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HESTER BATEMAN

Perhaps more than any other, Hester Bateman is the silversmith who has managed to touch the hearts of successive generations of silver collectors. The considerable success she enjoyed in her lifetime can be attributed to keen business instincts, but her posthumous achievements are even greater and their reasons are more complicated, although, no doubt the most important of these is her unusual status as a superb lady silversmith in an industry dominated by men.

Hester Bateman is without doubt the most popular and renowned of all women silversmiths. Yet Hester's career as a silversmith was never intended. Widowed at the age of 51, she inherited her husband's small workshop practice and for the next thirty years, this unlikely shrewd business woman, grew the workshop into a thriving silver manufacturing firm.

Hester Bateman was born in 1704 in Clerkenwell, London (England), and married John Bateman (a goldsmith) in about 1725. They had six children; John, Letticia, Ann, Peter, William, and Jonathan. The family lived at 107 Bunhill Row in the Parish of St. Luke in North London for more than a century. John and Hester purchased the houses on both sides of theirs, and two of the children occupied those homes in later years.

Although his sons Peter & Jonathan were both doing their silversmithing apprenticeships, when John Bateman died in 1760, he bequeathed all his tools to Hester suggesting that she was already an accomplished silversmith. However, even with the skills of the trade, Hester had no small task ahead of her to continue the business. In these times, women-owned businesses were generally not accepted, and the industry was highly competitive. Unperturbed, Hester registered her mark of a scroll HB at Goldsmiths Hall in 1761 and aided by her son's Peter and Jonathan along with Jonathan's wife, Ann, the business boomed.

In 1790, Hester finally retired at the grand old age of 81. Sadly, the following year her son Jonathan died, leaving Peter without his two long term partners. He turned immediately to his sister in law Ann, making her a partner in the business and registering their joint mark in 1791. From then Ann became the driving force in the business until her retirement in 1805. In 1800, Jonathan and Ann's son, William, became a partner in the family business, completing possibly the most famous of all silversmithing dynasties.

Unlike most silversmiths who specialised in just one area of production, the Batemans were masters of many, producing fine wares right across the board. The main reason for their success was due to Hester's attention to design, detail and quality. All the pieces that left the workshop would be inspected to the highest standard and with this attitude the business grew. Many pieces of Hester Bateman's silver show identifying characteristics such as bead detailed edges and fine designs of bright-cut engraving. They received many commissions from The City Guilds, various religious establishments, and private individuals.

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27 results

b0974: Sterling Silver Cream Jug

Hallmarked In 1786

Hallmarked in London, 1786 by Hester Bateman, this handsome, Antique, Sterling Silver Cream Jug, features a scalloped border, an acanthus detailed scroll handle, and a pedestal foot. The cream jug measures 5 inches (12.5cm) tall, by 3.5 inches (9cm) from handle to spout, and weighs 2.5 troy ounces.

£975

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b9770: Sterling Silver Salt Cellars

Hallmarked In 1788

Hallmarked in London, 1788 by the doyenne of silversmithing, Hester Bateman, this fabulous pair of Antique, Sterling Silver Salt Cellars are in the more unusual oval shape. The salt cellars stand on four hoof feet with beading around the edges. These salt cellars measure 3"(7.5cm) by 2"(5cm) with a height of 1.75"(4.5cm). The silver weight of these cellars is 4.4 troy ounces.

£975

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j1691: Sterling Silver Pepper Pot

Hallmarked In 1781

Hallmarked in London, 1781 by Hester Bateman, this very handsome, George III, antique silver pepper pot, features a pedestal foot, with engraved banding, and a pierced and engraved removable lid. The pepper pot measures 6 inches (15cm) tall.

£1,175

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j7345: Sterling Silver Pepper Pot

Hallmarked In 1788

Hallmarked in London, 1788 by Hester Bateman, this stylish, George III, Antique, Sterling Silver Pepper Pot features reed borders, and engraved decoration to the lid. The pepper pot measures 5.5 inches (14cm) tall, by 2.25 inches (5.5cm) in diameter, and weighs 2.6 troy ounces.

£1,245

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b4647: Sterling Silver Cream Jug

Hallmarked In 1790

Hallmarked in London, 1790 by Hester Bateman, this attractive, George III, Antique, Sterling Silver Cream Jug, is 'helmet' shaped, standing on a square pedestal foot, and featuring engraved decoration, a loop handle, and bead borders. The cream jug measures 6.25 inches (16cm) tall, by 4.25 inches (11cm) from handle to lip, and weighs 4 troy ounces.

£1,245

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b0916: Sterling Silver Salvers

Hallmarked In 1789

Hallmarked in London in 1789 by Hester Bateman, this Antique, George III, Sterling Silver Salver or Teapot Stand is plain oval in shape with a reeded border and four reeded feet. The Teapot stand is 6.75 inches (17cm) long, 4.75 inches (12cm) wide, 1 inch (2.5cm) tall and weighs 4 troy oz.

