This good quality crested early George III silver gilt swing handled basket was made in London in 1764 by William Plummer and measures 6.25 inches in length by 5 1/8 inches at its widest and stands 1.75 inches to the border and approx 5.25 inches with the handle raised. The border is rope twist as is the swing handle with wire work sides having wine leaves and bunches of grapes attached leading down to a solid base with lovely coat of arms and crest above with the bannered motto DEO JUVANTE , it has a collet foot below that also has a rope edge and this is where it is fully and clearly hallmarked, a beautiful basket of super quality weighing 4.70 ounces or a46 grams.
The Crest of the Family of Duff
The crest as engraved upon this George III English Silver Gilt Swing Handled Basket by William Plummer hallmarked London 1764 is that of the family of Duff. It may be blazoned as follows:
Crest: A knight denoting the ancient Macduff armed at all points on a horse at full speed in his dexter hand a sword erect all proper his jupon argent on his sinister arm a shield or charged with a lion rampant gules the visor of his helmet shut over which on a wreath of his liveries with a long mantling flowing therefrom behind him and ending in a tassel of the fourth the doubling of the third is set a demilion rampant gules holding in its dexter paw a sword erect proper1 issuing out of the wreath of the third and fourth the caparisons of the horse gules fimbriated or and thereon six shields of the last each charged with a lion rampant of the fourth
Motto: Deo juvante [By God’s assistance]
As there are no incidents of the peerage associated with this crest is shown undoubtedly this basket was in the possession of a gentleman who was a cadet of the
1 In most representations of this crest the demi-lion rampant in not shown holding a sword.
peerage family of the Duff, the Earls Fife.2 Given the date of manufacture of this basket there is a likelihood that it was in the possession of the younger sons of either William Duff, the 1st Earl Fife (born 1697 died 30th September 1763) or James Duff, the 2nd Earl Fife (born 28th September 1729 died 24th January 1809).
The Royal connection to the Duffs occurred with the marriage of a later descendant of William Duff, the 1st Earl Fife. This descendant was Alexander William George Duff, the 6th Earl Fife (born 10th November 1849 died 29th January 1912) who married HRH Princess Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar, the Princess Royal of Great Britain and Ireland (born 20th February 1867 died 4th January 1931) on the 27th July 1889. Princess Louise was the eldest daughter of HM Edward VII and his wife, Queen Alexandra. Prior to his marriage to Louise, Alexander had been created the Earl of Fife within the Peerage of the United Kingdom on the 13th July 1885. Upon his marriage, Alexander was further created the Duke of Fife and Marquess of Macduff in the County of Banff on the 29th July 1889 which was followed by Alexander being created once again the Duke of Fife and Earl of Macduff on the 24th April 1900 with an extended special remainder which encompassed their daughters and their male issue. All these peerages were within the Peerage of the United Kingdom.