Fine Regency Sterling Silver and Old Sheffield Plate Meat Dome and Platter
the well-and-tree platter and figural finial both sterling silver and hallmarked 1818-1819, the platter Sheffield, by Kirkby, Waterhouse & Co., the finial Edinburgh, by William & Patrick Cunningham II, the dome and base both Old Sheffield Plate, decorated with gadrooned banding quartered by floral rococo motifs, raised on four robust acanthus-crested lion's paw feet, the dome engraved with the arms of Cathcart of Knockdolian, Ayrshire, the figural finial in the form of the Cathcart crest (a dexter hand couped and grasping a crescent), the crest and motto repeated on the base and platter.
overall h. 17", l. 22-3/4", w. 17"; 102.98 total t. oz. (weighable silver)
overall h. 17", l. 22-3/4", w. 17-1/4"; 102.98 total t. oz. (weighable silver)
Notes: The opulence of this lot suggests that it was originally owned by advocate John Cathcart (1768-1835), who was lord of Knockdolian Castle at the time of its manufacture, and whose wealth and influence had been augmented by his 1795 marriage to Ann Gordon, granddaughter of the Earl of Aberdeen. The sterling platter is hallmarked Sheffield, and was probably made to fit the base and dome, which are of the fused silver-on-copper plate so well-made in Sheffield that the city's name became synonymous with it. Whether it was retailed by the Cunningham brothers of Edinburgh or purchased by Cathcart elsewhere and brought to them, their contemporaneous hallmarks on the finial show that Cathcart indulged in the extra expense of having a handsome sterling finial in the shape of his family crest made locally in Scotland; Edinburgh, at 80 miles from Ayrshire, was at the time the nearest silversmithing center capable of producing such detailed custom work.