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James Shruder (Active 1737 - 1749) The Ashton Court Salver

A Magnificent George II Salver
London, 1742
Maker’s mark of James Shruder

Bearing the coat-of-arms of Smyth

Weight: 6,344g, 204oz
Diameter: 58cm, 22.8in


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Additional Images Silversmith Biography

James Shruder was likely a German protestant who was also part of the Lamerie group although no record exists of his apprenticeship or freedom. The character of his work, at its best, is some of the finest rococo plate of the day and suggests a German origin and training to match his name. His first mark entered as largeworker, 1 August 1737. Address: Wardour Street, St. Ann's, Westminster. Second and third marks, 25 June 1739. Address: Greek Street, Soho. Below this, an undated note, "James Shruder at the Golden Ewer in Spur Street, Leicester Square". Bankrupt, June 1749 as Goldsmith, St. Martin's in the Fields. Heal records him as above, with the addition of the sign of the Golden Ewer in Greek Street; as well as Corner of Hedge Lane, Leicester Square, from 1774. His power as a designer is exemplified by his highly original trade-card signed "J. Shruder Inv." and engraved by J. Warburton, which he unusually deisgned himself.


Of circular form on four scrolling bracket feet. The shaped border decadently adorned with cast and applied scrolling arabesques, acanthus, wings, and four figure heads with attributes indicative of bounty and prosperity.

The central coat-of-arms is that of Smyth, with ornate drapery mantling and cartouche inscribed “QUI CAPIT CAPITUR”. The coat-of-arms being of an earlier date than the salver itself suggests that it was intended as either a commemorative piece or was engraved to match existing pieces of family silver.

Although little is known about the silversmith, James Shruder, and his training as a silversmith, his work is some of the finest rococo plate of the day, commanding prowess as a designer, particularly through his associations with the renowned maker, Paul de Lamerie. Throughout his career, Shurder crafted many pieces of fine and exquisite detail, examples of which can be found in important museum collections worldwide. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, possesses a monumentally ornate Coffee Pot by Shruder (M. 312-1975) with much of the decoration taken from the ornamental engravings of much celebrated French designer Jacques de Lajoue (1686 – 1761). The Museum of Fine Art, Boston also holds a number of pieces by Shruder, including a Pair of Candelabra (2001.124.1) in the “picturesque” style, and a Pair of Caddies and Sugar Bowl (2001.102.4) with similarly undulating and rocaille decoration to that of the Ashton Court Salver.

Smyth family history:
Anne Ashburnham (c.1637-97); married, before 1659 (post-nuptial settlement, 25 July 1666), Sir Hugh Smyth (1632-80), 1st baronet. of Ashton Court (Somerset) and had issue three sons and four daughters; died 26 June 1697 'aged about 60 years' and was buried at Long Ashton where she is commemorated on a monument:

John Ashburnham (b. 1642); baptised 4 August 1642; died after 1657;
Bertram/Bertrand Ashburnham (1644-81), baptised at Oxford, 1 February 1643/4; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1660) and the Middle Temple (admitted 1660; called to bar 1669); barrister-at-law; will proved 16 March 1681;
Charles Ashburnham (b. c.1645), born about 1645; educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1660) and the Middle Temple (admitted 1660); living in 1670;
Elizabeth Ashburnham (fl. 1650-70);
A daughter (d. before 1650); died young.

Sir Hugh Smyth sold his first wife's estates and this enabled him to buy back Ashburnham in 1639; he and his brother rebuilt the house there in the 1660s and 1670s; he also rebuilt Ashburnham church in the Gothic style in 1665. He extended the estate in Sussex, buying additional land whenever opportunity arose, and his finances permitted. His second wife brought him Chiswick House (Middlesex), which he sold to the Crown in 1664 as a home for James, Duke of Monmouth.

Smyth died 15 June 1671 and was buried at Ashburnham, where he and his two wives are commemorated by a monument attributed to Thomas Burman and made c.1651, although the effigies of John and his second wife were added c.1671. His first wife died 1649, aged 37. His second wife died 23 November 1663, aged 70.

The Ashton Court Salver (Active 1737 - 1749) Reference: 23841/3