Edward Aldridge, English, Cake basket, 1752-1753, Silver; 29.8 x 41.3 x 34.9 cm (11 11/16 x 16 3/16 x 13 11/16 inches) including handle, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Harrington 60.102
The scrolls, shells, and plant details of the flamboyant rococo style are especially evident in English silver. On this cake basket, an openwork container popular in the eighteenth century for holding cakes and fruit, London silversmith Edward Aldridge used a tiny fretsaw to cut a precise, pierced pattern of scrolls. Cast-silver rosettes, leaves, grapes, and wheat stalks create the undulating outline of the basket’s rim. Small cherubs adorn the tops of the hoofed feet. On the inside of the basket, Aldridge engraved the Amory family coat of arms. The owner’s coat of arms was an essential component in the decoration of dining services, especially on serving pieces such as the cake basket, which was highly visible to guests at the table.