A Queen Anne Pair of Silver Boxes
These Queen Anne silver boxes are octagonal divided by narrow and long sides. The only decoration of these exceptionally attractive silver boxes is the fine gadroons (ornamental surface or edges) on foot and lid. On the lid engraved a crest. At the back engraved dedication: “A.R.T. from E.R.T”. The boxes belonged most probably to a toilet service.
Toilet services with a uniform style and homogeneous design were developed in France around the mid-seventeenth century. Until the end of this century, they were a kind of standard equipment for court ladies and nobles. The toilet service was often offered as a gift to a bride from a wealthy groom to their marriage.
The dedication on these boxes could well signify a gift. The rhombic (lozenge) form of the crest – a form destined for female coat of arms – accents the fact that these belonged to a lady.
At the Victoria & Albert Museum in London one can admire The Sizergh Toilet Service, ca. 1680, where a silver, English uniform toilet service is depicted.
Jackson, Ch. J., 1911, An illustrated History of English Plate, ecclesiastical and secular in which the development of form and decoration in the Silver and Gold Work of the British Isles form the earliest known examples to the latest of the Georgian Period, Bd. I-II, Plauen i. Vogtl.: C.F. Schulz & Co.
Jackson, Ch., J., 1921, English Goldsmiths and their marks, London: MacMillan and Co. Limited