Between 1697 and the Victorian era there worked in London a total of sixty-three women silversmiths, each of whom possessed her own registered touch mark.
Probably the best known of the women silversmiths was Hester Bateman of London. Until recently, save for Hester Bateman (English, 1709-1794), these sixty-three women have been the forgotten craftsmen in the various publications. This oversight was largely due to the assumption that they were simply widows carrying on their husbands’ businesses and not of themselves workers in silver.
Within The Brookes Bequest there is a significant and discrete collection by women silversmiths, especially acquired with TJC in mind, including silversmiths who registered their mark in partnerships such as Hester Bateman, [Peter and] Ann Bateman, Elizabeth Eaton and John Eaton, Rebecca Eames [Emes] and Edward Barnard as well as silversmiths who registered their own mark such as Susannah Barker, Elizabeth Jones, Elizabeth Cooke, Dorothy Mills, Elizabeth Oldfield, and Mary Rood[e].
In this lecture Dennice Collett will introduce us to some of the key pieces from The Brookes Bequest that relate to women silversmiths as brilliant businesswomen and superb makers.
DENNICE COLLETT is Consultant specialist, Decorative Arts, at Gibson’s Auctioneers and Valuers in Armadale and previously was the long serving Decorative Arts Manager at Philips Auctions in Malvern.
With formal qualifications in Music, Fine Art and Museum Studies from the University of Melbourne and Monash University Dennice is always enthralled by the beauty, craftsmanship, and stories behind the objects she handles.
This lecture is presented on-site at The Johnston Collection. Please see your ticket for details.
This lecture is supported by The Colin Holden Charitable Trust.
This lecture coincides with the exhibition SPLENDID and its accompanying publication are supported by a specified fund established from the Estate of Mr. Clive Hele (Roger) Brookes.
salver, London, 1771
sterling silver | 33 x diameter (irregular) 260 mm
The Johnston Collection, A1720, bequest of C H (Roger) Brookes, Melbourne, 2021
photograph by Mitchell Luo, Melbourne
Dorothy Sarbitt (sometimes Sarbit aka Dorothy Mills), English
salver, (from a pair), London, 1768
sterling silver | each 32 x diameter (irregular) 240 mm
The Johnston Collection, A1529
bequest of Mr. Clive Hele (Roger) Brookes, Melbourne, 2021, in memory of his parents Sir Wilfred Deakin Brookes, CBE, DSO, AE and Mrs. Betty (née Heal) Brookes