ONCE the largest city outside London, Norwich had its own silver assay office during three periods between 1565 and 1702.
The city was much admired for the quality of its output - some
of it on par with that produced in London and York - but today
there are perhaps only 200 surviving pieces of Norwich secular
Of those, 29 carry the maker's mark of a formidable women -
She was the widow of the silversmith Arthur Haselwood II and
carried on the family business after his death in 1684, probably
employing journeyman goldsmiths to carry out the work. She died,
aged 71, in 1715 and is buried with her husband in the south aisle
of the Church of St Andrew, her tombstone still
Sworders' sale on November 13 included this remarkable
cannon-handled basting spoon. At 16in (41cm) long, this is the
largest recorded Norwich-made spoon and is mentioned in both of the
texts on the subject, Norwich Silver and its Marks
1565-1702 by G.N. Barrett andEast Anglian Silver 1550-
1750edited by Christopher
It carries Elizabeth Haselwood's initials, the date letter k for
1697 plus the town assay of a rose crowned (it was, incidentally,
the last year this mark was
The condition left a little to be desired - it had been scrubbed
of the "skin" one hopes to find on 17th century silver - but it
improved upon its £2000-3000 estimate to bring £4600.
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