a mermaid draped in a fishing net and holding a giant sea shell. Heavy cast silver. Original gilt finish. Hand engraved inside the bowl of the salt is a stylistic monogram below a ducal coronet. Weight 354 grams, 11.3 troy ounces. Height 5.5 cms. Width 9.5 cms. Depth 9 cms. London 1838. Maker Robert Garrard. Matches #9037 pair of salts.
Biography – The company that was to become Garrard was founded by George Wickes (1698–1761), who entered his mark in Goldsmiths Hall in 1722 when he set up business in Threadneedle Street in the City of London. The company moved to Panton Street off Haymarket in central London in 1735 as a goldsmith and provider of jewellery and other luxury items to aristocratic patrons. Wickes was an accomplished silversmith known for his work in the rococo style, and gained the patronage of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Two apprentices of Wickes, John Parker and Edward Wakelin, purchased the company following Wickes’ retirement in 1760, replaced by John Wakelin and William Taylor in 1776. Following the death of William Taylor, Robert Garrard became a partner in the company in 1792. Garrard took sole control of the firm in 1802, with his sons Robert Garrard II, James and Sebastian succeeding him in running the company, trading as RJ & S Garrard (Robert Garrard & Brothers) until James’ retirement in 1835, when the company became R & S Garrard. The company remained in the hands of the Garrard family until the death of Sebastian Henry Garrard, great-grandson of Robert Garrard senior, in 1946. The name Garrard & Company Ltd was registered in 1909, and the company moved to new premises in Albemarle Street in central London in 1911.
In 1843, Queen Victoria appointed Garrard to the position of Crown Jewellers, leading to the production of numerous pieces of silverware and jewellery for the Royal Family, as well as the upkeep of the Crown Jewels.