A Superb Early George III Silver Drinks Tray, London 1769 by Thomas Heming
A very fine quality George III oval silver tray with pierced gallery and beaded edges with floral swag and urn classical decoration.
Clearly hallmarked to the underside for London 1769 by Thomas Heming.
This is an exceptionally fine tray by the renowned Royal silversmith Thomas Heming. Very good gauge silver and lustre and stands flat on a table top. A very elegant and easily used tray of excellent proportions.
Absolutely no damage or repair and only very minor signs of use. Hallmarks crisp and well struck.
This is an early example of a twin handled tray made by an exceptional silversmith at the height of his career, highlighting the classical influences in the high fashion of the last third of the eighteenth century.
A superb museum quality example.
Length including handles: 61.5cm or 24”
Width: 38cm or 15”
Height: 4.5cm or 2”
Weight: 2229g, 71.7ozT or 78.6oz.
Thomas Heming was apprenticed to Edmund Bodington on March 7, 1738, and turned over on the same day to the Huguenot goldsmith Peter Archambo. In 1745 Thomas Heming entered his first mark. Heming rose to prominence in 1760 with his appointment as Principal Goldsmith to King George III, in which capacity he was responsible for supplying regalia and plate required for the coronation. Heming held this appointment until 1782, when he was ousted after an investigation into his apparently excessive charges. Grimwade (1976, p. 543) comments that "some of his earlier surviving pieces in the Royal collection show a French delicacy of taste and refinement of execution which is unquestionably inherited from his master Archambo."
It was Lord Bute, one of Heming’s most important patrons, who encouraged this significant new appointment. Heming was the first working goldsmith to hold this post since the early seventeenth century and the majority of pieces were made in his own workshop. The superb quality and refined delicacy of many of the items reflect the influence of Peter Archambo.