George, 4th Earl Cowper (1776-1799), or possibly his brother Peter, 5th Earl Cowper (1778-1837)
By descent to Lady Ethel Desborough (1867-1952), granddaughter of the 6th Earl Cowper, and her husband William, 1st Baron Desborough KG GCVO (1855-1945)
Presumably removed from Panshanger, co. Hertford, and sold Christie's, London, 18 March 1942, as part of lot 94
The crown which surmounts the arms refers to the status of the Cowpers as Princes of the Holy Empire, a dignity granted by Joseph II while the 3rd Earl Cowper was serving as ambassador in Vienna. His sister was simultaneously serving as Joseph's mistress, which may have played a part in the emperor's decision to declare Lord Cowper the heir, through his mother, of the Princes of Nassau Auverquerque. George III granted use of the Holy Roman title to Lord Cowper and his issue on 19 August 1785.
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