English Sterling Silver Tea Caddy Spoon, Hester Bateman, London, 1788-1789
Engraved "W WE"
Hester Bateman likely assisted her husband, John, in his business as a chain maker prior to his death in 1760. Hester, then 51, took over the business and developed it into a silversmithing empire. She spent the next 29 years expanding its scope into affordable, detailed, fashionable domestic wares marketed to the upper middle class. She cultivated new clients, expanded the physical workshop and trained her successors. Hester achieved these accomplishments, extraordinary even by today's standards, while illiterate.
Her sons, Peter and Jonathan, registered their joint mark in Goldsmiths' Hall. Jonathan's sudden demise within a year of the partnership's formation left his widow, Ann to continue the partnership with her brother-in-law. Ann and Jonathan's son, William, joined his mother and uncle in the family business. Peter, Ann, and Willliam registered their joint mark in 1800. The firm operated under this mark for the next five years. By 1805, Peter and William's mark appeared, and William registered his mark alone in 1815.
3 1/8" length, 1 1/2" width.