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RODERICK Butler deals in 17th and 18th century furniture at Marwood House, Honiton and there is a natural interest in all the pieces that go with these periods. This catalogue of domestic marked metalware, largely lighting, with hearth and cookery ware, and containing more than 200 pieces, was produced for a recent loan exhibition at Marwood House, with the aim of encouraging further research by illustrating the range of information that a mark can reveal – where and when the pieces were made and sold, and who made, sold and owned them.

The fully photographed catalogue of examples displaying makers’ or other marks is divided into two parts; names and initials and unascribed and other, which small section includes symbols, commemorative inscriptions and obscure or enigmatic marks. Where possible, each entry includes a summary of the information about the mark’s provenance.

So, for Burden & Co (owner) of Hackney we have entry 206, a 101/4in (26cm) brass candlestick, mark punched for the owner, a William Burden, who in 1787, acquired half the lease of premises known as the Mermaid Inn in partnership with the Misses Brunn, which as well as the inn, included an assembly room, pleasure grounds, a bowling green and water features, developed after 1766 on the site of the Hackney rectory. It was certainly a large enough concern to have commissioned its own tableware.

Useful reference for a largely unexplored subject and particularly relevant for its research aspect. The catalogue also mentions the Antique Metalware Society, £20 single membership/£28 joint, with a journal and two newsletters, which is open to all who are happy to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for base-metal objects. Contact PO Box 63, Honiton, Devon E14 lHP.