£1,275

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b9000: Sterling Silver Pen Tray

Hallmarked In 1779

Hallmarked in London, 1779 by the much revered silversmith Hester Bateman, this George III Antique, Sterling Silver Pen Tray is a stunning example of her work. This pen tray(or, snuffer scissor tray) is beautifully hand crafted and is simply decorated with beaded edges, with a bow swag and flower motif applied at each end. This tray measures 9.5"(24cm) long and 4"(10cm) wide. The pen tray weighs 4.11 troy ounces.

£1,275

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b4951: Sterling Silver Brandy Saucepan

Hallmarked In 1785

Hallmarked in London, 1785 by Hester Bateman, this handsome, George III, Antique, Sterling Silver Brandy Saucepan, is plain in style, featuring reed borders, and a wooden handle. The brandy saucepan measures 6.5 inches (16.5cm) tall, by 8.25 inches (21cm) from handle to side, and weighs 6.3 troy ounces.

£1,495

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b9046: Sterling Silver Wine Funnel

Hallmarked In 1771

Hallmarked in London, 1771 by Hester Bateman, this Antique George III, Sterling Silver Wine Funnel is small but perfectly formed, with simple reeding on the body and delicate gadrooning on the rim. The bowl is detachable and has a circular pierced pattern. This charming wine funnel is 4.5"(11cm) tall with a bowl diameter of 3"(7.5cm) and a weight of 2.1 troy ounces.

£1,575

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j8596: Sterling Silver Porringer

Hallmarked In 1780

Hallmarked in London, 1780 by Hester Bateman, this very handsome, Sterling Silver porringer, is very plain in style, featuring reed bordered loop handles, and reed detailing around the foot and rim. The porringer measures 4.25 inches (11cm) tall, by 6.75 inches (17.5cm) from handle to handle, and weighs 8.5 troy ounces.

£1,675

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b1828: Sterling Silver Trophy

Hallmarked In 1787

Hallmarked in London, 1787 by Hester Bateman, this handsome, George III, Antique, Sterling Silver Trophy, is plain in style, featuring reed borders and two handles. The trophy measures 5.5 inches (14cm) tall, by 7.25 inches (18.5cm) from handle to handle, and weighs 10.7 troy ounces.

£1,675

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b4838: Sterling Silver Goblet

Hallmarked In 1787

Hallmarked in London, 1787 by Hester Bateman, this delightful, George III, Antique, Sterling Silver Goblet, features bead borders around the foot and stem, and is otherwise plain in style. The goblet measures 7 inches (17.5cm) tall, by 3.5 inches (9cm) in diameter, and weighs 8.5 troy ounces.

£1,675

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b5014: Sterling Silver Mug

Hallmarked In 1787

Hallmarked in London, 1787 by Hester Bateman, this very handsome, George III, Antique, Sterling Silver Mug, is baluster shaped, and features an acanthus detailed scroll handle, and reed borders. The mug measures 4.75 inches (12cm) tall, by 4.75 inches (12cm) from handle to side, and weighs 10.7 troy ounces.

£1,675

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b6949: Sterling Silver Baskets

Hallmarked In 1777

Hallmarked in London in 1777 by Hester Bateman, this Antique, George III, Sterling Silver Basket has beaded borders and piercing so typical of her work. The sweetmeat basket is 6 inches (15cm) long, 4.75 inches (12cm) wide, 4.75 inches (12cm) high to the top of the handle and weighs 4 troy oz (120gms). It is in very fine, original condition.

£1,675

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b9201: Sterling Silver Baskets

Hallmarked In 1785

Hallmarked in London, 1785 by revered silversmith Hester Bateman, this desirable Antique, Sterling Silver Basket is beautifully crafted. This delicate basket is oval in shape with a swing handle. It features beading around the borders and across the handle. There is repeat pattern pierce work and subtle engraving on the body. The basket measures 2"(5cm) tall and with the handle up measures 6"(15cm). It is 7"(18cm) across and 4.5"(11cm) handle to handle. The basket weighs 4.4 troy ounces.

£1,675

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b9709: Sterling Silver Basket

Hallmarked In 1782

Hallmarked in London, 1782 by Hester Bateman, this delightful little Antique,George III, Sterling Silver Basket is so typical of her feminine style. The basket has lattice work piercing around the bowl rim and pierced work on the pedestal. The edges and swing handle are beaded. There is delicate engraving surrounding the lattice work. This exceptional basket measures 6.25"(16cm) by 5"(12.5cm) and is 2"(5cm) high or 6"(15cm) with the handle up. The basket weighs 4.35 troy ounces.

