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Indian Colonial Victorian Silver Trowel - Sir Albert Albert Spicer, London Missionary Society
Reference: S1692
Period: Victorian
Year: 1882
Silversmith:
Place: India
Price: $ 1 150.00
Weight: 81, including wooden handle grams
Dimensions: 20.1 cm
Condition: Excellent, handle securely fastened.

Description: A ceremonial Indian Colonial Victorian silver trowel, used to commemorate the laying of the foundation stone of a L.M.S (London Missionary Society) church in India. The trowel is the traditional shape but quite small and dainty, it has a turned wooden handle, and a rounded blade. The handle has a silver band around the handle where it joins the silver blade, this has the same decoration as the blade. The band and top of the trowel is engraved with scrolling flowers, in addition the top of the blade has been finely prick engraved with a flowing pattern (each prick is triangular), probably added by a local craftsman. The trowel has no hallmarks at all. The back of the trowel is engraved "WITH THIS TROWEL A. SPICER ESQ LAID THE FOUNDATION STONE OF THE L.M.S. CHURCH AT SUNKE RYDROOG SALEM S. INDIA ON THE 25 th NOVr 1882". As you can see from the photographs, the engraving is very quaint, with uneven sized letters, and words flowing into one another, we assume it was done by a local silversmith who did not speak English, copying from a paper text, and struggling to fit in all the words in the space available (we think this adds to the charm of this silver trowel). A Spicer is Sir Albert Spicer, 1st Baronet, (1847-1934), he was a wealthy English businessman he owned the largest paper company in the world at the time. He was also a British MP and Congregationalist, who supported the London Missionary Society. He visited India in 1882 on an inspection tour of LMS churches, he produced a report which is available online, this trowel would have been presented during that tour. The town Sunkerydroog we think may be Sankagiri today, located in the Salem district in Tamil Nadu province, it has a fort which was an important military base for the Tippu Sultan and later the British. The London Missionary Society was formed in 1795 by Congregationalists to do missionary work in Asia and Africa, famous missionaries included David Livingstone and Eric Liddell (Olympic gold medalist). In 1966 LMS merged with other societies, today called Council for World Mission.
Indian Colonial Victorian Silver Trowel - Sir Albert Albert Spicer, London Missionary Society
Indian Colonial silver trowel - London Missionary Society, Albert Spicer

Indian Colonial Victorian Silver Trowel - Sir Albert Albert Spicer, London Missionary Society
Sir Albert Spicer, 1st Baronet, portrait in London Missionary Society

Indian Colonial Victorian Silver Trowel - Sir Albert Albert Spicer, London Missionary Society
Sir Albert Spicer in Botswana, Africa

Indian Colonial Victorian Silver Trowel - Sir Albert Albert Spicer, London Missionary Society
Indian colonial silver trowel

Indian Colonial Victorian Silver Trowel - Sir Albert Albert Spicer, London Missionary Society
London Missionary Society, Sir Albert Spicer, inscription

Indian Colonial Victorian Silver Trowel - Sir Albert Albert Spicer, London Missionary Society
Engraving on front of trowel

Indian Colonial Victorian Silver Trowel - Sir Albert Albert Spicer, London Missionary Society
engraving on front of indian colonial silver trowel

Indian Colonial Victorian Silver Trowel - Sir Albert Albert Spicer, London Missionary Society
detail silver trowel

Indian Colonial Victorian Silver Trowel - Sir Albert Albert Spicer, London Missionary Society
Scale - indian colonial LMS trowel

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