Spectacular pair of 19th C. electroplate silver plaques stamped Elkington & Company. The plaques are highly detailed and each depict a different scene from William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and Much Ado About Nothing.
A Brief History of Elkington & Company
Inventors of Silver Plating
The originators of silver-plating were George Richards Elkington and Henry Elkington who began their research in times of the industrial revolution. By the 1830's they had patented their processes and 1840 saw the technique of electro-plating brought to perfection.
John Culme, in his Directory of Gold and Silversmiths, said that "Elkington Electroplate was soon accepted with the result that the firm allowed a number of manufacturers to use the technique under licence. Among the earliest granted were those of Christofle & Cie of France".
In 1868, Queen Victoria permitted much of the royal plate to be copied by Elkingtons and after that a convention was entered into by "several Princes of the reigning families of Europe" whereby they agreed mutually to assist the company in allowing copies of their own national objects for the process of art.
Dimensions: 18.5H x 23W x 3D