Cradle, Presentation

A silver plated presentation cradle mounted on a wooden base. The cradle ends are scroll shaped and it features two handles with decorative engravings. An angel figure is attached to the foot of the cradle. A plaque in the shape of a shield is attached to the front of the wooden base. "PRESENTED/By/NEW PLYMOUTH BOROUGH COUNCIL/TO/F.E Wilson , Esq./ On the occasion of the birth of a son during his/TERM OF OFFICE AS/MAYOR OF NEW PLYMOUTH/April 5th 1922" is engraved on the plaque. An unknown makers mark is impressed below the handle on the reverse of the cradle and it is duplicated on the plaque.
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This cradle was presented to F.E (Frank) Wilson in 1922 when his son Alastair was born. Frank Wilson was Mayor of New Plymouth from 1920-1927. The custom of presenting a miniature silver cradle to the wife of a Member of Parliament or local body politician when she gave birth to a child while her husband was in office appears to have been quite widespread for some time in New Zealand. Some cradles were made by local silversmiths and others were imported. The manufacturer of this cradle has yet to be identified despite the makers marks. The earliest known New Zealand made cradle of this type was crafted in 1868 in the Dunedin workshop of John Hislop for presentation to the Mayoress of Alexandra.
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