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A Silver Gilt Figure of a Royal Navy Boatswain, 1840

Silver gilt. Standing figure of petty officer resting against a ship’s anchor in the uniform of the Victorian sailing navy. Maker’s mark of Robert Garrard II. Possibly made as a finial or other component of a large naval centrepeice. Silver height: 8cm (3.2in)  Mounted on a stone base.

Robert Garrard II (1793-1881) was apprenticed in 1809 to his father, Robert Garrard I, a partner of Wakelin and Company, and gained his freedom of the Grocers' Company by patrimony in 1816. After the death of his father in 1818, Garrard entered his mark and, with his brothers James and Sebastian, took over the management of the workshop. During the early nineteenth century, the firm's business expanded at a tremendous rate, especially after the decline of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell in the 1820s. In 1830, the Garrards were appointed goldsmiths and jewellers to the king and in 1843 official crown jewellers. A large design studio was set up by them, which was modelled on that developed by Rundell, Bridge and Rundell and employed several well-known painters and sculptors, including Edmund Cotterill. During the mid-nineteenth century, Garrard's was one of the leading producers of elaborate presentation silver.

 

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