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Looted silver from the Summer Palace

Hi folks,
I recently posted this query on the Asian Arts Forum, and a contributor suggested I try this site.
I recently bought a silver cream jug on eBay, that bears an inscription " Made from silver taken from the Imperial Summer Palace, near Pekin, October 8th 1860".

It carries London hallmarks for 1860-1861, the name Turner’s 58 & 59 New Bond St, and has a crest of a greyhound (or whippet?) seated.
Also the maker’s initials E.I

Can anybody please tell me:

  1. Whose crest it is
  2. Who is the maker E.I (or is it E.J?)
  3. Is it a London maker (as I suspect), or was it made in China.

I understand Turners were goldsmiths to Queen Victoria.

Your assistance, as always, is much appreciated.

More photos

I can’t help with the crest I’m afraid, but the maker is a London silversmithing company; EI is Elizabeth Ivory, who registered her mark on 29 Oct 1860 from St James Walk, Clerkenwell. She took over the business from George Ivory who apparently emigrated to Australia. My reference does not tell me Mrs Elizabeth Ivory’s relationship to the absent George but she does not seem to have been his wife. Elizabeth Ivory only ran the business until July 1861 when it was taken on be Alfred Ivory with a consequent change of mark to AI.

Many thanks for your input, which another reader confirmed with the Goldsmiths Company.

Reference to Fairbairn’s book on crests shows a number of families with the greyhound crest, none of which were with in the marauding party of the King’s Dragoon Guards. So whose crest it was remains to be established.

From the Daily Telegraph, 23 Nov 2011:

Many thanks for this helpful info re George Ivory & family. Hopefully I can add a bit more for you !

  • George jnr (b1819) took over his father George’s silverware business when the latter died in 1853 and at about that time the business moved from 53 Compton St, Clerkenwell to 8 St James Walk a couple of streets away.

  • Judging by various auction sites, George seems to have been quite prolific for Turners in 1857/8 and he took on an apprentice also in 1858.

  • He then promptly disappears for some 30 years, resurfacing in 1891 in Islington living with his other 3 siblings who survived into adulthood - sister Mary Ann Ivory, head of the household,and a silversmith herself, Charles Sage Ivory, a jeweller, and young Alfred Ivory (AI).

  • Thanks for the date (in 1860) when his mark was taken over by EI as this gives us an idea of when & where to look for him.

  • EI is Elizabeth Ivory, his mother, nee Elizabeth Beckwith (b1789), daughter of Jonah Beckwith, also a silversmith. Hence she was about 70 when she took on the business but she died in June the following year (1861), hence the date when youngest son Alfred took over.

So where did George go ? Answers on a postcard please !

Hello Tony,
So, I am a three times great granddaughter of George Ivory junior and very keen to find out more about the mystery years from 1860 onwards. There is nothing known amongst the family, but as he never returned to his wife and daughter, I would like to find out more. Has anyone made any progress? Hello luxmalc, I know you don’t know any more!