• The Collection of Benjamin F.  auction at Christies

    Sale 2388

    The Collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III

    26 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 73

    A PAIR OF GEORGE IV ROYAL SILVER-GILT SALVERS

    MARK OF WILLIAM BATEMAN, LONDON, 1821

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF GEORGE IV ROYAL SILVER-GILT SALVERS
    MARK OF WILLIAM BATEMAN, LONDON, 1821
    Each shaped circular, on three leaf-capped scroll feet, with gadrooned border, the center engraved with Royal armorials, each marked on reverse
    16½ in. (41.9 cm.) diameter; 156 oz. (4,857 gr.) (2)


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    The Royal arms with a label for difference are for H.R.H. Prince William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester, nephew of King George III.

    William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester, was the son of Prince William Henry, 1st Duke of Gloucester (d.1805) and Maria, Countess of Walpole (d.1807). He was born at Teodoli Palace in Rome, where his parents were stationed in order to avoid the censure of his father's older brother, George III, who considered the match inappropriate, since Maria was illegitimate and divorced.

    Prince William returned to England, entered the army in 1789 at the age of thirteen, and was quickly promoted; he was a general by 1808 and a field marshal in 1816. He enjoyed academic success as well, and despite his nickname 'Silly Billy,' he earned two degrees from Trinity College, Cambridge, and was later elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and chancellor to the University of Cambridge in 1811.
    Prince William unsuccessfully courted Princess Charlotte (1796-1817), daughter of George IV (1762-1830), and settled instead on his first cousin, Princess Mary (1776-1857), or 'Dearest Minny,' who was widely considered the most beautiful of the daughters of George III and Queen Charlotte. Prince William and Princess Mary were married in 1816.

    Prince William supported the abolition of slavery (both in Parliament and as president of the African Institution) and Catholic emancipation. He supported the Duke of Sussex during the Regency and advocated for Queen Caroline during the proceedings against her in Parliament. His comical appearance made him a fine target for political cartoonists, who referred to him as 'Slice of Gloucester and Cheese.'


    Caption:
    William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester (1776-1834)
    Courtesy Christie's Images

    Provenance

    H.R.H. Prince William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester (1776-1834), and then by descent to his cousin
    H.R.H. The Duke of Cambridge, K.G., K.T., K.P. (1819-1904),
    sold Christie's, London, 6 June 1904, lot 98 (£90 to Hancocks)
    The Property of the Isabel Goldsmith-Patiño Family, sold Christie's, London, 12 June 2007, lot 29
    With Alastair Dickenson, London