George III silver salver
This early George III silver salver, made by Richard Rugg I in 1768, is in the round shaped gadroon style with three cast fluted legs. The centre of the tray is engraved with armorials and the motto NEC ME MEMINISSE PIGEBIT which translates as NOR SHALL I REGRET TO REMEMBER.
The serving tray as we know it today is an evolution of the salver, which was a term used in England from the mid-seventeenth century to denote a flat tray without handles, usually made of silver. Some salver designs feature supporting feet - usually three or four.
The word derives from the Latin salvare meaning to save. Originally, food or drink intended for royalty would be initially tasted by a servant for signs of poison before it reached the royal top table. By being served on the salver indicated that this process had taken place and the food and drink was now fit for a king.
Salvers later became commonplace in aristocratic and wealthy homes and Samuel Pepys is recorded as an owner of a salver, signifying his high social standing.
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