Britain today, is marketing itself as manufacturers of quality in a number of industries. Just think of Rolls Royce and it is easy to understand why. This is not a new thing and in the Victorian and Edwardian eras it was Elkington and Co that was the beacon of unrivalled quality. Indeed, between 1840 and 1914, no other manufacturer was as well represented at the world's great exhibitions.
Elkington and Co is synonimous with silver and more importantly the electroplating of silver on metal. The process of using electric to bind silver to a base metal was invented by John Wright in the 1830's, but the patent was won by George Elkington in 1838 and was in full production as G.R.Elkington by 1840.
In 1842, Josiah Mason came into the partnership and the firm became Elkington, Mason and Co. This only lasted until 1861 when the partnership ended and the firm became Elkington & Co for the next one hundred and two years, until 1963.
Elkington & Co, produced the finest quality wares for aristocrats, politicians and royalty. In fact, as Elkington & Co it produced wares for every single monarch in its history.
In 1963, the firm merged with Mappin and Webb and became British Silverware Limited, which is it's current name. A quick glance at the website leaves you in no doubt the importance of the firm today. Making notable silver wares such as the football Carling Cup.
On Tuesday 26th August, in 'The Silver Auction' at McTear's are three astonishing examples. Lot 1 in the sale is an important political silver presentation casket (£1200/1800). Lot 20A is an electroplated centrepiece, believed to be made for Glasgow City Hall, who were so impresssed with it that they commisioned a silver copy (£700/1000). Finally, there is a page turner made specifically for the 1901 Glasgow Exhibition (£80/100).
So there it is, something to suit all pockets, we hope you enjoy the sale.