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Author Topic:   Hester Bateman

Posts: 27
Registered: Mar 2005

iconnumber posted 06-15-2005 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for obnock     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Am I the only person that is constantly suprised by the prices paid for Hester Bateman items. My opinion is that whilst she was a wonderful at marketing her wares the item were of very average quality and are of no great significance, but people still pay prices comparable to great silversmiths like Paul Storr or Paul Crespin. I think it is the recognition factor like Clarice Cliff "everyones heard of them so they must be good", well sorry I think its overated, mass produced poor quality ware. What do you all think?

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Posts: 336
Registered: Jan 2005

iconnumber posted 06-15-2005 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for salmoned     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think herd mentality is great, it allows the mavericks to cherry-pick the 'undiscovered' fields.

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Posts: 935
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 06-15-2005 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I could not agree more. I find that makers like Richard Crossley & George Smith produced much better quality items or at least their journey-men did.


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Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-16-2005 12:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My own surmise is that Hester Bateman commands money because she was a woman. It would seem logical to compare her to her contemporary female smiths. Of whom there are very few. So, while it makes little sense to value this as silver work; it does make some sense to value it as early feminism. Or at least that is how I read the tea leaves.

I also suspect she was one of the first people to run an actual silver factory as oppossed to smithery.

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Posts: 418
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 06-16-2005 02:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for adelapt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems to have helped her cause no end that David Shure wrote his very eulogistic book. Also that the wares were reasonably plentiful and were adopted by some presumably influential marketers (and collectors). It does seem (to an outsider) that her reputation rides higher in the U.S. than in her own country. George Savage's book "Totter's Teapot" capitalised on the latter point.

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Ulysses Dietz

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 06-16-2005 11:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A major figure in the American auction world always used to refer to Mrs. Bateman as "Hester the Batwoman." Her attraction is most likely much stronger in America, where the middle-class quality of her work is hard to distinguish from the quality of contemporary Federal work. Upper-middle-class women in the 1920s-60s collected Hester Bateman, through places like Ensko in NYC, undoubtedly because it was by a woman(feminism wasn't in the picture with these ladies, I'm pretty sure); it was more available than American Federal silver; as well as for its comfortable, pretty design.

I'd love to know if and how much of her stuff was marketed to America in her own lifetime. Do any records survive? The Newark Museum has thirty pieces of Hester Bateman silver, most of which came to us from a well-to-do Newark grande dame who bought it in the 1920s-40s.

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