Keen followers of my website will know that I seem to have a thing for mid century modern condiment sets, and I am delighted to present another such set for sale from the Collection. Post war modern designer silver prior to c 1965 is quite rare – demand was constrained by post war economic austerity, high taxation and fashion. In spite of this there emerged, by the 1960’s a distinctive renaissance in British silver often with distinctive bark effect patina. I am personally especially interested in the earlier designs and designers prior to this period and this condiment set is another strong example. Scandinavian influenced but distinctly modern, geometric and British.
In this case you could not get more British as the sponsor mark is that of Harrods the famous Knightsbridge store. The Harrod’s mark being RWB for Richard Woodman Burbridge, the Chairman of Harrods during the inter-war years who first registered this Harrods mark in around 1919. Around the 1960’s it is known that Harrods started selling British designer silver (they famously sold David Mellor’s Embassy cutlery set commissioned by the Conservative Government for 10 Downing Street that the new Labour government of 1964 refused to buy).
The condiment set itself comprises five pieces. A salt (date 1963 ), a pepper (date 1964), a mustard with original blue glass liner (date 1964), a mustard spoon (date 1964) and a large heavy sugar (date 1963). The difference in dates could simply be that the set’s hallmarking coincided with the change of assay year, but I think more likely this was made by an apprentice whilst at one of the silversmithing schools (most likely the Central School of Arts and Crafts) and then acquired by Harrods for sale. Several other 1960’s condiment sets and a tea sets in the Collection’s archive have the same two to three year date span.
The set is in excellent condition with just some rubbing to the marks. All pieces are correctly fully and part marked. The set altogether is very heavy, with the sugar being a particularly good gauge of silver.
Maker: Unknown / Harrods (retailer)
Marks: RWB, London, date letters “h-i”
Material: Sterling silver
Condition: Excellent, marks slightly rubbed
Size: 14.25 cm height (sugar), 9.5 cm high (pepper/salt)
Weight : 475 grams, 16.8 oz