Digby Scott & Benjamin Smith
A Large Dish Marked Rundell, Bridge and Rundell
An oval shaped dish with a ribbon and tie border ornamented with festoons of grapes.
The maker Benjamin Smith, together with the silversmith Paul Storr, created pieces almost exclusively for the royal retailers firm Rundell & Bridge throughout the early nineteenth century. Having worked for Boulton in Birmingham as a Buckle maker, it is with Matthew Boulton's support that Smith was able to relocate to London from Birmingham. Digby Scott was the architect and Smith the master silverworker.
This meat dish is an incredibly rare example of a piece struck with the royal retailers mark of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell; very few surviving pieces are known to have this mark which makes it quite the collector and connoisseur's piece.
The partnership of Digby Scott and Benjamin Smith produced some of the greatest silver works of the early 19th century. Scott and Smith jointly ran workshops located in Greenwich, England from 1802 to 1807 and during their brief partnership were the principal suppliers of silver masterpieces to the esteemed firm of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. At the time London's most prestigious firm, these jewellers and silversmiths supplied the official plate ordered by the Lord Chamberlain's office, and were the official "Jeweller, Gold and Silversmiths to the Crown" from 1798 to 1843. Working in the cusp of the late Georgian and early Regency periods, the works of Scott and Smith often feature elements of the classical revival style such as grapevines and rams' heads, all crafted in exquisite, sumptuous detail. One of their most renowned collaborative efforts, the Duke of York Baskets, created for Frederick Augustus (1763-1827), second son of George III, is currently on display at the Powerhouse Museum in Australia.
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