A 350 year old silver salver that was commissioned by the Dean of Salisbury has been sold by auction in the same city.
Dr Richard Baylie was also twice Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and commissioned the salver for his grandson, Richard Dighton of Clifford Chambers in Gloucestershire. Dighton’s daughter, Arabella, went on to marry Sir John Floyer – a notable asthmatic who is recorded in Boswell’s Life of Johnson as living to the age of 90 but also falsifying his baptism record to make himself appear younger than he was.
The salver (lot 905) was sold at Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury on 26th January as part of an auction of Silver and Objects of Vertu, where it fetched £3,375.
“The salver was made in London in 1679, during the reign of Charles II,” explained Silver specialist, Rupert Slingsby. “The Dighton family are well documented, with a 1902 publication by one of Richard’s descendants (Conway Dighton) detailing the various branches of the family. Dr Baylie himself, who gifted the salver to his grandson, was noted for his lavish hospitality when in Salisbury, although he spent most of his time in Oxford.”
The auction house has recently had a string of high prices for early silver. In April 2021 an armorial silver cup made just four years after the salver sold for £22,500, while a tankard with a hinged cover from 1663 sold for £12,500.
*Sold prices include buyer's premium.