A late 18th century Georgian silver cream jug, hallmarked London 1795. The jug has a helmet shaped bowl with waisted circular foot over a square plinth base. Narrow elongated loop handle with reeded detail. Spout and rim decorated with miniature beading. Engraved band of ribbon decoration to top of bowl and monogrammed shield cartouche to front. The jug is hallmarked for London, 1795 with GG for silversmith George Gray which has been over-struck onto marks for Peter and Ann Bateman. The jug is 13.5 cm height to top of handle.
George Gray appears to have fairly regularly over-struck his mark on that of Hester Bateman as well as her successors, Peter and Ann Bateman. Ironically Hester Bateman was also known to over-strike other silversmith’s pieces – a practice that appears to have been more acceptable in the Georgian era than it was during later periods. Why this was done is a subject of speculation – perhaps to complete orders that the silversmith was unable to complete themselves, or perhaps simply to stock showroom shelves and promote sales.
The story of the renown Bateman family of silversmiths starts with Hester Bateman who successfully developed the family business for thirty years following the death of her husband (a silversmith chain-maker). She was succeeded in turn by her sons (Jonathan and Peter), daughter-in-law, grandson and great-grandson. The Bateman family silversmithing company lasting until the middle of the nineteenth century, specialising in household silverware in a neo classical style. Their work is characterised by bright-cut engraving, beading around edges and piercing. Ann Bateman married into this distinguished family of London silversmiths registering her first mark in 1791, the year her husband died leaving all his property to her. Peter and Ann’s partnership lasted until 1800 when Ann’s son (William) entered the bu