POSTAL AUCTION
(For members and subscribers only)

Continued from pages 41/42/43/44


Lots 88 & 89 - Paul De Lamerie








LotDescriptionReserve
88.A PAUL DE LAMERIE, George I Britannia standard silver Hanoverian Rattail pattern tablespoon with armorial, London 1723. L-20cm; W-75g. ~ De Lamerie's maker's mark is very clear, the date letter 'H' is hard to read but evident, the other marks are unreadable, the armorial is still crisp, and the bowl has De Lamerie's distinctive long rattail, the colour & patina excellent, a very honest spoon. A very reasonable reserve considering how scarce they are.Est. 1250-1500.1250

Paul de Lamerie, without doubt the greatest silversmith of all time, born on 9th April 1688 in Bois-le-Duc in The Netherlands and came to England with his family at the age of three and lived in Berwick Street, Soho, London. Arriving in London the family name was shortened from Souchay de la Merie to De la Merie and later just to De Lamerie. It was arranged for him to start an apprenticeship in 1703 aged fifteen with the renowned and highly respected master silversmith Peter Platel, which lasted seven years. Here he learnt skills needed to produce wonderful pieces as well as the understanding of design, with which he went on to become the master of all silversmiths.

He received his freedom from The Goldsmiths Hall on the 4th February 1713 and the following day registered his maker's mark and address at Windmill Street at the Hall. His mark "LA" with a star and crown above and fleur-de-lis below, was only for items made from the high grade Britannia Standard silver. On 27th June 1739 he registered a new mark which was compulsory, for sterling silver, the new marks registered had to the first initials of both names, hence, "PL" with a crown above and pellet below.

He was such a craftsman that even as a young man he became known as the King of Silversmiths and with this reputation he received commissions from nobility, The Russian Court and a notable client, Sir Robert Walpole who patronised the silversmith's workshop with numerous purchases. Many pieces are in Private collections but you can see the Walpole Salver and other splendid pieces at The Victoria & Albert museum. His work is spread all over the world and one such item; a chandelier weighing well over a thousand ounces hangs in the Kremlin.

His early works, were mainly pieces with clean with simple lines from the fashions generating from the Queen Anne period. From 1730 Paul de Lamerie started in a new area of design, rococo, it is these pieces, which are most sort after by collectors and achieve tremendous prices. His rococo pieces have been described as being buried in ornament, with such things as lions, sea monsters and urchins, shells, snakes as well as cherubs and asymmetrical scrolls. Whether plain or decorative, his wares were always pleasing to the eye and it is this that projected him into stardom.

Paul de Lamerie was a shrewd business man who not only ran a workshop with many silversmiths and apprentices working for him he also was in command of retailing his products, many a silversmith went bankrupt due to a lack of skill in this area. He died on 1st August 1751 leaving behind a world full of the most wonderful pieces of silver ever produced.









89.A PAUL DE LAMERIE, George I Britannia standard silver Hanoverian Rattail pattern tablespoon with armorial, London 1723. L-20cm; W-75g. ~ De Lamerie's maker's mark is very clear, the date letter 'H' is readable, the right hand side of the erased lion is visible, the armorial is crisp, and the bowl has De Lamerie's distinctive long rattail, the colour & patina excellent. There is a small black mark near the armorial, which would disappear with the gentlest of cleaning. A rare chance to own a spoon by the world's greatest silversmith. Est. 1250-1500.1250
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.45. / .46.
The Finial, April/May 2003


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