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Dumfries Silver Collection

George Smith & William Fern

Spoon sifter bearing the crest of the Maxwells of Kirkconnell, New Abbey, and the family motto "Spero Meliora"

Period:
18th Century
Description:

This spoon sifter was made by George Smith and William Fearn and was assayed in London.  It bears the date mark for 1792.

 

The Kirkconnell estate in the parish of New Abbey was originally owned by the Kirkconnel family.  In 1430 their only daughter married Aymer De Maxwell, brother of the first Lord Maxwell of Caerlaverock.  The Kirkconnel name was consequently lost, with this branch of the family becoming known as the Maxwells of Kirkconnell.  The family motto "Spero meliora" means "I hope for better things".

 

During the early 1790s James Maxwell was the head of the family.  His brother William had a house in London and probably purchased this item for him as it bears London hallmarks.

Place of Production:
London
Materials/Media:
silver
Dimensions:
length (handle) 125mm, length (bowl) 44mm, width (bowl) 48mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:1998.19
Digital Number:
DMSW080a-d
Creation Date:
1792
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council


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