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    Sale 7686

    Highly Important Silver from the Collection of Lord Harris of Peckham

    25 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 22

    A GEORGE III SILVER VENISON-DISH

    MARK OF JOHN AND EDWARD EDWARDS, LONDON, 1812

    Price Realised  

    A GEORGE III SILVER VENISON-DISH
    MARK OF JOHN AND EDWARD EDWARDS, LONDON, 1812
    Shaped oval, with gadrooned and foliate border and two reeded, foliage and turned ivory handles, the partly-fluted base on pierced collet foot, the dish with wells and a hinged aperture for hot-water, engraved with a coat-of-arms and a crest each below an earl's coronet, marked on dish and base, the base also engraved with scratchweight 205
    22 in. (56 cm.) long
    gross weight 215 oz. (6,686 gr.)
    The arms are those of Spencer impaling Lucan quartering another for George-John, 2nd Earl Spencer (1758-1834) and his wife Lavinia (d. 1831), eldest daughter of Charles 1st Earl of Lucan, who he married in 1781.


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    Silver From the the service of George John, 2nd Earl Spencer
    (Lots 22-23)

    The Spencers were one of the wealthiest families in England, the Hon. John Spencer (1708-1783) having inherited not only the estates of his father, the eminent statesman the 3rd Earl of Sunderland, but also a considerable fortune from his maternal grandmother, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. George John Spencer, Viscount Althorp and later 2nd Earl Spencer, K.G. (1758-1834) was educated at Cambridge and, following a Grand Tour, he was returned as Member of Parliament for Northampton and later, in 1782, for Surrey. He was affiliated to the Whig party by birth and also by the marriage of his sisters respectively to the Duke of Devonshire and the Earl of Bessborough, and during the short Rockingham ministry he was one of the junior Lords of the Treasury. He married Lavinia Bingham on 6 March, 1781. At the time she was described as 'the most beautiful girl in fashionable life.' Her mother, Margaret, Countess of Lucan, was a well regarded painter of fashionable miniatures who counted Horace Walpole among her admirers. The couple, leading figures in London society, were painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

    George John succeeded his father as Earl Spencer in 1783. After the French Revolution and the declaration of war between England and France he joined with Edmund Burke and supported the policy of Pitt. In 1794 he was nominated a Privy Councillor, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal, and then First Lord of the Admiralty for six years from 1794. It was under his direction that the battles of St. Vincent and Camperdown were fought and won, and he was largely responsible for Nelson being singled out for independent command and sent to the Mediterranean where he won the battle of the Nile. With the resignation of Pitt in February 1801 Spencer left office. He was later Home Secretary during Fox's administration but increasingly devoted himself to literary and scientific pursuits at Althorp, his home in Northamptonshire. Lavinia died on 8 June, 1831 and Spencer in 1834.

    Special Notice

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    Provenance

    George-John, 2nd Earl Spencer (1758-1834) and thence by descent to
    Edward 8th Earl Spencer (1924-1992).
    with S.J. Phillips.


    Pre-Lot Text

    HIGHLY IMPORTANT SILVER FROM THE COLLECTION OF LORD HARRIS OF PECKHAM