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William Dempster An Extremely Rare and Important Scottish Epergne

Silver
George III, Edinburgh, 1760
Maker’s mark of William Dempster

Length: 70.2 cm, 27 in.
Weight: 5,760 g, 185 oz
 

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Silversmith Biography

William Dempster was the son-in-law of James Ker. Ker is without doubt one of Edinburgh and indeed Scotland's most important and prolific goldsmiths. Working in the heart of Edinburgh's 'Golden age'. He, and within partnership with his son-in-law William Dempster as Ker & Dempster, made some of the most important mid-18th century Scottish plate known to survive including fine bullet tea pots and ovoid coffee urns in addition to the gold Leith race prizes which bear their mark. It is obvious they held a position of power within the capital and nation's trade. Their list of clients must be considered amongst the most impressive of any Scottish goldsmiths and include the Duke of Gordon, Earl of Breadalbane, Marquess of Lothian and perhaps most importantly various members and generations of the Hopetoun family.

Description

The base with cast openwork rocaille swags and pierced geometric design sitting on four cast shell feet. The frame with six detachable branches supporting four round and two oval dishes formed as miniature waiters with shell and shaped borders. The central basket pierced with initial D below a marquess's crown on both sides for William Douglas 4th Duke of Queensberry and 5th Marquess Queensbury.

In addition, there are six later sconces made to fit the branches by Garrard & Co., London, 1860,

James Ker is without doubt one of Edinburgh and indeed Scotland's most important and prolific goldsmiths. Working in the heart of Edinburgh's 'Golden age' he, and within partnership with his son in law William Dempster as Ker & Dempster, made some of the most important mid-18th century Scottish plate known to survive including fine bullet tea pots and ovoid coffee urns in addition to the gold Leith race prizes which bear their mark. It is obvious they held a position of power within the capital and nation's trade. Their list of clients must be considered amongst the most impressive of any Scottish goldsmiths and include the Duke of Gordon, Earl of Breadalbane, Marquess of Lothian and perhaps most importantly various members and generations of the Hopetoun family.

An Extremely Rare and Important Scottish Epergne Reference: DT22.63.5