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TWO ELKINGTON & Co. SILVER PIECES
In the pocket edition of Jackson Hallmarks (note 1)
Ian Pikford defines Elkington's production as "ranging from
the very ordinary to very important design; the quality is
This is the synthesis of what you may feel in the presence of
silverware manufactured by Elkington & Co. No matter if the
piece is made of solid silver or silver plate, for a wide market
or just under commission, the quality is indeed always superb!
By virtue of the skill, sense of proportion and design applied
in all its silverware Elkington & Co. is one of the most
important names in English silver and surely the most important
one in silver plate.
(note 1) - Ian Pickford, 1991. Pocket Edition
Jackson's Hallmarks: English, Scottish, Irish Silver and Gold
Marks from 1300 to Present Day. Antiques Collector's Club,
Woodbridge, Suffolk (UK).
An early Victorian electroplated cruet set - Birmingham 1850
The history of industrial silver electroplating is the history
of Elkington & Co. since 1836 when this company of silversmiths was established in
After the great improvement of the electrochemistry at the
scientific level due to the works of Faraday, in 1838 Elkington
& Co. patented the first industrial electroplating process and
in 1840 production of silver electroplated wares was started.
In a few years the majority of the plated silverware in Great
Britain was produced with this new method and the "old
Sheffield plating" technique became practically obsolete.
As an example, an early Victorian electroplated ware, a cruet
set bearing early trade and date letter marks of Elkington & Co.
is presented on this page.
Considering the date of this cruet (1850) it is contemporary
cruet model presented with great success at the Great
Exhibition held in London in 1851.
The cruet consists of a silver plated stand, with three pierced
foliate decoration bottle holders (with no monogrammed
cartridges), and of three cut glass condiment bottles.
The bottles were probably used for oil, vinegar and mustard.
The mustard bottle has a brass (gilded?) mustard spoon device
fixed to the glass stopper.
The elegant baluster shape cast handle has a light foliate and
The body of the stand has three cast feet with the same light
foliate and rococo decoration.
The overall condition is very good, but one of the stoppers of
the oil or vinegar bottle has a little crack and some chips.
Some loss of plate underneath, but otherwise in pristine
Dimensions and weight:
Stand: 22 cm tall and 12.5 cm across. Bottles: 10.5 cm tall and
3 cm of section at the base.
Combined weight: 526 g; stand only 245 g.
A late Victorian/Edwardian sterling silver compote -
Alongside the celebrated work in silver plated wares, in which
important designers like Christopher Dresser collaborated,
Elkington & Co. produced high quality solid silverware.
An example of late Victorian/Edwardian Elkingtons & Co. solid
silver production is presented below.
This fine and beautiful shaped circular silver compote or
"tazza" manufactured by Elkington & Co. was hallmarked at the
Assay Office of Birmingham in 1901.
Its bowl has scroll and foliate cast border and is pierced with
scrolling foliage around a plain, star shaped central reserve.
The matching pierced base is not weighted and the stability is
assured by the well proportioned shape and the high gauge of
The condition is excellent.
Dimensions and weight:
13 cm tall and 25.5 cm of section.
Weight: 544 g.