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Peter Bettesworth A Charles II Layette Basket

Silver
London, 1660
Maker’s Mark Pb, Crescent between Pellets above and Below, probably for Peter Bettesworth  
                                                                                                                  
Width 15 7/8 in. (40.5 cm.)
Weight: 51 oz. 6 dwt. (1,596 gr.)

 

Additional Images Silversmith Biography

Bettesworth, from Steep in what is now Hampshire was apprenticed to Robert Snow, becoming free in 1622. His mark appears on a Charles I silver ewer which was excavated at Kingston Russell in Dorset in July 2013 and which is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015.502). The mark, recorded by Ian Pickford, Jackson’s Goldsmiths and Their Marks, Woodbridge, 1989, on page 113, line 5, has been attributed to Peter Bettesworth by Dr David Mitchell, in his new work Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London Their Marks and Their Lives, Woodbridge, 2017, pp. 429-431.

Description

Oblong and chased overall with scrolling arabesques and foliage, the centre with a depiction of Juno in her chariot, on foliate-cast feet, marked to underside and with engraved with scratchweight "51=2".

Layette baskets were particularly popular in seventeenth century Holland, where they were created for the ceremonial presentation of linen and clothing for a baby following its birth. The gift was usually made by the father's family. They are found in Delftware and beadwork but examples in silver are very rare. A particularly fine example from the Hague by Adriaen van Hoecke is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. It was made for Count Willem Adriaen van Nassau, Lord of Odijk and his wife, Elizabeth van der Nisse. It is also chased with scene from classical mythology, in this instance Ceres and Bacchus offering gifts to the goddess Venus.

The mark, recorded by Ian Pickford, Jackson’s Goldsmiths and Their Marks, Woodbridge, 1989, on page 113, line 5, has been attributed to Peter Bettesworth by Dr David Mitchell, in his new work Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London Their Marks and Their Lives, Woodbridge, 2017, pp. 429-431. Bettesworth, from Steep in what is now Hampshire was apprenticed to Robert Snow, becoming free in 1622. His mark appears on a Charles I silver ewer which was excavated at Kingston Russell in Dorset in July 2013 and which is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015.502).
 

A Charles II Layette Basket Reference: 23349.1