This is a rare Antique Silverplate Bridal Basket marked MH&Co for Martin Hall Company circa 1854. This piece is in very good condition considering the age, there are some minor surface scratches and it is tarnished but has been lightly cleaned to reveal the silver patina, but most of the silverplate is intact and there are no dents. Measures 10 1/2" x 3 1'4"h 9 1/2" to top of handle. There is a eloquent detail around the edges and on the handle.
The origin of the firm is in the partnership established in 1820 in Sheffield by Henry Wilkinson and John Roberts who traded as Wilkinson & Roberts. Wilkinson left the business in 1836 and in 1846 John Roberts entered in partnership with Ebenezer Hall (his apprentice in 1836) under the style Roberts & Hall. In 1854 entered into the partnership Richard Martin (of Martin Brothers & Naylor) and Joshua Hall (brother of Ebenezer Hall) under the style Martin, Hall & Co. In 1866 the firm was converted into a Ltd. The factory was active at Shrewsbury Works, Broad Street Park, Sheffield with showrooms in London (where they were listed as manufacturing silversmiths and electroplated manufacturers, silver, plated and steel cutlers), Sydney, Birmingham and Glasgow. The firm participated in the 1851 Great Exhibition, the Internation Exhibition (1862), the Sydney Exhibition (1879), the Melboune Exhibition (1881) and the 1915 British Industries Fair. Besides its sterling silver and electroplated items the firm had a successful cheap line of production on a patented white metal called "Martinoid". Items made by Martin, Hall & Co were retailed by Wordley & Co - Liverpool, Ball & Edwards - Birmingham, Henry Ellis & Son - Exeter, Charles Nephew & Co - Calcutta, West & Son - Dublin, Goldsmiths Alliance Ltd - Cornhill, Pearce & Co - Leeds, Mappin Brothers - London, George Edward & Sons - Glasgow, James Aitchinson - Edinburgh, Mackay & Chisholm - Edinburgh and many other firms. After WWI and a brief association of interests with Gladwin Ltd the firm went in liquidation and was struck off the register in 1936 (according to another source the business was sold to Frank Cobb & Co in 1931/1932).
The basket is stamped EPGS which stands for electroplated German silver, a pre WWI mark An amazing wedding gift for a loved one.
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