Lot 8
  • 8

A pair of George IV silver ‘grapevine’ wine coolers, John Bridge for Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, London, 1829

bidding is closed

Description

  • silver
  • 25.5cm., 10in high
of campana form, richly applied and chased overall with grapevine fruits, leaves and branches on matted ground, some grapevine fruits hanging from the rim, the lower part applied with young and old bearded heads of Bacchus, the base inscribed RUNDELL BRIDGE ET RUNDELL AURIFICES REGIS LONDINI, vine shoot handles, with silver rim and liner, each with engraved monogram below a duke’s coronet

Provenance

Harriet, Duchess of St Albans (1777-1837), thence by descent;
The Coutts Heirlooms, Christie's London, 17 March 1920, lot 92
Christie's London, 23 June 1999, lot 106

Condition

marked on body, liner and rim, overall very good condition, very decorative model.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

The monogram is that of Harriet, Duchess of St. Albans (1777-1837). Born Harriet Mellon, she became an actress celebrated for her beauty and portraits of her were painted by George Romney and Sir Thomas Lawrence. In 1815, she married the banker Thomas Coutts, her long-time patron and lover. Upon his death in 1822, Coutts bequeathed her the bulk of his estate, including his bank, Coutts & Co., houses in Stratton Street, Piccadilly, and Highgate, his extensive service of plate comprising some 35,000 ounces of silver, said to be the most valuable in the country, and the sum of £600,000. The Morning Post reported that, ‘the whole makes her the richest widow in the United Kingdom.’

In 1827, Mrs Coutts married William Beauclerk, 9th Duke of St. Albans, who was more than 20 years her junior. She eventually designated her first husband’s granddaughter, Angela (1814-1906), daughter of Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Bt. and his wife, Sophia (née Coutts), as her principal beneficiary. The latter, thereafter known as Angela Burdett-Coutts, became one of Victorian England’s most generous philanthropists.

Much of her 35,000 Ozs of silver was in the Coutts Heirlooms sale, Christie's London, 14 May 1914, including this pair of wine coolers, lot 92. Several pieces appeared on the Art Market including a set of four wine coasters, Christie's New York, 15 April 1997, lot 281;  a set of four snuff trays, Koopman Rare Art Ltd, London, 2005 ; a magnificent set of four wine coolers were sold Sotheby's London, 7 June 2007, lot 149 ; A pair of Wine coolers, Sotheby's New York, 4 November 2011, lot 249, and  a pair of candelabra, Sotheby's New York, 15 April 2016, lot 194.

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