This is a wonderful and rare antique salt spoon. It is hallmarked as follows:
"Lion Passant" for Sterling .925, "P" for the date 1790, "King George III" for the Duty Mark showing tax had been paid to the Crown 1786-1821, and "HB" for Hester Bateman, her mark was registered from 1761-1790.
Hester Bateman was born in 1704 in Clerkenwell, London, England. She is without doubt the most popular and renowned of all women silversmiths. Hester's career as a silversmith was never intended. Widowed at the age of 51, she inherited her husband's small workshop practice and for the next thirty years, this unlikely shrewd business woman grew the workshop into a thriving silver manufacturing firm. All the pieces that left the workshop would be inspected to the highest standard and with this attitude the business grew. Many pieces of Hester Bateman's silver show identifying characteristics such as bead detailed edges and fine designs of bright-cut engraving. Hester passed away in 1794.
The spoon measures approximately 3-3/4" in length and weighs 7.3 grams. It is in very good condition and has a beautiful bright cut design. There is no monogram. The inside of the bowl shows a small amount of discoloration, as found.
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