This antique English silverplate footed dome butter dish features an all-over chased motif of flowers and leaves on the domed butter dish lid, four ornate fleur-de-lis and beaded feet, ornate and handles by William Mammatt & Sons, Sheffield, England and an antique silverplate butter spreader knife with an ornate chase design and monogrammed with a "B" on one side by (c. mid-1800s) Good condition.
William Mammatt & Sons of Sheffield, England - Active at Albion Plate Works, (1886-1896), Portland Works, Sheffield (1897-1906). The firm succeeded William Mammatt, (1861 -1885). Between 1864 and 1867 the firm traded as Mammatt, Buxton & Co.
This antique silverplate footed dome butter dish lid has an ornate beaded and floral finial knob, chased design all around and a high polished silver finish. There is silverplate loss noted all along the chased design, but no dings, dents or other damage to note.
The matching antique silverplate footed butter dish base has four ornate feet with a fleur-de-lis design with beading. The knife holder prongs are firmly attached. There is some wear and very light pitting on the inside of the base; which is common in antique silver butter dishes. There is silver loss noted along the outside of the base encompassing about half of the diameter. No dings, dents or other damage to note.
The silverplate antique butter dish measures 6-3/4" in diameter (9" between the handles), stands 7" tall, weighs 1 pound 1.4 ounces and is touchmarked on the base with E.P. (electro-plate) W.M., GUARANTEED EXTRA FINISH, FINE SILVER PLATE and the pattern number 1347.
The included antique silverplate butter spreader knife is by Wilcox Silverplate Co. in the Newport pattern (c. 1879). Delicate design and monogrammed on one side with a letter "B" with minor silverplate wear. This antique silver butter spreader knife measures 7-1/4" in length, weighs 36 grams and is marked on the back of the handle with W.S.P. Co.
Years ago, cooking in America called for tremendous amounts of butter. Though margarine made its appearance during World War II, there was no substitute for butter when most of the silver shown on this page was produced.
In order to use butter in the large one-pound blocks in which it was generally sold, a dish was invented that not only helped with the presentation at the table, but was a necessity. Most silver and silverplate butter dishes consist of three silver parts: the lid, the pierced liner, and the base. Butter was placed on the liner, allowing the excess water from the butter to drain through the piercing. If the weather was warm, ice was added with the butter on top, and the melting ice could drain through the piercing.
These silver and silverplated dishes are also known as domed butter dishes, covered butter dishes and just butter dishes. These more ornate butter dishes are less common than the more commonly seen rectangular butter dishes - just slightly larger than a stick of modern butter. Rarely does one see these rounded butter dishes in use anymore, and they have achieved a strong collecting following.
For fancy dinners, the hostess may have had one of the servants make fancy molded pieces of butter called “butter pats” or butter balls, which were served on crushed ice in the butter dish to be picked up with a butter pick. These required yet another butter serving piece, itself known as a “butter pat.” Butter pats were tiny plates placed at each individual setting, to be used for a single piece of butter. They range in diameter from approximately 2 ¼ inches to about 3 ¼ inches, and were made in sterling as well in porcelain. Many sterling silver companies produced butter pats to match their sterling flatware patterns.
As butter began to be commercially produced for distribution in individually wrapped quarter pound cubes, the large form became obsolete. Thus the butter dish began a new form. This new dish usually had a crystal liner, to protect the silver from the salt used in making the butter. Most of the new butter dish forms are 8 – 9 inches long.
A2808 - Antique English Silverplate Footed Dome Butter Dish WILLIAM MAMMATT & SONS Sheffield, England / WILCOX SILVERPLATE CO. Silver plate Newport Butter Spreader Knife