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Silver Sugar Dredger - Crystal Body

A hallmarked Silver & Crystal Sugar Dredger also sometimes known as a sugar sifter, sugar shaker or sugar caster. Handmade by JA Campbell in Brentwood, England.

The dredger takes its name from an old and obsolete french word "dragie" - to sprinkle sugar, spices or other powdered substances over food. 

Generally speaking, the sugar dredger (along with other items of silver tableware) is enjoying something of a revival. Most people recollect a sugar dredger as either the kitchen version, or in the case of the silver version, a rather complicated ornate design which gathered dust on Grandma's shelf. The Slow Food movement is fueling this revival.

This modern design by JA Campbell has clean contemporary lines which will fit into the modern lifestyle or home and also into the classical one. It can be used at breakfast for adding to cereals or fruit and at lunch and evening meal for desserts. Great if just a couple together or even better when there are more of you. An interesting talking point if you are entertaining and a nice piece of table theatre.

This article is also highly suitable as a gift for any occasion imaginable, and can be engraved with a message on either the silver or the crystal body to personalise it and to mark the occasion. It also comes supplied in a luxury presentation box.

As with every item in the JA Campbell collection this dredger is made very much up to a standard rather than down to a price. You may find cheaper but you are unlikely to find better. This silver dredger is designed to enjoy now and pass down to a future generation.

Maintenance: Most silver table items can be treated in the same way as other items made from different materials for example procelain, china or crystal - washed after food use as necessary, dried using a clean tea towel and when  necessary polished using a proprietary silver polish such as Silvo or maybe Goddards.

In the unlikely event of accidental damage simply return the item using secure postage such as Royal Mail Special Delivery making certain that the item is over protected rather than under to ensure no additional damage occurs. We have had instances where an article has been returned with just a minor problem and was totally wrecked when it arrived. This was due to insufficient packaging.

Enjoy now for yourself with friends and family, indoors and outdoors, then pass on to a future generation.

Interested in how we make this article in our Brentwood studio? Read on:

In common with most articles in the JA Campbell collection this piece is made using the metal spinning method. This is an ancient way of producing round hollow objects from sheet metal in relatively small quantities. It is also used in many other industries for example catering, where pots and pans are often made this way and also the lighting industry for lamp reflectors and fittings. 

Another good example of spinning is to be found in the British Museum in London. The large plates in the Milden Hall collection were most likely made this way as the telltale spinning lines on the backs indicate. However on a recent visit in 2017 the lines seemed to have vanished?

The spinning process is done on a lathe onto a preformed shape known as a chuck. A disc of any sheet material is spun onto the chuck using a polished steel burnisher, a little lubricant and a lot of skill. As you can imagine the disc tries to buckle and fold as it is being persuaded to change from a flat disc to a hollow object. It is the skill of the silversmith to prevent this happening.

Some metals are harder to spin than others, for example 18 carat gold is much more difficult to spin than aluminium. The harder metals need several anneals (making red hot to soften) to make the spinning process possible.

Once the spinning fits the chuck snuggly its outer edge is trimmed to size. In the case of this dredger, the silver cap is made from two components which when finished will be lapped together to form one part. Then a drilling template is fitted to the top surface and the holes, through which the caster sugar is to escape, are drilling and the burrs which form on the inside are removed.

Now it is time for hallmarking: one of the oldest and most wellknown trusted methods of international consumer protection. Why? because it is a totally independent test - the result being uninfluenced by the sponsor or any other body.

Firstly the makers or sponsors punch is struck into the surface of the item. The article is then transported to the relevant UK Assay Office, in this case the London Assay Office housed in Goldsmiths Hall London since the 1400's.

Small samples are taken from all the components of an article, there may be many, but in this instance there are just two. The samples are then analysed to ascertain the pure silver content and if "up to scratch" (an old hallmarking term) in other words better than 925/1000 the remaining hallmark characters are punched into the surface. These characters are the lion passant symbol for sterling silver, the leopards head symbol for London, 925 since joining the EU and lastly the optional date letter. As a deterant to fraudulant attempts (now a bit theatrical and historic) if the article fails three tests it is broken with a hammer and the wreckage returned to the sponsor.

On arrival back from hallmarking the slight dents caused by the punching process are set by the silversmith and the polishing process begins.

Using four grades of polishing compound starting with coarse and finishing with rouge, fine, the article has all its spinning lines removed and the high shine for which silver is known begins to take place. This high shine can be a little off putting and one may be reluctant to touch or use it, but once you have used and cleaned it a couple of times it starts to take on a more user friendly finish known as a patina. Enjoy! You may not be able to take it with you but it is nice to be able to leave something of lasting value to the younger generation.



Engraving example image

You can be assured that all
JA Campbell products are made up to a standard and not down to a price.


Engraving is a wonderful opportunity to personalize a gift. The addition of a minimum of initials, a name, a name and date, plus the occasion will cover most situations. More can be added, if required, such as a personal message.

Suggested position:

on side of silver top or on side of crystal body

Recommended maximum characters: 240

For more information regarding our engraving services, which include hand, glass, heraldic and logo engraving, please click here, or telephone Colin or John Campbell on 01277 217829 to discuss.

Compose your personal engraving message after adding this product to your basket.

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Our services


Gift wrapping

Each item purchased is packed into a luxury presentation box.

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Engraving service

Engraving your silver or crystal adds that extra personal individuality to your sterling silver gift.

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Our skilled silversmiths can perform many repairs on worn or damaged silver items.

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Swap your old silverware

We offer a swap service where you send in your old silver items.

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