A Set of Eighteen German Silver Plates
The present set of 18, silver dinner-plates was made in Augsburg in the eighteenth century. The plates with tenfold reeded borders are simply decorated. The broad rose-leaf border is profiled and decorated in one arch with an elaborately engraved alliance coat of arms with a Latin motto. The city’s hallmark and the maker’s mark are to be found underneath the plates.
Heraldry/Provenance: Alliance coat of arms for Pierre-Alfred de Bardon, Marquis de Segonzac from France, and his wife Erlanger from the family of an Austrian baron. The motto “letum quam lutum” (Translation: dead before defeated) suggests that the baron would prefer to die before being degraded or killed by the living.
The Bardon de Ségonzac family originates from the Périgord and was founded by Count Aymar de Bardon, who lived in the 16th century. In the 17th century, the family received the baron title thanks to the King for military support. Some members of the family belonged to the Ordre Royal et Militaire de Saint-Louis (a military order).
Abraham IV. Drentwett, was an evangelical silver worker. He was the son of Abraham Drentwett III. and baptized in 1711. In 1741 he became master maker and a year later he married Anna Rosina Mannlich. He died in 1785.
Abraham IV. Drentwett comes from one of the most important and well-known dynasties of silversmiths in Augsburg, which began with the founder Balduin Drentwett in 1554-1627 and was active until the end of the eighteenth century. The various family members were involved, at their time, in almost all important commands for the European courts and church members. A. Drentwett’s works are preserved in the great museums of the world or in well-known international collections. Together with other Augsburg goldsmiths, Abraham IV Drentwett was also involved in the delivery of tableware to Petersburg (Catherine the Great) for the Perm-Service (1779-1781) and the Kharkov-Service (1781-1783). He also belonged to the masters of the famous silver service for the Hildesheim court (s. Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich).
Provenance: European private collection
Seling, Helmut: Die Augsburger Gold- und Silberschmiede 1529 – 1868. Meister Marken Werke. München 2007.
Philippe Dayre de Mailhol: Dictionnaire historique et héraldique de la noblesse française rédigé dans l’ordre patronymique, Hildesheim, Zürich, New York 2001.