Spotlight: Georgian Antiques

The reign of George III brought about historic change, including the unification of Great Britain and Ireland, and the American Revolution. Antiques from this period are incredibly well-preserved and beautifully crafted, reflecting the luxury and opulence of the British royalty.

Below is a collection of some of the finest authentic George III antiques, from Sterling silver to handcrafted furniture.

English George III Mahogany Bureau Bookcase, circa 1800


King George III of Great Britain reigned from 1760 to 1820, then the longest reigning monarch. Rising to power at the age of 22, his first years in power largely consisted of governmental instability after the Seven Years’ War with France. He later dealt with the increasing tensions brought on from the North American colonies. He was consistently opposed to American self-rule. However, he later learned to accept their independence, and is quoted as saying, “I was the last to consent to the separation; but the separation having been made and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I would be the first to meet the friendship of the United States as an independent power.”

He was known as an avid collector of books, creating a new national library. He also had an extensive art collection, which included the likes of Johannes Vermeer.

Some of the most well-preserved antiques from the George III period are Sterling silver dinnerware (seen below), including serving trays, coffee pots, bowls, and platters. These pieces have incredibly intricate designs and features.

Antique English George III Sterling Silver Coffee Pot, circa 1745
George III Sterling Entree Dish by Garrard, circa 1812
Pair of Sterling George III Bowls by Sharp, circa 1797
George III Sterling Serving Tray by Fuller, circa 1803
George III Sterling Meat Platter by Laver, circa 1783

In this period, some of the most notable silversmiths were women. In an era where women lived as second class citizens, bound to strict rules of society, they broke through in the fields of silversmithing and goldsmithing. Women like Ann Bateman, Hester Bateman, and Hannah Northcote created works of art that have lasted hundreds of years into today.

George III Sterling Cup by Hester Bateman, circa 1785
Sterling Tea Set by Hannah Northcote, circa 1802
George III Sterling Silver Serving Spoons by Hester Bateman, c. 1783
Sterling Tray and Pot Set by Peter, Ann & William Bateman, circa 1800

The reign of George III ended in 1820, with his death at the age of 81. After being succeeded by his two sons, George IV and William IV, who both had no children, it was Victoria who later ascended the throne. She became the longest reigning leader of her time, and brought about an entirely new era of art, design, and cultural and societal change.

The era of George III is often overshadowed by the American Revolution and the Napoleonic era, when in fact it marked the transition of a new period for the West, the Victorian period. It was a period of renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman societies from which new ideas about government and culture emerged. These new ideas provided a template for new countries such as the United States.

George III Sterling Repousse Box by Fairdruther, c. 1801
George III Sterling Spoon by Hester Bateman, circa 1781

To own a piece from the Georgian Era is to own a piece of history. At Solvang Antiques, we pride ourselves on immensely appreciating the true historical value of these pieces. However, we also know that historical items do not always belong in museums. These items were made to last, and they were used daily by people in their homes. Whether used with care as a practical piece of dinnerware, or showcased as a piece of art, you won’t regret owning a piece from this significant and remarkable period.

George III Sterling Ink Stand by Rebecca Emes & Edward Barnard, circa 1814
George III Sheffield Plate Ink Well by Matthew Boulton, circa 1800

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