The arms and monogram are those of Queen Anne. Their presence on these salvers is explained by the issue in 1705-6 of 4,000 ounces of "Indenture Plate" to John Smith, elected Speaker of the House of Commons on 24 October, 1705. He held the office until 1 November, 1708. The full inventory of the silver issued to Smith is contained in the Jewel Office Plate Book in the Public Record Office (LC947) and it is noted as discharged in the Lord Chamberlain's Daybook on 5 October, 1709. These salvers are described there as "one small pr. of sallvers wt. 28 ozs. 18 dwts. at 8s. per oz. [L] 12.05.07d."
Speaker Smith's silver descended to Smith's son-in-law Thomas Assheton of Ashley who had married his daughter Harriet in 1724. Thomas Assheton's son, also Thomas, assumed the additional name of Smith in 1774 at the death of his maternal uncle, William Smith, and the silver passed, along with the family's Welsh estates, to his grandson's widow who in 1858 left them to her husband's great nephew, George William Duff. Duff was great-uncle of Sir Michael Duff, Bt., who sold the silver at Christie's in 1958.
A dish from the same service by David Willaume was sold in these Rooms, April 16, 1985, lot 499.
**** "one small pr. of sallvers wt. 28 ozs. 18 dwts. at 8s. per oz. [L] 12.05.07d" (Jewel Office Plate Book L. C. 9. 47)