York silver salts by John Hampston and John Prince – £2300 at Taylors.

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It is from the late Georgian to early Victorian period that most York silver is found.

As they catered for a relatively small market (at the time there were also assay offices in Newcastle and Sheffield), many of the silversmiths operated in partnerships. John Hampston and John Prince were journeymen to Ambrose Beckwith, but purchased the business on his death in 1770 and ran it together until early 1796 (they were also partners in the glass manufactory in Fishergate that later became the York Flint Glass Company).

This pair of otherwise very typical late 18th century silver salts, offered for sale at Taylors (24% buyer’s premium) of Montrose on July 29, date from 1795, the penultimate year of the Hampston and Prince partnership. Soon afterwards the pair were joined in the workshop by cousins Robert and George Cattle and used a maker’s mark for Hampston Prince Cattle and Cattle until 1804.

Any example of York hollowware is a rarity.

This pair, with bright cut decoration and a crest (one missing its blue glass liner), sold for £2300 against a guide of £140-180.