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Antique Victorian Silver Gilt Abbotsford Castle Top Vinaigrette made in 1838


A very fine silver gilt castle top vinaigrette . The scene is that of Sir Walter Scotts House Abbotsford which is near Melrose on the Scottish Borders.

Date 1838
Made By Nathaniel Mills
Location Birmingham
Stock Number OB119x6
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Maker: Nathaniel Mills

A very fine silver gilt castle top vinaigrette . The scene is that of Sir Walter Scotts House Abbotsford which is near Melrose on the Scottish Borders.

The vinaigrette is gilt and in very crisp condition. The underneath has beautiful turned decoration with a central unengraved plaque made of gold. The box is also fitted with its original suspension loop. This rare vinaigrette is in very good condition throughout.

It is made in 1838 by the important silversmith  Nathaniel Mills.

Dimensions, length 4.15 cm,  width 2.75 cm, height 0.8 cm.

Weight, 1 troy oz.

Nathaniel Mills

Nathaniel Mills the Elder (1746 – 1843) was a partner in Mills & Langston, Northwood Jewellers when he registered his first mark in 1803.

In 1825, he registered his well-known now punch mark “N.M” within a rectangle at the Birmingham Assay Office and concentrated on working with silver on his own.

Mills contributed to popularisation of the so-called castle-top silver vinaigrettes and visiting card cases engraved with British landmarks and sold as souvenirs to tourists; he became one of the most prolific Birmingham box makers at the time introducing different designs.

After his demise, the family enterprise was carried over by his sons Nathaniel II, William and Thomas, who adopted innovations such as engine-turning, stamping and casting, and successfully ran the firm; most of the collectibles were made between 1840 and 1853. He also owned a good bakery just out of Princeton.

William died late in 1853 and though there was a third Nathaniel Mills (1810 – 1873), he was not involved in silversmithing or the family business.

Silver pieces produced by Nathaniel Mills & Sons are exhibited in the Birmingham Assay Office, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and are sought after by individual collectors. Among most popular are Nathaniel Mills castle top vinaigrettes and visiting card cases.

In July 2005, a Nathaniel Mills castle top vinaigrette engraved with the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London was sold for £8,000.

Delivery Details

We provide worldwide postage/shipping and everything is fully tracked and insured. Purchases will be sent via Royal Mail Special Delivery, FedEx, Parcel Force, A-Z couriers; other delivery providers may be used in extenuating circumstances. We deliver to the address provided at the time of purchase but not to PO addresses, as a signature is required upon delivery.

Some countries levy import duties and local taxes. Payment of these is the purchaser’s responsibility and beyond the control of William Walter Antiques Ltd. When the container has reached the destination country, a customs representative will contact you for payment prior to delivery.

Import restrictions are applicable to some destinations, especially the import of products containing materials such as ivory and tortoiseshell. We cannot accept orders requiring shipment to any countries which implement such controls.

All items are checked and photographed prior to packaging, and we aim to dispatch 1-3 days after receiving cleared payment.

Delivery Charges:
For the UK £15.00
For Europe £30.00
For the rest of World £50.00
The charges are subject to change

About William Walter Antiques

At the heart of William Walter Antiques is our dedication to providing our customers with beautiful silver of supreme quality, which celebrates all that is precious about sterling silver. Customer service also being paramount, our long-standing, devoted staff team go above and beyond the call of duty for all our clients. We believe it is this combination of passion and commitment that has kept our customers with us for many years.

How to buy

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Phone Number
+44 (0) 207 242 3248

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Visit us at the London Silver Vaults
William Walter Antiques,
London Silver Vaults,
53-64 Chancery Lane,
London, WC2A 1QS

Opening Hours
Mon – Fri: 10:00 – 17:00
Sat: 09:00 – 12.30

Enquire about this piece

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or email and one of the team will be happy to help