Very visually appealing sterling silver shell-shaped butter dish of extremely good gauge standing on three whelk feet. Made in London in 1816 by Richard Sibley I. The finger grip at the end of the shell is curled over and scrolled to simulate a wave. The body of the shell shows signs of earlier gilding which has now virtually worn off. The maker's mark and the full set of hallmarks are very clearly stamped on the reverse of the shell. A crest is engraved beneath the hallmarks comprising a tuft of reed vert, surrounded by a girdle on which the motto is written: NISI. VIRTUS. VILIOR. ALGA. (Viler than the sea-weed without virtue).
Size :- 4 inches (10.2 cm) wide x 3.7 inches (9 4 cm) long x 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) high to top of scroll handle
Weight :- 4.4 ozt (136.5 g)
Good condition. Although this shell has had a good deal of use in the past 196 years, it is a robust piece with a great deal of charm. There are signs of previous gilding on the body but this has now mostly worn off. There is one scratch running vertically on the left hand side of the shell and another on the right but they are not very visible due to the shell's shape. The full set of hallmarks stamped on the back of the shell are extremely crisp and clear, as is also the crest beneath the hallmarks