An extremely rare Victorian provincial sterling silver six bottle cruet frame, Exeter 1840’s (date letter obscured) by William Rawlings Sobey
Of oval form raised on four open work acanthus scroll bracket feet, the galleried sides with pierced work of foliate scroll all heightened with engraving, with two vacant shield shape cartouches. The mahogany inset base with central silver carrying handle with bottle divided and cast twin scroll handle. Fully marked to base edge and to bottle divider with makers mark SOBEY.
Height – 25 cm / 9.5 inches
Weighable silver – 148 grams / 4.76 ozt
It is rather rare to find Victorian holloware marked for Exeter (which closed in 1883). Sobey was one of the largest manufacturers of silver and silverplate in the west country, predominantly in flatware. On February 24th 1846 he announced the move of his retailing shop to No 1 Queen's Street, Exeter. The WRS mark was used most frequently, this SOBEY mark on the present lot is not common.
In the summary of output from Sobey from the Exeter assay office records there is only one cruet frame mentioned, but also 'two frames' which may also be cruet frames, indicating that a very very small number of cruet frames were made bearing Exeter marks for Sobey, if indeed only three. A mustard pot of 1843 marked using WRS was sold Bonham's Chester, 5 March 2013, lot 95 (£750 incl. premium). For these and further details on Sobey, see Harrison, M., (2014), Exeter & West Country Silver,. Berforts Group, Hastings,. P.213-4.