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Thomas Pitts A Neo-Classical Pierced Bowl and Stand

George III
London, 1798
Maker’s mark of Thomas Pitts

Diameter (stand): 23.4 cm, 9 ¼ in.
Weight: 691 g, 22 oz. 4 dwt.


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Silversmith Biography

Son of Thomas Pitts of the Parish of St. Mary Whitechapel, apprenticed to Charles Hatfield 6 December 1737 and turned over to David Willaume (II) February 1742. Free, 16 January 1744. The mark now attributed here to him must have been entered not long after the start of the missing register of 1758-73, and he appears as plateworker, Air Street, St.James's, in the Parl. Report list 1773. Heal records him as working silversmith and chaser, Golden Cup, 20 Air Street, Piccadilly, 1767-93. The 'Workmen's Ledgers' of Parker and Wakelin (Garrard MSS., Victoria & Albert Museum) contain many pages of accounts from Pitts for epergnes from 1766, from which the identification of the mark, formerly attributed to Thomas Powell, in absence of any other evidence was natural enough. His three sons, Thomas, William and Joseph were all apprenticed to him in Air Street, 1767, 1769 and 1772. It is interesting to note that Joseph was apprenticed to his father and turned over the same day to Philip Day plate casemaker and leatherseller and described as plate casemaker on attaining his freedom in 1781. The continuous need for cases for the output of epergnes and centrepieces must have led to a close connection with Day probably a desire to have a member of the family sharing in the business arising.


Both bowl and stand circular with pierced rim between beaded borders, the bowl engraved with a coat-of-arms.

The arms are those of Taylor, for Sir John Taylor, F.R.S., 1st Bt., (1745-1788), of Lysson Hall, Jamaica. He married Elizabeth Gooden, daughter, and heir of Philip Houghton of Jamaica.

Taylor was created a baronet in 1778. He was succeeded by his son Sir Simon Richard Brissett Taylor (b. 1783) as the second baronet but he died without issue in 1815 and title became extinct.

A group portrait by Daniel Gardner (1750-1805) of Sir John Taylor, his wife Elizabeth (d.1821), his brother Simon Taylor (1740-1813), and four of their six children; Sir Simon Richard Brissett, 2nd Bt. (1783-1815), Anna Susanna (1781-1853), Elizabeth (b.1782) and Maria (1784-1829) was sold Christie’s London, 13 June 2001, lot 4.

A Neo-Classical Pierced Bowl and Stand Reference: 19966/2