The plain wooden bases with turned centres surrounded by pierced silver sides of vertical pales with arched tops applied with cast paterae and 4 oval medallions, one of which is a plain cartouche engraved with script initials W.M, all linked by cast swags of leaves. The lower part with beaded band, the rims with gadroon borders.
These are some of the best 18th century Coasters we have ever had. Most examples of this genre have embossed decoration but the quality of this pair is particularly noticeable by the cast and applied ornament. The influence of Robert Adam is plain to see with the use of swags and paterae and the hallmarks are as good as any we have seen on coasters of this period. Due to lack of space anywhere else, coasters were usually marked on the very bottom edge. This is not ideal as it is the area that is most likely to suffer the highest amount of wear. The overall condition of this pair is superb so there is very little evidence of overcleaning or just the ravages of time.
Robert Hennell was a highly talented silversmith whose output was always marked by a great balance of shape and decoration. Whether it is his cake baskets, tea and coffee wares, goblets, salvers, his silver is some of the prettiest of the second half of the 18th century.