The Crest of the Family of Ferguson of Pitfour in the County of Aberdeenshire :
The crest as engraved upon this Pair of George III Irish Silver Basting Spoons
by Christopher Skinner hallmarked Dublin circa 1764
and upon the George III Irish Silver Soup Ladle
by John Laughlin, Senior and for David Peter hallmarked Dublin (no date letter)
is that of the family of Ferguson of Pitfour in the County of Aberdeenshire.
It may be blazoned as follows:
Crest: A crescent or rising from a cloud proper
Given the presumed dates of manufacture of the pair of basting spoons and the soup ladle
there is every likelihood that these were in the possession of t
he Scots Territorial House of Ferguson of Pitfour.
The main candidate for their ownership is James Ferguson of Pitfour,
the 2nd Laird (born 1700 died 25th June 1777).
He was a leading jurist who became a Senator of the College of Justice in Edinburgh,
taking the judicial title of Lord Pitfour in 1764,
a date that meshes in well with these spoons and ladle.
James was the son of James Ferguson of Pitfour,
the 1st Laird who acquired the estate of Pitfour in 1700.
James, the 2nd Laird married The Honourable Anne Murray
(born 20th September 1708 died 2nd January 1793) on the 3rd February 1733.
Anne was the 3rd daughter of Alexander Murray,
the 4th Lord Elibank and his wife, Elizabeth Stirling.
Here it should be noted as a point of interest that James and Anne's second son,
Major Patrick Ferguson (born 4th June 1744 died 7th October 1780)
was an officer in the British Army officer in the British Army
who was an early advocate of the use of light infantry and the designer of the Ferguson rifle.
He served during the American War of Independence under the command of General Cornwallis
and was killed at the Battle of King's Mountain in the Province of South Carolina on the 7th October 1780.
He was aged 36 at the time of his death.
Heraldry by John Tunesi of Liongam
MSc, FSA Scot, Hon FHS, QG
Hook End (or hook-handle) basting spoons are peculiar to Ireland, and date mostly from the mid-18th century.
Their unique characteristic of these spoons is the broad over-scrolled terminal
bearing a rather stylish large crest.
These serving utensils are mentioned in text as hanging from vessels,
and being “good for drawing poultry”(removing poultry insides).