£1,675

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b2953: Sterling Silver Sweet Meat Basket

Hallmarked In 1784

Hallmarked in London, 1784 by Hester Bateman, this very attractive, George III, Antique, Sterling Silver Sweet Meat Basket, features pierced and engraved decoration to the sides and foot and bead borders around the foot, lip and swing handle. The basket measures 1.5 inches (4cm) tall with the handle down (4.75 inches (12cm) with the handle up), by 6.75 inches (17cm) wide, by 4.25 inches (11cm) from handle to handle, and weighs 4.1 troy ounces.

£1,695

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b9400: Sterling Silver Basket

Hallmarked In 1780

Hallmarked in London, 1780 by Hester Bateman, this George III Antique, Sterling Silver Basket is beautifully hand crafted. The basket has delicate repeat pattern pierce work with beading around the edges and on the swing handle. This fantastic example measures 2"(5cm) high (or 5.5"(14cm) with handle up) and is 6"(15cm) in length with a depth of 5"(12.5cm). This basket weighs 4.85 troy ounces.

£1,795

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b4826: Sterling Silver Set Of Four Salt Cellars

Hallmarked In 1785

Hallmarked in London, 1785 by Hester Bateman, this stylish, George III, Antique, Sterling Silver Set of four Salt Cellars, feature ball and claw feet, pierced and engraved detailing to the sides, bead borders, and blue glass liners. Each salt cellar measures 2 inches (5cm) tall, by 3.5 inches (9cm) wide.

£1,875

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b7716: Sterling Silver Mugs

Hallmarked In 1779

Hallmarked in London in 1779 by Hester Bateman, this Antique, George III, Sterling Silver Mug has a scroll handle with acanthus detailing. The mug is in excellent condition, is 5 inches (13cm) over the handle, has a diameter of 3.5 inches (9cm), is 5.5 inches (14cm) high and weighs 13 troy oz (405gm).

£1,975

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j7574: Sterling Silver Teapot

Hallmarked In 1781

Hallmarked in London, 1781 by Hester Bateman, this wonderful, George III, antique silver teapot, features brightcut engraved decoration and an engraved crest, bead borders and a wooden handle and finial. The teapot measures 5.25 inches (13.5cm) tall, by 9.5 inches (24cm) from handle to spout.

£2,975

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b2863: Sterling Silver Wine Coasters

Hallmarked In 1787

Hallmarked in London in 1787 by Hester Bateman, this Antique, Sterling Silver, George III, Pair of Wine Coasters are pierced and have bead borders. Each coaster is 5 inches (12.5cm) diameter and 1.75 inches (4cm) high.

£4,275

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b5981: Sterling Silver Coffee Pots

Hallmarked In 1781

Hallmarked in London in 1781 by Hester Bateman, this Antique, George III, Sterling Silver Coffee Pot is so typical of the style made by Hester Bateman, probably England's most famous lady silversmith. The coffee pot has beaded decoration with a little acanthus detailing on the spout. It is 12 inches (30.5cm) high, 8 inches (20.5cm) from handle to spout and weighs 25 troy oz.

£4,975

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j6297: Sterling Silver Tankard

Hallmarked In 1790

Hallmarked in London, 1790 by Hester Bateman, this handsome, George III, antique silver tankard, stands on a pedestal foot, and feartures a domed lid, cast and applied thumb piece, and engraved coat of arms. The tankard measures 8.5 inches (21.5cm) tall, by 6.5 inches (16.5cm) from handle to lip.

£5,475

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j7767: Sterling Silver Tea Caddy

Hallmarked In 1785

Hallmarked in London, 1785 by Hester Bateman, this wonderful, George III, antique silver tea caddy, is oval in shape, and features bands of engraved detailing, the original key, and a pineapple finial. The tea caddy measures 5.5 inches (14cm) tall, by 5 inches (12.5cm) wide, by 3.5 inches (9cm) deep.

£5,675

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j7667: Sterling Silver Pair Of Wine Coasters

Hallmarked In 1787

Hallmarked in London, 1787 by Hester Bateman, this very attractive, George III, antique silver pair of wine coasters, feature engraved and pierced decoration, wooden bases, and delicate bead borders. Each wine coaster measures 1.75 inches (4.5cm) tall, by 4.75 inches (12cm) in diameter.

£5,765

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j7359: Sterling Silver Pierced Basket

Hallmarked In 1786

Hallmarked in London in 1786 by Hester Bateman, this superb condition George III antique Sterling Silver pierced basket has beaded borders so typical of Hester Bateman's work and the most beautiful brightcut engraving and piercing. The basket is 13" (33cm) long, 9" (23cm) wide, 10" (25cm) high to the top of the handle and weighs 21 troy oz. It is without doubt one of the best examples of a Hester Bateman basket we have ever been fortunate enough to own.

£8,475

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