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Trowel: M/P.2-1934

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 10 (Octagon)


Silversmith: Garrard, Robert II




Silver; inscribed and engraved blade, cast and chased handle

Silver; the upper side of the blade is engraved with an anthemion at the pointed end, which is linked by lines to an arrangment of stylised foliage and scrolls at the broad end. Within the frame is a floor plan of the Fitzwilliam Museum. On the underside of the blade is engraved the crest of an eagle's head at the pointed end, and a presentation inscription within a border of foliate scrolls: Hoc instrumento usus est/GILBERTUS AINSLIE .T.P./ Academiae Cantabrigiensis/iterum ondamentis/ Proconcellarius/ cum lapidem auspicalem statueret/in Aedium fundamentis/QUAS RICARDUS VICECOMES FITZWILLIAM/Admirabili munificentia/et in almum Academiam pietate/Pecunius testamento legatis/Ideo exstrui ussit /Ut libri pictae tabulae/Aliaque elegantiorum artium monumenta,/Ipsius dona, In eus reciperentur,/Quarto Non Novemb. Anno omini/ MDCCCXXXVII'. The fluted baluster handle has a knop at the end and three borders of beads. It is joined to the blade by matted acanthus leaves.

Legal notes

Given by T.O. Ainsley, Esq., 1934

Measurements and weight

Length: 36.4 cm
Length: 14ΒΌ in

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1934-12-15) by Ainsley, T.O.


Mid 19th century
Victoria I
Production date: dated AD 1837


This trowel was used by the by the Vice-Chancellor, Gilbert Ainslie, to lay the foundation stone of the Fitzwilliam Museum on 4 November 1837

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Gross Weight 420 g Weight 13:10 oz:dwt

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Hoc instrumento usus est/Gilbertus Ainslie S.S.P./ Academiae Cantabrigiensis/ iterum Proconcellarius/ Cum Lapidem auspicalem statueret/ in Aedium fundamentis/ QUAS RICARDUS VICECOMES FITZWILLIAM/ Admirabili munificentia/ et in almum Academiam pietate/ Pecuniis testamento legatis/ Ideo exstrui jussit/ Ut libri, pictae tabulae,/ Aliaque elegantorium artium monumenta, / Ipsius dona, / In eus recipeventur, / Quarto Non Novemb. Anno Domini/ MDCCCXXXVII
  • Location: Underside of the blade
  • Method of creation: Engraving
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: GARRARDS / Panton Street / LONDON
  • Location: Underside of the blade
  • Method of creation: Stamped
  • Type: Retailer's inscription

Inscription present: leopard's head

  • Location: Underside of the blade
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark

Inscription present: lion passant

  • Location: Underside of the blade
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark
  • Text: B
  • Location: Underside of the blade
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark
  • Text: sovereign's head
  • Location: Underside of the blade
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark

Inscription present: 'RG' with crown above

  • Location: Underside of the blade
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Maker's mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M/P.2-1934
Primary reference Number: 119230
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 8 February 2017 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Trowel" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-04-02 01:39:00

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{{cite web|url= |title=Trowel |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-04-02 01:39:00|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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