The slightly curving triangular blade pierced with bands of curving foliage and
flowerheads surrounding three crested birds (Jaybirds),
one appearing to have lost his crest (not a repair),
issuing from a shaft cast as a notched stem with openwork strapwork foliate terminal
centering a flowerhead; crisp marks to the outer edge verso
Introduced in the second half of the 18th century, slices or servers with pierced blades
are among the most desirable of the genre –
particularly those with silver rather than wooden handles.
Richard Mills worked both alone and with Thomas Hannam.
Several of his pierced servers or slices are known.
Crested Jaybirds are known Jacobite symbols.
The crested jaybird was symbolic of the Stuart heirs - often in flight, either fleeing or returning.
Please note the piercing depicts three Jaybirds - perhaps for the 3 Stuart claimants to the throne.
As well, both the flowers borne on supple long stems and the strapling foliage
appear to represent daffodils -
a further Jacobite symbol of both "hope" and the "return of spring" (and the Stuart reign).
Below is a c1760 Jacobite opaque twist wine, engraved with a daffodil and bee :
We cannot say with any certainty that this server has Jacobite sympathy -
just note for you that it does bear symbols connected to the Jabobite movement
- well known for its cryptic pictorial language.
Condition : Minor surface scratches appropriate to age and usage;
probable crest removal to central cartouche; very slight bend to blade at the left side;
several possible repairs to the piercing (perhaps also in making)
and one repair to the arched shaft;
10.75"Long / 4.3 troy oz.