An Important Set of 4 George II Irish Butter Shells

Maker: 
John Laughlin, Dublin
Dated: 
C.1745
Dimensions: 
5 1/8" wide
Weight: 
18 3/4 oz

Of traditional scallop form but larger than average and each with 2 stud supports.

Price: 
£12500
Provenance: 

Arthur Hill, 1st Viscount Dungannon (1694-1771), thence by descent.

Hill was Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer and commissioner for Irish revenues. He had 2 children: Arthur Hill Trevor who pre-deceased him and Anne who married Garret Wellesley (later Earl of Mornington) and was mother to the Duke of Wellington

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The importance of these shells is that they appear to be the earliest known Irish examples. Although late 17th century shells are known in England we have been unable to find any earlier than this elegant set by Laughlin. Their condition is superb and they are a generous size. Although Laughlin is generally known for making spoons he is recorded as having made other pieces including holloware. No illustrations of George II Irish butter shells appear in any publication on Irish silver in our library.