( Active 1737 - 1749 )
The Ashton Court Salver
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”This salver was commissioned by and made for Florence Smith (born 1701 died 1767), who inherited the family’s Long Ashton estate in 1741. She commissioned this salver in recognition and to honour her brother and the long-standing wealth and history of the Smyth family. Her brother Sir John Smith, the 3rd Baronet of Long Ashton (died July 1741). Sir John was the grandson of Sir Hugh Smyth. On taking her seat as head of the household this would have been exactly the type of wonderful object made to secure her place in that long standing line that lasted over 400 years.
Florence Smith wedded Jarrit Smith, of Bristol (born circa 1691 died 24th January 1783), Florence’s second husband. Jarrit was the MP for the City of Bristol (1756 and 1761) whom Florence married on the 8th February 1732. He was created as a Baronet within the Baronetage of Great Britain on the 27th January 1763 and styled as ‘of Long Ashton in the County of Somerset’.
The Salver Engraved with the Marital Arms of Smith and Ashburnham.
The armorial bearings as engraved upon this George II English Sterling Silver Salver 1 by James Shruder hallmarked London 1742 are those of the family of Smith 2 impaling Ashburnham.
These armorial bearings denote the marshalling of a marital coat showing on the dexter (the heraldic right on the left as you view the piece) the arms of the husband and on the sinister (the heraldic left on the right as you view it) the arms of the wife.
These armorial bearings may be blazoned as follows: Arms: (on the dexter) Gules on a chevron between three cinquefoils argent as many leopards’ faces sable (for Smith) (on the sinister) Gules a fess between six mullets argent (for Ashburnham)
Crest: A griffin’s head erased gules beakedand eared or gorged with two bars of the last (for Smith)
Motto: Qui capit capitur [He who takes is taken] (for Smith)
These armorial bearings undoubtedly commemorate the marriage of Sir Hugh Smyth (born 21st April 1632 died 26th July 1681) and Elizabeth Ashburnham (born after 1629 died 1697). 3 The date and place of their marriage is not known but probably took place sometime prior 1655. Hugh was the son and heir of Thomas Smith, of Long Ashton in the County of Somerset and his wife, The Honourable Florence Poulett; 4 whilst Elizabeth was the daughter of John Ashburnham,5 of Ashburnham in the County of Sussex by his first wife, Frances Holland. 6 Hugh was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Bath at the Coronation of King Charles II on the 23rd April 1661 and was further created a Baronet within the Baronetage of England on the 16th May 1661, styled ‘of Long Ashton in the County of Somerset’. Hugh sat in the House of Commons as the MP for Somerset 1660, and March to July 1679. He also served as the High Sheriff of Somerset for the year 1665 - 66.
1 Known as ‘The Ashton Court Salver’ after the family seat.
2 Also spelt as ‘Smyth’.
3 After Hugh’s death in 1681, Elizabeth married John Romsey (died 1689), of Bristol, Co. Somerset on the 3rd August 1681. John was one of the gentlemen who were involved in the Rye House Plot of 1683.
4 Florence was the daughter of John Poulett, the 1st Baron Poulett, of Hinton St George, Co. Somerset.
5 Groom of the Bedchamber to King Charles I.
6 Frances being the daughter of William Holland, of Westburton, Co. Sussex
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 designed himself.
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