Hester Bateman is considered to be one of the finest English Lady silversmiths of all time.Hester was born as Hester Needham in London in 1708. In 1732 she married a watch chain maker John Bateman and subsequently took over the business in 1760 when John died.She registered her own hallmark HB, in script, at the Goldsmiths Hall in 1761 although surprisingly most examples of her work are from the late 1770’s period.
She worked at her workshop at 107 Bunhill Row, London with her two sons John and Peter specialising in household silverware such as salts, cutlery, inkstands, tea caddies and salvers.Hester retired in 1790 leaving the business to her sons John and Peter. She died a few years later in 1794 at the age of 86. The Hester Bateman legacy continued in her family until 1843 when the workshop was finally closed.
Today, silver pieces made by the Bateman family continue in their popularity and are highly sought after among the collectors although Hester's pieces command higher prices because of their age and also the fact that lady silversmiths' works are more scarce.
Below are a couple of examples of the pieces she produced and a sample of her hallmarks. Happy collecting!