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    Sale 7441

    Important Silver

    29 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 577



    Price Realised  


    Oblong, with upcurved border, on four baluster feet, the centre well with detachable cylindrical pen-holder and sander and baluster shaped inkpot, each with detachable pierced cover, the base of the stand engraved with a coat-of-arms, the base of the pen-holder engraved with another coat-of-arms, the sander and inkpot each engraved with a crest, fully marked on base of stand and sander, the inkpot base stipple-engraved '7=19'
    11¼ in. (28.5 cm.) long
    45 oz. (1,423 gr.)
    The arms on the base of the stand are those of Montagu quartering Monthermer impaling Churchill, for John, 2nd Duke of Montagu (1688/89-1749) and his wife Mary (1689-1751), daughter and co-heir of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough and his formidable wife Sarah, daughter and co-heir of Richard Jennings.

    The second coat-of-arms are those of Russell as borne by the Dukes of Bedford

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    John, 2nd Duke of Montagu officiated at the coronation of King George I in 1714 as Lord High Constable of England, was with the Duke of Marlborough on a campaign and later commanded the 1st Troop of Horse Guards and the 3rd Regiment of Horse and was Master General of Ordnance. He created an armoury at Boughton, the Northamptonshire seat he had inherited from his father. Although his attempt to colonise the islands of St. Vincent and St. Kitts, which he had been granted by King George I, proved disastrous, and he lost some £40,000 in the attempt, his interest in the sugar trade was sound. A flattering image of him was painted by the antiquary the Rev. William Stukeley (1687-1765) in his memoirs; he describes the Duke as showing '...modesty, mercy, humanity, openness, loyalty and courage'.

    He shared Stukeley's antiquarian interest in Gothic architecture. John Cornforth in his chapter 'Boughton: Impressions and People' in T. Murdoch ed, Boughton House, The English Versailles, London, 1992, p.23, notes that he undertook historicist repairs of the late 13th century Eleanor Cross at Geddington, Northamptonshire, and to Palace House, Beaulieu. The library at Boughton is decorated with the coats-of-arms of the original Knights of the Garter, Montagu having been installed as a knight of that order in 1718. The pedigree over the fireplace illustrates the descent of the Montagu and Percy families from King Edward I. He added to his father's work on the gardens, employing John Topping as 'Engineer & Surveyor of my Waterworks at Boughton' in 1723. These he put to use satisfying his sense of humour by tricking unsuspecting guests. His mother-in-law was later to write to Lord Stair that 'All my son-in-law's talents lie in things only natural in boys of fifteen and he is about two and fifty. To get people into his gardens and wet them with squirts, to invite people to his country house and put things in their beds to make them itch, and twenty such other pretty fancies' (The Duchess of Marlborough to Lord Stair, Horace Walpole, Letters, vol. 1, p.339). His greatest architectural commission was the new Montagu House, the Privy Garden, Whitehall, designed and built by Henry Flitcroft (1697-1769) between 1727 and 1732.

    Special Notice

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    John, 2nd Duke of Montagu (1688/89-1749), presumably then by descent to his daughter
    Mary (d.1775), Countess of Cardigan and Duchess of Montagu of the 2nd creation and then by descent to her daughter
    Elizabeth (d.1827), wife of Henry, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch and Queensbury (1746-1812) and then by descent to their third daughter
    Elizabeth, Countess of Home (d.1837) and then by descent to
    Charles, 13th Earl of Home (1873-1951)
    The Earl of Home; Christie's London, 17 June 1919, lot 26, (£388 to Garrard)

    Pre-Lot Text