About this lot


Aberdeen - A very rare George III Scottish provincial silver snuffbox,
mark of James Erskine (1792-1818) struck twice with a third indecipherable mark, of rectangular form, the flush fitting piano hinged cover with a rectangular rub over set agate within a border of bright cut engraving, the concave sides with parallel lines of bright cut engraving, underside with large and vacant rectangular cartouche within concentric borders of bright cut engraving, gilded interior, 7.5 x 6 x 2.5cm, 3.8ozt

Footnote: One of Aberdeen’s most celebrated 18th century silversmiths, James Erskine was apprenticed to James Smith in 1781 and was admitted as a member of the Hammermen in September 1792, becoming a Goldsmith Burgess in 1796. It is not known when he started his own business, but it seems to be around 1790. It is thought he retired in about 1820 and died in 1824. He produced items for the well-to-do of the town for use in prominent homes in the area and for those who purchased such items, the initials of the silversmith represented quality they could trust. There was, at that time, little effort made by Scottish provincial silversmiths to make use of the assay offices in Glasgow or Edinburgh and very often just maker’s marks, or a maker’s mark and a town mark was used instead of the full hallmark. The third, indecipherable, mark in this example may be the town mark, but there is insufficient detail to make a positive identification.

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