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George Cooper A Rare Scottish Provincial Punch Bowl

George II, Aberdeen, circa 1735
Maker's mark of George Cooper

The arms are those of Duff impaling another

Diameter: 33cm, 13in.
Height: 18.9cm, 7 1/2 in
Weight: 2461gr, 79oz 2dwt


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Silversmith Biography

Aberdeen, Scotland, active c.1728 - 1758


On plain circular foot, the hemispherical bowl chased below the lip with baskets of fruit, flowers and diaperwork within areas of matting, scrolls and scrolled strapwork, further engraved on one side with a coat of arms and crest below the motto 'VIRTUTE ET OPERA,' the underside engraved with the initials PD over MD in script, scratch weight: 'oun' and 'dr' above '80 4' above '20 10' above '108 14'

A large (52cm.) silver salver with similar chased decoration, engraved with the same coat of arms, crest and motto and bearing the same maker’s mark of George Cooper of Aberdeen, was acquired by the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums in 1975. It was included in the exhibition, ‘Made in Scotland’ held at the National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh, between 25 January and 27 April 2008, item 5.11, for which see the catalogue of that event by George Dalgleish and Henry Steuart Fothringham, p. 94 and illustration opposite.

The authors of that catalogue suggested that the arms are those of ‘Adam Duff, Provost of Aberdeen 1774-75, who succeeded his father in 1731.’ This Adam Duff, who was born after 1722 and died in 1795, was one of the 23 children of Patrick Duff (1655-1731) of Craigston and his second wife, Mary Urquhart (d. 1764) whom he married on 4 October 1701. The Urquhart coat of arms is: or, three boars’ heads erased gules, as opposed to the wife’s coat engraved on this bowl and on the Duff family salver in the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums: (azure?) a fess chequy (argent and azure?) between three boars’ heads couped.

A silver dish cross, Coline Allan (1740-1774) of Aberdeen, engraved with the same crest and motto, was sold at Sotheby's, London, on 5 December 1968, lot 175.

A Rare Scottish Provincial Punch Bowl Reference: 23446.4