A very rare George II Sauceboat made in Dublin circa 1740 by Esther Forbes.

A very rare George II Sauceboat made in Dublin circa 1740 by Esther Forbes.


The Sauceboat is typically Irish in its design with a large, shallow, elongated form and stands on three cast paw feet, with unusual shell bases and lion head mouldings where they are attached to the main body.  The sides have a slightly baluster form, chased in the Rococo manner with scrolls, shell details and floral sprays.  Each side also displays a vacant shaped cartouche.  The scroll handle is decorated with leaf capping and this piece is marked on the base with the Hibernia, Crowned Harp and distinctive maker's mark of Esther Forbes, this being EF with a line above and then crown above that.  The Sauceboat is in excellent condition and is a very good gauge.  The design is typically Irish and is Dublin's interpretation of the Rococo style, which was different in London at this date.

Lady silversmiths from Ireland are especially rare and this is only the second we have seen over all of the years, the other being Jane Williams.  Esther Forbes was the widow of Robert Forbes and continued his business in her own right after his death.  She had three maker's mark, so must have continued for a while, however her work is very rare.  Her mark is shown on page 342 of "Irish Georgian Silver", by Douglas Bennett.  This mark is also shown in Jackson's "Silver & Gold Marks" page 632.

Length, spout to handle: 9 inches, 22.5 cm.

Width: 4.25 inches, 10.63 cm.

Height to the rim: 3 inches, 7.5 cm.

Height to the top of the handle: 4 inches, 10cm.

Weight: 14oz.