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JOHN SCHOFIELD. An exceptionally rare George III Toasting Cheese Dish made in London in 1792 by John Schofield.


The Dish is rectangular in form with an everted rim decorated with herring bone designs. The domed cover terminates in a ball finial and has an outer border unusually decorated with acanthus spears. The domed central section is decorated with lobing surrounded by an oval of acanthus spears. This example has a turned fruitwood side handle and is in quite excellent condition. The bottom of the dish has a hot water jacket which can be filled by unscrewing the handle. The Dish is fully marked on the base and with the makers mark and duty mark on the cover and is of a very good weight.

Among the innovations of the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century were specialised dishes for melting cheese on toast. The cheese toaster is equipped with a hot water jacket, which is filled through a conical socket, with removable wooden handle. Squares of toasted bread were thereby kept warm while the cheese layered on top melted and bubbled by the heat of an open fire. The cover was raised to an angle and kept open. The reflective interior of the cover aided the process of melting and toasting the cheese.

Cheese Toasters are extremely rare, however this is the first time we have seen one coming from the Schofield Workshops, in the Neo Classical tradition.

Length: 9.1 inches, 22.75cm

Width: 6.25 inches, 15.63cm.

Height, to the top of the finial: 3 inches, 7.5cm.

Weight: 33oz.