The crest is that of Howe, probably for Richard, 4th Viscount Howe (1725-1799), one of England's greatest naval heroes. His notable victories included a brilliant campaign off the American coast during the War of Independence, and he regarded as his greatest achievement the relief of the fortress of Gibraltar in 1782, sailing with thirty-four ships in line, without a loss. In 1794, he was made Admiral of the Fleet for his defeat of twenty-seven French ships against his smaller force. In all, Howe's naval career spanned 59 years, and he was a popular figure among sailors, who dubbed him "Black Dick" for his dark complexion, and admired his steady, cool and phlegmatic courage.
The present lot is recorded in Parker & Wakelin's Gentleman's Ledger on 6 October 1767: The Rt. Honble. Lord How commissioned Double Lip'd Sauceboats, weighing 68 oz. at a cost of £29 9s 4d; 4 Shell Sauce Spoons at a cost of £2 1s, and with a cost to making of 1s 4 d.