William III Antique Silver Bowl


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Object Description

An outstanding antique silver monteith bowl complete with the original detachable collar with castellated scroll border and cherub heads. Excellent size and proportions. The body decoration is typical for a monteith of the period 1690-1702 and has a series of asymmetrical tear shaped panels interspersed with unusual foliate “face” motifs; all on an intricately hand chased matted background. The lions mask side handles are beautifully modelled.

Weight 1780 grams, 57.2 troy ounces.
Height 21.4cm (with Monteith collar), 15.6cm (without collar). Diameter 27.5cm (collar), 26.2cm (bowl).
London 1698.
Maker Robert Timbrell.
Britannia standard silver (95.8% pure).

This early English silver punch bowl from the pre Queen Anne period, a rare and highly prized item, is still perfectly functional and can give as much pleasure today as it did over 320 years ago. Can also be used as a wine cooler or for flower display.

Marks. The body is stamped below the rim with a full set of English silver hallmarks, the collar with a fully matching set of marks. All clear and very well preserved. The original scratch weigh 57=2 is etched below the foot.

*Britannia Standard. In 1696, so extensive had become the melting and clipping of coinage that the silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares, but had to use a new higher standard, 95.8 per cent pure. New hallmarks were ordered, “the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia” and the lion’s head erased (torn off at the neck) replacing the lion passant and the leopard’s head crowned. This continued until the old standard of 92.5 per cent was restored in 1720. Britannia standard silver still continues to be produced even today.

Maker: Robert Timbrell

Robert Timbrell, London silversmith, apprenticed to Augustine Dudley 1678, free 1685/6. Court 1705. 1st mark entered as largeworker, undated, probably April 1697. 2nd mark also undated presumed after 1707, in partnership with his apprentice Joseph Bell I who was freed in October 1707.

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Object Literature

The Monteith bowl is mentioned in Anthony Wood’s diary in 1683 however the first recorded examples do not appear until the following year (ref. Georgina E. Lee Monteith Bowls). Food at this time was heavily spiced and a cooling drink was needed such as wine or the newly fashionable punch. Hence the requirement for a large bowl which could be filled with either a drink or ice, and to which a shaped removable rim could be used to hold stem glasses, punch ladle and lemon squeezer. A bowl of this type is referred to as a Monteith.

Object Condition

This beautiful punch bowl is in very good condition. There is a small repair to the foot, very negligible. Marks on the body, consistent with age, where the ring handles have been touching. An attractive feature is the blobby mercury solder underneath which is completely original in the manufacture.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)207 288 1939
+44 (0)7904 297419

Dealer Location

Vault 31-32
The London Silver Vaults
53-64 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1QS

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