Rebecca Emes & Edward Barnard Pair of English Sterling Covered Vegetable Dishes, London, c. 1827/28
These wonderful dishes are 'pillow-shaped', rectangular with curved edges, shaped corners and rounded sides. Cast and applied gadrooning borders the rim of both bases and covers. This gadrooning also surrounds the top edge of the cover and acts as a base when the covers are used as extra serving dishes.
The stunning detachable finials are fully cast rams resting in a pasture. The quality of the casting with hand-finishing is superb. Original armorial devices decorate both sides of the bases and covers. While it is not terribly uncommon to find finials which are cast in the form of family crests, fully cast animals are quite rare.
Rebecca Emes is one of England's most famous women silversmiths. She was the widow of the important silversmith John Emes and went into partnership with Edward Barnard not long after John's death in 1807. Her firm made some exceptional silver during the height of the regency period in England, some of their items being sold by the royal goldsmiths, Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, - the same firm that retailed Paul Storr's silver. (See Women Silversmiths by Glanville & Goldsborough.)
This pair came from a larger set of at least four. One cover and base are marked with a '2'. The other is marked with a '1' and '4' (they fit together perfectly). Both bases and covers are fully hallmarked; the finials bear the maker's mark along with the sovereign's head and lion passant. Each bears a crest of a boar's head on the base and on the cover a coat of arms (Wood of Staffordshire impaling another). They measure 10.75 inches long by 8.5 inches deep by 5 inches high, weigh a combined 115.2 troy ounces and are in very good condition.