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Ernst Augustus, King of Hanover. A monumental Victorian silver-gilt centrepiece, John Samuel Hunt for Mortimer & Hunt, London, 1845
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Ernst Augustus, King of Hanover. A monumental Victorian silver-gilt centrepiece, John Samuel Hunt for Mortimer & Hunt, London, 1845
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Details & Cataloguing

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Ernst Augustus, King of Hanover. A monumental Victorian silver-gilt centrepiece, John Samuel Hunt for Mortimer & Hunt, London, 1845
classical urn form with twin stylised entwined branch handles, the flaring rim cast with overhanging fruiting grapevines, the body similarly modelled with openwork cast entwined fruiting vines around a plain liner, the entwined branch stem spreading on to four highly ornate stylised grapevines, on a incurved square pedestal base with husk and bead borders, the crowned cypher 'AR' applied four times within strapwork, above an applied leaf and berry border ad husk rimmed base
66cm., 26in. high
16,350gr., 525oz. 12dwt.
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Provenance

Ernest Augustus King of Hanover, Duke of Cumberland and Brunswick-Lüneburg (1771-1851)

Catalogue Note

The cypher is that of Ernest Augustus King of Hanover, Duke of Cumberland and Brunswick-Lüneburg (1771-1851).

Ernest Augustus visited London in the summer of 1843, 'grown very old and excessively thin.' Although he was fêted by society and welcomed by Queen Victoria, his behaviour was 'difficult,' particularly over his claim to his mother, the late Queen Charlotte's jewellery. One witness characterised him as "surly". He used the opportunity of his stay in London, however, to purchase plate in the latest style for his new residences.

It was in the year 1843 that Ernest Augustus founded the Ernst August-Fideikommiß to preserve his collections of objects of art, including the estates of his sister Auguste Sophie (1768-1840) and of his wife, Friederike (1778-1841). The aim was the 'Erhaltung des Glanzes Unserer Krone.'

All the objects of the Ernst August-Fideikommiß are listed in the inventory of 1855, drawn up after the death of the King, including the present centrepiece. In addition to this, the inventory includes a set of eight stands, of similar vine form, sold Sotheby's, Property from the Royal House of Hanover, 5th-15th October 2005, lot 2208.

The Midas Touch

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