The first set of arms are those of Joseph Lyons Walrond of Antigua and Dulford House, Devon (1752-1815), 6th Marquess of Vallado. They were probably employed here by his widow, the former Caroline Codrington (d. 1833), whom he had married in St George's Hanover Square in 1797.
The second arms are those of The Rt Hon William Lehman Ashmead Bartlett Burdett-Coutts MP PC (1851-1921) and his wife Angela (1814-1906), suo jure Baroness Burdett-Coutts and heiress of Harriet, Duchess of St Albans. They married in 1881.
In 1837, Angela Burdett had inherited the Coutts fortune, becoming the richest woman in England at the age of twenty-three. The youngest child of Sir Francis Burdett and Sophie Coutts, one of two daughters of the banking magnate Thomas Coutts, Angela was the beneficiary of the peculiar will of her step-grandmother, Harriet, Duchess of St Albans. A popular actress and great beauty in her youth, the former Harriet Mellon twice surprised London society in her marriages: firstly to Thomas Coutts, her long-time patron and lover, and secondly, after inheriting Coutts & Co. and £900,000, to the 9th Duke of St Albans, more than twenty years her junior.
The duchess believed that Coutts should remain in Thomas's family, and though she passed over her two step-daughters, she finally settled upon Angela as her heir. Angela became the sole beneficiary of the trust which owned Coutts & Co, on condition that she take the family name and never marry a foreigner.
For more than four decades, Angela Burdett-Coutts spent lavish sums on philanthropic endeavours, earning widespread acclaim, a peerage in her own right, and the admiration of the Prince of Wales, who called her 'after my mother, the most remarkable woman in the kingdom.' In 1881, however, she effectively surrendered her fortune by marrying her young American secretary. A bitter legal battle ensued, with the Coutts trust eventually passing to her elder sister, Clara Burdett Money. Angela retained a two-fifths life interest. Clara in turn changed her own name, which led to Punch's memorable verse: 'Money takes the name of Coutts / Superfluous and [funny] / For everyone considers Coutts / Synonymous with Money.'
Lady Burdett-Coutts died in 1906, having given away more than £3 million, and nearly 30,000 mourners came to pass by her coffin. Her husband continued to serve as an MP until his death in 1921, occupying the seat for Westminster which his father-in-law Sir Francis Burdett had held for thirty years.
This model of cooler was used by Storr between about 1813 and 1829; for examples, see Christie's, Geneva, 27 April 1976, lots 198-99; Christie's, New York, 23 March 1983, lot 45; and Sotheby's, London, 22 November 1984, lot 101. The enlarged heraldic base appears to be a unique feature of the Walrond commission, however, and appears on a silver-gilt cooler, also with the Walrond and Coutts arms, which sold Christie's, London, 25 November 1992, lot 25.
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