An early 19th century suite of eighteen silver gilt plates by Benjamin Smith, all stamped B.Smith, Duke Street, Linn Inn Fields
Lot 248
A mid 19th century suite of eighteen gilt on metal plates by Benjamin Smith, all stamped B.Smith, Duke Street, Linn Inn Fields
Sold for £4,750 (US$ 7,983) inc. premium
Lot Details
A mid 19th century suite of eighteen gilt on metal plates
by Benjamin Smith, all stamped B.Smith, Duke Street, Linn Inn Fields
Comprising; six large and twelve small plates, of shaped circular form, the plain centre with coat of arms, the outer plain rim crested, extending to a later shaped cast border of fruiting vine in high relief, diameter of large plates 30.2cm, diameter of small plates 24.6cm.


  • The earldom was created on 12 April 1831 for Robert Duncan, 2nd Viscount Duncan of Camperdown thirty four years after the death of his father Admiral Viscount Duncan, the distinguished naval commander.
    The 1st Earl of Camperdown was made a Knight of the Thistle 12 May 1848, and adopted the name and quartered arms for Haldane-Duncan.
    The Duncan shield is supported by a crowned angel and a British sailor alluding to the overwhelming naval victory over the French directed Dutch fleet, gained by the Royal Navy under the then Commander-in-chief, Admiral Adam Duncan; the first Earl's father.
    On 11 October 1797 without losing any of their own, the British fleet captured nine of sixteen ships in the Dutch fleet off their own coast at Camperduin. This prompted a large satellite French force, already assembling, to abandon an expedition to aid an Irish rebellion.
    Within three weeks of the battle his peerage was announced. Acclamation was accorded by Parliament and the City of London and Admiral Duncan was granted £3000 per annum (the biggest pension ever awarded by the British government), for his lifetime and that of his next two successors in the peerage. King George III boarded the Admiral's flagship to thank him and present the special gold medal which augments the Duncan shield. It depicts two figures representing victory alighting on the prow of an antique vessel to crown Britannia with a laurel wreath.
    He was also given the title Baron Duncan of Lundie in Perthshire for which the area became known as Camperdown park in Dundee.

    The title was passed by decent until the 4th Earl of Camperdown died in 1933 without an heir and the Earldom became extinct.

    The crest on the rim portrays the first rate ship of war with masts broken, rigging torn and in disorder with motto 'Disce Patt'.

    George and Henry Elkington took out a patent for electroplating and electrogilding (no.8447) in March 1840. They had many collaborators including Benjamin Smith.
    Smith had supplied designs for items to electroplate as well as setting up electroplating workshops in Moorgate and retail premises on Regent Street; both in the name of Elkington & Company. Managing both was hindered by his involvement in his own business at Duke Street, Lincolns Inn Fields. For reasons including poor trade Elkington & Company severed their relationship with Smith towards the end of 1849; forcing him into bankruptcy by early 1850 followed quickly by an untimely death.
    (Victorian Electroplate by Shirley Bury, Country Life Collectors' Guides).
  1. Alexis Tortolano
    Specialist - Silver
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    United Kingdom
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