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Pair of sauce boats

Pair of sauce boats

  • Place of origin:

    Sheffield (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1830 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sheffield plate, a laminate of sterling silver fused on to a copper core.

  • Credit Line:

    The Wolseley Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Object Type
Sauce boats were an innovation of the reign of George I, although examples dating from that period are extremely rare. The concept of a vessel specifically for serving sauce came from the French Court, along with the fashion for sauces. The first sauce boats were double lipped with spouts at opposite ends, but the type with a spout at one end and a handle at the other became more common after 1730.

Although there is no identification of the maker on this sauce boat, it is illustrated in the pattern book published in 1825 by Samuel Roberts and George Cadman, where it is described as 'fluted antique'. Illustrated alongside is a similar ¾-pint sauce boat in silver by William Sampel with London hallmarks for 1763-1764.

Materials & Making
Samuel Roberts the Younger (1763-1848) was among the first manufacturers to apply silver wire to the edges of Sheffield plated articles, and he became very proficient at it. In 1824 he took out a patent which incorporated several improvements to his existing technique. Silver wire was soldered to the edge of the article so that the wire slightly overlapped; the protruding edge was then filed back so that it met with the main edge of the article itself. The two edges were then carefully burnished (polished) until the seam apparently disappeared. Roberts's objective, as stated in his patent specification, was to disguise the laminate so that he could imitate sterling silver wares, with the hope that 'it would be impossible, even for an expert, to discriminate between silver and plated articles when they were placed side by side'.

Physical description

Shell-shaped fluted body, and shaped oval foot, both with moulded rococo borders, the latter also enriched with shells, foliated scroll handle.

Place of Origin

Sheffield (made)


ca. 1830 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Sheffield plate, a laminate of sterling silver fused on to a copper core.


Height: 15.5 cm, Width: 18.5 cm including spout and handle, Depth: 10.2 cm

Object history note

Made in Sheffield

Descriptive line

Sauce boat, Sheffield plate, English, ca. 1830

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This sauce boat copies a Rococo silver sauce boat of the 1730's. The mouldings are made of stamped silver plate, filled with lead, a technique introduced in the early 19th century. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Reason For Production: Retail


Sheffield plate


Metalwork; Food vessels & Tableware

Production Type

Mass produced


Metalwork Collection

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