Large size and very impressive. A rare antique silver salver, of unusual square waisted form with gadroon borders and shell corners. Heavy gauge silver. The outside centre has a traditional shell and foliate engraved theme with shells and a crest to each corner. Engraved to the centre is a marriage coat of arms with an “escutcheon of pretence”, and the motto “Laudabunt Alii Rhodon” circa 1790. The engraved mantling, of an unfurling ruffle of cloth, is very striking and contemporary to the arms.
Weight 2190 grams, 70.4 troy ounces.
Height 4.5cm. Width 40cm.
Maker Edward Wakelin.
Arms. Heraldic heiress. In English heraldry, an heraldic heiress is a daughter of deceased man who was entitled to a coat of arms (an armiger) and who carries forward the right to those arms for the benefit of her future male descendants. This carrying forward only applies if she has no brothers or other male relatives alive who would inherit the arms on the death of the holder.
Marriage Arms. If a heraldic heiress marries an armiger, then, rather than impaling her arms on the sinister side of his as would be usual in the marriage of a woman whose father bore arms, she instead displays her father’s arms on a small shield over the centre of his shield – an “escutcheon of pretence” – for as long as there is no blood male in her extended family. Her husband never owns her inherited arms, and they cannot pass on his death to any of his sons who are not also hers.
Edward Wakelin, apprenticed to John le Sage June 1730, free 1748. By 1747 he had joined the famous George Wickes at Panton Street, entered his first mark (2 sizes) which was almost indistinguishable from the mark of George Wickes, and during the period 1747-1760 Wakelin took virtual charge of the silver side of Wickes’ business. By 1752, Wickes was already making retirement plans although the formal date of the hand over to Wakelin, and his new partner, John Parker I was dated 1760.
Wakelin, in partnership with John Parker I, entered a new mark circa 1758-1761 where Parker’s initials appear above Wakelin’s, suggesting that he became the senior partner at this point. John Parker I and Edward Wakelin retired in 1777 and the business was continued by John Wakelin, Edward’s son, and William Taylor.
Edward Wakelin was a man of extraordinary business acumen. He bought into an established business and possessed the ability to ensure its continued success. He employed talented, but mainly anonymous silversmiths at Panton Street, outsourcing what he was unable to make. Two of these highly skilled silversmiths were James Ansill and Stephen Gilbert, former apprentices of George Wickes, who never entered a mark while working for Parker and Wakelin, but in 1780 Stephen Gilbert entered a mark in partnership with Andrew Fogelberg that continued until 1793. It is highly probable that Sebastian and James Crespel learnt their trade under Edward Wakelin and there was a definite financial connection between the Crespels and Wakelin and Parker.