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Dish: M.18-1980

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Silversmith: Marks, Gilbert Leigh




Silver; eight-sided wavy rim embossed with lizards and foliage

Britannia silver, cast in rounded octagonal shape with wide wavy rim, repousse and chased with eight lizards among bramble foliage on a thorny stem on a spot-hammereed ground.


History note: Commissioned by the family of Miss Ellen Bicknell

Legal notes

Given by Miss Ellen Bicknell

Measurements and weight

Weight: 1785 g

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1980-12-01) by Bicknell, Ellen, Miss


19th Century, Late#
Victoria I
1898 CE - 1899 CE


Born in 1861 in Croydon, south London (where he remained until his premature death from syphilis), Marks appears to have developed his silversmithing skills in his spare time. In 1896, although still working as ‘something in the City’, he had two assistants, who helped him produce his metalwork and by 1901 was working full-time as a silversmith. His work, in silver and pewter, hammered with tools from both the front and the back to create raised decoration, was praised for its handmade qualities. Most of his pieces were in a naturalistic style, incorporating plants or animals. His obituary in The Burlington Magazine referred to his insistence ‘that the smith must be at once the designer, the artist, and craftsman. Marks would have no dies, no machinery, no repetitions.’ His early death resulted in his significant contributions to the Arts and Crafts movement being overlooked.

School or Style

Arts and Crafts (movement)

Components of the work

Across Rim Diameter 42.4 cm
To Rim Height 5.8 cm
Lizards And Foliage

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Raising : The dish was cast and the lizards and foliage embossed and chased. The lizards have a small piece of silver seamed under the jaw and neck, which allows the head to stand proud of the dish. The background to the dish is spot hammered.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Gilbert Marks 1899
  • Location: On the upper edge of the rim
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Maker's inscription

Inscription present: Britannia

  • Location: Inside the bowl
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark

Inscription present: lion's head erased

  • Location: Inside the bowl
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark
  • Text: c
  • Location: Inside the bowl
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark
  • Text: GM
  • Location: Inside the bowl
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Maker's mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.18-1980
Primary reference Number: 119262
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 2 February 2021 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

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 (2024) "Dish" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-18 23:02:48

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{{cite web|url= |title=Dish |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-18 23:02:48|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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