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5167 A Georgian Silver Wine Funnel (Possibly by Hester Bateman)

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This is a pretty small wine funnel made in 1789.  It comes in three parts, the bowl, the spout and the muslin ring which nests inside the head of the spout and cannot be seen when in use.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this funnel is that the makers mark is 'overstamped' by another.  It is very difficult to determine for sure who the original maker was, because that mark was all but obliterated, but it seems there is almost sufficient to see that it was the world-renowned lady silversmith, Hester Bateman.  The liklihood that it was made in her workshop is enhanced by the fact that her oeuvre of wine funnels are very similar to this.

The silversmith who overstruck the first maker's mark has the initials 'IB', but the overstriking might have been done any time after the funnel was made.  There are many London Makers with the initials IB, but the four most likely candidates are John Broughton, James Barratt, John Baddeley or John Bridge, who entered their first marks in 1779, 1801, 181, and 1823 respectively.

The funnel is marked on both the bowl and the spout, and it appears that the original maker's initials were ?B - the 'B' being in Italics and with a loop - like Hester Bateman's.  There are many who would definitely ascribe the funnel to her very large workshop, but we feel the mark only makes that a probability; it is not a firm attribution by us.  If we could say the funnel was definitely by Hester Bateman, the price would be at least double as her work is much sought.

Date: 1789

Dimensions: 4.6", 11.7 cm high

Weight: 66 grams, 2 oz. 3 dwt.

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