A George II silver Waiter with a knurled border.
A George II small Waiter on three feet, with an unusual knurled border, the centre engraved with a contemporary crest, London 1747, John Robinson II.
John Robinson was born in 1712, the son of William Robinson of Leeds, a vintner. On the 25th August 1727, he was apprenticed in London to Thomas Bayley, a freeman of the Cordwainers’ Company but clearly also a silversmith by trade. Robinson did not take up his freedom until the 1st March 1737, when the Cordwainers’ Company records state that he had been an apprentice of William Bayley. Whether this was an error at the time, or whether William Bayley had taken over the apprentices of Thomas Bayley, remains a mystery.
Robinson registered his first mark on the 9th February, 1738, giving his address as Porter street, Soho, and his second mark on the 3rd July, 1739, with an address in Long’s Court, Leicester Fields. By September 1742 he had moved to New Bond street at the sign of ‘the Star and Ring’. He remained there until 1769 when William Nodes, goldsmith and jeweller, advertised himself on his billhead as ‘successor to Mr. Robinson’. He died in April 1787 by which time he was living in Maddox street and in his will, written shortly before his death, he left the income from two properties in Seven Dials to his half-sister, Mary Harrison of Hanslett, near Leeds, and the residue of his estate to his niece, Elizabeth Robinson, ‘now living in or near Leeds.’
Most of the early pieces struck with Robinson’s mark are waiters or salvers and he was clearly a specialist in making them. There is an interesting remark in an Old Bailey Court case of January 1757 in which Robinson gives evidence about a stolen waiter: ‘I observed the waiter to be made by my master, when I was apprentice; here is my own mark upon it.’ If Robison’s master [whether Thomas Bayley or perhaps William Bayley] was a maker of salvers and waiters, he is not recorded as having a mark by Grimwade.
Diameter – 15.70 cm.; Height – 2.70 cm.; Weight – 258.60 gms.