maker's mark a heart in a conforming punch, by Robert Amadas, London 1515, with fig-shaped bowl and faceted stem, the slip top end with traces of gilding, length 14.5cm.
Provenance:- Spink, London, November 1989.
Robert Amadas (died 7th April 1532) was apprentice to his father William before entering the Goldsmiths' Company at the end of the 15th century, he was quickly chosen for the livery of the Company becoming Touchwarden in 1511 and finally Prime Warden in 1515.
Amadas owned an established goldsmithing business and became one of the richest men in the city due to Henry VIII's patronage, clients from the aristocracy and the church and a marriage to a wealthy heiress.
However, in 1511 Amadas neglected one his duties as Touch Warden by giving the 'Leopard's head' punch to the Beadle, Edward Frodestam and asking him to do the Assay Office marking as he had a dinner engagement. He later confessed it was not an isolated incident and on another occassion he had taken the punch home. The court of assistants dismissed Frodestam and ordered Amadas to pay a £5 fine or give a gilt cup to the company.
Literature:- Hallmark; "A History of the London Assay Office", by J. S. Forbes, published by Unicorn Press, 1999, in conjunction with the Goldsmiths' Company, page 47-48.
"Maker's mark a Heart (part two) Robert Amadas and the Spoon Inventories", by Piers Percival, The Finial, The Journal of The Silver Spoon Club of Great Britain, Vol. 14/01, August/September 2003,