Just picked up these two...I am reasonably certain that they are from London, 1801, the maker I think is John Reily but if you have a differing opinion please let me know!
These dishes are nuts. Well, literally in one sense. The top part (handle? Finial?) of either kid is held on by a wingnut, one of which has a “JA” makers mark, the other does not have this mark and it is slightly larger. One other interesting detail is that the non-JA wing-nutted lid’s top pieces are mobile while the other is stationary.
The ends of each of these dishes have Ram’s heads with circles through them (like one of those lion door knockers) and each dish has two different styles of feet, with east and west matching on either dish.
The hallmarks on the body and lids differ slightly: on the lid there are a makers mark, duty stamp, lion, date letter, and on the body (outside) there are lion, london crowned cat, date letter, and duty stamp. I had been concerned that these may be pseudo marks but these appear to be sterling and legit markings, if you have a difference of opinion please do not hesitate to share it.
I am also reasonably certain that these are from someone or somewhere related to the Legh’s of Norbury Booths Hall (now an office park) in Cheshire, England. (If you google “Legh family crest” and go to images you will see this sword/arm combo. If you’re really a sleuth find the brown one that says “bookplate” and it is an excellent match, with the bow-tie shaped hilt and the tongue-sticking-our snake. Obviously I am not a heraldry expert, haha)
My main question, I am really wondering what these dishes might have been used for (they were sold to me as butter dishes but I was like, yo, that is a lot of butter, haha)
If anyone has any insight whatsoever I would be so utterly delighted to hear it. I am in love with these dishes because they seem to be so steeped in provenance and history. I hope I can uncover more of their secrets with your collective expertise. :)
Thanks so much!!!
PS the full album of photos is here: https://imgur.com/a/6Ny1xGT
I only posted 12, there are 16 total. LMK if you want more photos/loupe shots etc.