Antique Victorian Silver Plated Gallery Tray Lee & Wigfull Circa 1880

GBP 775.00

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Object Description

This is a lovely superb quality antique Victorian silver plated on copper gallery tray bearing the makers mark of the renowned silversmith L&W for Lee & Wigfull, Sheffield, England, Circa 1880.

This shaped rectangular tray has cut off corners with a decorative pierced fretwork gallery, wondeful engraved foliate decoration and a shaped handle to each side.

The quality and craftsmanship throughout the piece are truly second to none.

In excellent condition with clear makers marks and no dings, dents or signs of repair. Please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 9 cm x Width 57 cm x Depth 40 cm

Dimensions in inches:
Height 3 inches x Width 1 foot, 10 inches x Depth 1 foot, 4 inches


This enterprise, which manufactured silver, electro-plate, Britannia wares and cutlery, was apparently founded in 1871, when it was listed at Charlotte Street Works, with George Shadford Lee as the senior partner. The other partner was Henry (‘Harry’) Wigfull (1845-1908). The latter was the son of Joshua Wigfull (1810-1877) and his wife, Ann. Joshua was a prosperous miller, maltster, and corn dealer, who operated Sheaf Corn Mills, Forge Lane. He left under £25,000 and had six sons. Two of them, Richard Wigfull (1838-1904) and Thomas Dickon Wigfull (1843-1891), took over the family firm. Richard eventually became a brewer and left a fortune of £151,886. Meanwhile, Henry began working as a Britannia metal smith.
In 1877, Lee & Wigfull registered the silver mark ‘GSL/HW’ from John Street Works, Highfield. Two years later, the Lee & Wigfull partnership ended, and Henry Wigfull registered his own silver mark ‘HW’, with the name of the business unchanged. In 1881, Henry employed 50 men and 50 women at Stag Works in John Street. In 1882, Edward S. Potter (aged 17) died at John Street after suffering horrific injuries, when he became entangled in buffing bands/pulleys. The coroner stated that he had officiated at a dozen such inquests in the last six years (Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 5 June 1882). In 1899, Lee & Wigfull became ‘Ltd’ (capital £50,000). The shares were held by Henry and his family, which now included sons William Henry, Benjamin Taylor, and Joshua. The firm had a London office at Holborn Viaduct, and exported to Australasia. In 1880, Lee & Wigfull was awarded a first-class award at the Melbourne International Exhibition (Sheffield Independent, 13 July 1880). By the 1890s, the firm had agencies in Melbourne, Sydney, and Dunedin (New Zealand).

Our reference: A3814

Object Details

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