View full screen - View 1 of Lot 32. A pair of George III silver-gilt ice dishes and covers, Paul Storr of Storr & Co. for Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, London 1812.
32

A pair of George III silver-gilt ice dishes and covers, Paul Storr of Storr & Co. for Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, London 1812

Estimate:

30,000 - 50,000 GBP

An Important English Private Collection

A pair of George III silver-gilt ice dishes and covers, Paul Storr of Storr & Co. for Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, London 1812

A pair of George III silver-gilt ice dishes and covers, Paul Storr of Storr & Co. for Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, London 1812

Estimate:

30,000 - 50,000 GBP

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

An Important English Private Collection

A pair of George III silver-gilt ice dishes and covers, Paul Storr of Storr & Co. for Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, London 1812


Circular, the dishes and domed covers engraved with coats-of-arms, the dishes with wide cast borders of fruiting vines, stamped: ‘RUNDELL BRIDGE ET RUNDELL AURIFICES REGIS ET PRINCIPIS WALLIAE REGENTIS BRITANNIAS' and ‘764’.

23.5cm.; 9 1/4in. diameter

2175gr.; 70oz.

Hallmarks are clear to all parts.

The engraved arms and the detailing are crisp.

Some minor areas of uneven surface on the covers.

Some light wear to the gilding on the underside.

Stamped around the inner rims: RUNDELL BRIDGE ET RUNDELL AURIFICES REGIS ET PRINCIPIS WALLIAE REGENTIS BRITANNIAS


Please note that Condition 12 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Please note that the W symbol has been removed from this lot. This lot will remain in New Bond Street after the sale.
Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland (1795-1847) and then by descent to
Hugh Percy, 10th Duke of Northumberland (1914-1988), sold
Sotheby’s, London, 3 May 1984, lot 112
A Gentleman, Christie’s, London, 22 November 200, lot 132
The Archives of the Duke of Northumberland - The Percy Letters and Papers, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell account, 15 July 1822: ‘2 round silver-gilt Dishes & Covers for to fit occasionally to the Wine Coolers – 69[oz] 18[dwt] @ 12/- [per ounce] [£]41 18[s] 10[d]'
Michael Clayton, The Collector's Dictionary of Silver and Gold of Great Britain and North America, Woodbridge, 1971, p. 162
Vanessa Brett, Sotheby's Directory of Silver, 1600-1940, London, 1986, p. 253, fig. 1142

While the letters and papers in The Archives of the Duke of Northumberland explain that the dishes were 'to fit occasionally to the wine coolers', it is difficult to say for certain what they were designed to hold. As it must surely have been a cold dish a likely candidate is ice cream which was an extravagant luxury during the Regency period and would have been possible to make using the Duke’s ice house at Syon. This delicacy was enjoyed by the cream of society: on 18th January 1817 the Prince Regent hosted a banquet for the Grand Duke Nicolas of Russia at which his chef Antonin Carême created 121 dishes which were spread over nine courses; one of the many desserts was rose ice cream.


The already considerable collection of silver belonging to the Dukes of Northumberland was vastly augmented during the 1820s by the 3rd Duke. His preferred goldsmiths were Rundell, Bridge & Rundell of Ludgate Hill, who during the 1820s both refreshed his family plate as well as supplying a large amount of silver and silver-gilt. Among his first purchases in 1822 was the celebrated silver-gilt Shield of Achilles (one of an edition of five), after an original model by John Flaxman,1 for which Rundell’s provided a special mahogany display case, ‘with brass Apparatus, and a large convex glass Cover for do.’2The Duke put his plate to opulent use; he and his Duchess, a granddaughter of Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive (Clive of India), entertained lavishly at their London mansion, Northumberland House and at Syon to the west of the capital, and again during his visit to France in 1825 and as Lord Lieutenant and Governor-General of Ireland in 1829/30.


In February 1825 Northumberland was appointed George IV’s Ambassador Extraordinary on the occasion of the Coronation of Charles X, King of France.3 The event and particularly the Duke’s appearance, ‘pre-eminent for splendour and magnificence,’ in France were heavily reported in the British Press. ‘His Grace spares no expense to sustain the dignity of the high and exalted character he will have to represent upon the occasion; and, highly to the credit of a wealthy and ancient Nobleman, he has declined accepting any pecuniary remuneration from his Majesty’s Government. On the other hand, the Government have determined on presenting his Grace with a magnificent and costly sword, said to be of the value of 10,000£., which is now in a great state of forwardness, at the house of Rundell and Bridge. It is to be ornamented with diamonds, &c.’4 The Northumberland plate alone which the Duke took with him to France was insured for £120,000 besides a like sum for his jewels and another £60,000 for the Duchess’s jewellery.5


It was said that the Duke was poplar in France, one writer suggesting that it was because he was seen literally ‘throwing his money about. . . . This mode would not do in some countries, but there it answers very well. When the Duke went from Calais, he showered handsfull of half-franc pieces to the crowd assembled round the post houses: this generosity led to a report that he was the brother of George the Fourth, for they did not conceive it possible that any other than a frêre du Roi could scatter about half-franc pieces.’6


Exaggeration or not, the events surrounding Charles X’s Coronation at Rheims and the Duke of Northumberland’s extravagant ambassadorship clearly fascinated a gossip-hungry public at home. So much so that the rival theatres of Drury Lane and Covent Garden staged spectacular re-enactments of the event to houses ‘crowded to suffocation.’ At Covent Garden ‘CHARLES KEMBLE actually condescends to walk as the KING OF FRANCE, and several other principal performers represent in dumb show the Peers and Prelates of the day.’7


Whether any of the actors dared to impersonate the Duke is unknown, but his munificence in 1825 was long remembered. One of his obituaries in 1847 reminded readers that on that occasion he had ‘astonished the continental nobility by the magnitude of his retinue, the gorgeousness of his equipages, and the profuseness of his liberality, casting far into the shade the representatives of the other European Powers.’8 And no small part of this ‘gorgeousness’ was his Grace’s superb collection of silver-gilt, so ably made under the auspices of and supplied by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell.


Notes

1. Sotheby’s, London, 3 May 1984, lot 124; Shirley Bury and Michael Snodin, ‘Flaxman’s Shield of Achilles by John Flaxman, RA,’ Art at Auction, The year at Sotheby’s 1983-84, London, 1984, pp. 274-283

2. Clare E. Baxter, The Transformation of Northumberland House. A Thesis Submitted for the Degree of MPhil at the University of St. Andrews, 2000, p. 73, https://research-repository.st-andrews.ac.uk/handle/10023/8505, accessed 20 April 2022

3. The London Gazette, London, Tuesday, 8 February 1825, p. 225a

4. The Morning Herald, London, Monday 25 April 1825, p. 3b; according to Jackson’s Oxford Journal, Oxford, Saturday, 31 March 1827, p. 1a, the sword actually cost £10,812

5. Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, London, Sunday, 15 May 1825, p. 3c

6. Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, London, Sunday, 29 May 1825, p. 3a

7. John Bull, London, Monday, 18 July 1825, p. 229b; The Ladies’ Monthly Museum, London, July 1825, p. 108

8. John Bull, London, Monday, 22 February 1847, p. 12a