Inscribed Silver Plate
diameter: 24cm, depth: 2cm, weight: 418g
This beautiful silver plate is from eighteenth century Spanish colonial Mexico. Made of hammered and chiselled high-grade silver the plate is heavy for its size and has a beautiful finish. (Among Central and South American silverware, colonial Mexican silver tends to be the heaviest.) It follows the classical Louis XVI style with a double six-lobed or scalloped rim.
It has two indistinct maker’s or assay marks to the front. The reverse is inscribed towards the rim with the owner’s name: ‘Onesimo Pola’.
Although the plate almost certainly is from Mexico, similar plates were produced in Guatemala (See
Mexicaans Zilver/Mexican Silver, 1993, p. 107 for an example.)
Platters and trays were used widely by Spanish colonials. Plates such as this example were used for serving salad or small amounts of beef stew.
Spanish colonial silver generally tends to be heavy for its size. Typically it was made by hammering or raising a sheet of thick silver into the required form using a mallet and then planishing it with a small flat-faced tool to remove hammer indentations. This left surfaces smooth but with a surface shimmer so that most extant Spanish colonial silver is both pure and has a rich depth.
Overall, this is a very pleasing plate with excellent weight and patina.
Mexicaans Zilver/Mexican Silver, Museum voor Sierkunst (Gent), 1993; Arte Europeo, Plateria Novohipana (1600-1830), 1994; and Davis Boylan, L., Spanish Colonial Silver, Museum of New Mexico Press, 1974.
UK art market.
Inventory no.: 966
for another Spanish colonial silver plate.
Reverse of the plate
Inscription on the reverse