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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "A Very Fine George III English Silver Gilt Filigree Toothpick Box"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Contained in its original velvet and silk lined shagreen box
Circa 1780 – 1790
Size: 2cm high, 15cm wide, 3cm deep – ¾ ins high, 6 ins wide, 1¼ ins deep
3cm high, 18cm wide, 6cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 7 ins wide, 2¼ ins deep (case)
18th and 19th century English specimens are very seldom marked due to the lack of space upon which to strike a mark without damaging the delicate wirework. Also an act of 1758 that required silversmiths to obtain a license for the manufacture of articles over 5 pennyweights exempted filigree work from being hallmarked providing it did not exceed the prescribed weight which it rarely did. Both Birmingham and London had filigree workers: John Smith of 14 Newhall St. is mentioned in the 1774 issue of Swinney’s Birmingham directory. Somewhat larger (one inch) than is normal for a toothpick box this fine container may have held a dental scraper for scaling the teeth, or possibly a delicate toothbrush, which could dry out in air-conditioned splendour.