Andrea Boucheron (circa 1692-1761)
With ever-increasing quantities of sugar being consumed throughout the 18th century, casters were no longer adequate to service dessert, and sugar sifters and basins were used instead. As Lord Bristol’s surviving basins were not supplied until 1758 his sifters must initially have been used with old pieces of silver improvised for the purpose, or perhaps with ceramic or glass vessels. Of all Lord Bristol’s Turin silver commissions these are the most obviously Italian. The rococo of their terminal cartouches is typical of the forms then being produced in the city. The engraved crests do not, however, do justice to the fine quality of the ladles, being very badly executed and appearing more like indifferent dogs than majestic cats.
Silver-gilt sugar ladle, one of four. Andrea Boucheron, Turin, c.1756. The ladles are cast, chased and pierced with reeded stems, C-scroll and rocaille cartouches on both sides of the terminals and bowls modelled as shells on the exterior and pierced in diverging lines of droplets. Heraldry: The terminal cartouches on the undersides of the sifters are each engraved with the Hervey crest beneath an earl’s coronet. The style of engraving is Italian.
Commissioned by the 2nd Earl of Bristol; by descent to the 4th Marquess. Acquired by the National Trust in 1956 under the auspices of the National Land Fund, later the National Heritage Memorial Fund
Marks and inscriptions
Underside of handle: All four are marked on the underside of the stem with the maker’s mark of Andrea Boucheron (1693-1760), ‘VA’ in monogram beneath a crown. Scratchweights: ‘1 [/] 2:5’; ‘2 [/] 2:5’; ‘3 [/] 2:9’; ‘4 [/] 2:4’.
Makers and roles
Andrea Boucheron (circa 1692-1761), goldsmith
James Rothwell, Silver for Entertaining: The Ickworth Collection. Philip Wilson Publishers, 2016, p. 145