Duke of Sutherland Marrow Scoop, 1785
Marrow Scoop - Fiddle & Thread pattern - London 1785 by George Smith - 23cm long; 49g - AN/1946a
This is a lovely, early example of a fiddle & thread silver marrow scoop.
The fiddle & thread pattern was first designed in France and the vast majority of British pieces in this style date from the 19th century, however some British aristocrats at the forefront of fashion were early adopters of the pattern. Most early pieces were made by the specialist flatware maker George Smith and although the makers mark on this piece is illegible, it came from a much larger service where the script "GS" mark can be seen.
Of particular interest with this double ended marrow scoop is the engraved coat-of-arms to the reverse of the larger bowl, showing it was originally owned by one of the most wealthy and noble British families - the Leveson-Gowers. This Georgian silver marrow scoop remains in excellent condition.
The armorial on this marrow scoop is for George Granville Leveson-Gower with the arms of Lady Elizabeth Sutherland to the inner shield whom he married in 1785 - the fiddle & thread service was presumably commissioned to celebrate this occasion. The arms also show his transition from Viscount Trentham (as depicted by the coronet over the Leveson-Gower arms) to Earl Gower (coronet over inner arms). In 1803, he became the Marquess of Stafford and in 1833 the 1st Duke of Sutherland. We have further pieces on offer dating from 1833.
George Granville Leveson-Gower (1758 to 1833) was a British politician (MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme 1779-1784 and Staffordshire 1787-1799 and then as a member of the House of Lords), a diplomat (British ambassador to France during the French Revolution), landowner (extensive lands in Staffordshire, Shropshire and Yorkshire and succeeded to the vast estates of his Uncle the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater in 1803) and patron of the arts (involved in the acquisition of the Orleans Collection and later dispersal). He was the wealthiest man in Britain during the latter part of his life. He is a controversial figure due to his role in the Highland Clearances in Scotland.
Further information is available on Wikipedia at these links:
Please note: we have a large quantity of matching table spoons and forks as this pair were originally from a very extensive service. Please contact us if you require more than the pair being offered or would just like a single example.
We also have further pieces on offer dating from 1785 that celebrated the marriage of George Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland and Lady Elizabeth Sutherland and items from 1833 at the succession of George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower to the dukedom.