The arms are those of Brudenell impaling those of Tollemache for James Thomas (1797-1868), 7th Earl of Cardigan, who married in 1826, Elizabeth Jane Henrietta, daughter of Admiral John Richard Delap Tollemache.
These entree dishes are inspired by the famous French Régence surtout-de-table made by Lille silversmith Elie Pacot, 1709-1710. The surtout consisted of a large centerpiece, octagonal, hexagonal, rectangular and triangular jardinières. The surtout, which probably belonged to the Duke of Marlborough, sold at Christie's, 9-10 April, 1829. Garrard purchased the lot and it served as the model for these dishes. The present lot appears to be an early example of this design by Garrard as other dishes date between 1850 and 1868 (see Christie's London, 22 November 2000, lot 103, and Christies New York, 26 April 2006, lot 140).
James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, is remembered for his command of the British Light Cavalry Brigade at Balaclava during the Crimean War in 1854. Tennyson's poem "Charge of the Light Brigade" immortalized the battle in which Lord Cardigan led a head-on charge of cavalry against Russian artillery batteries and infantry. At a cost of more that 500 of 700 men, the Russian guns were captured and the infantry and cavalry defeated.
The Earl of Cardigan returned to England with a hero's welcome. Prior to this battle, this career army officer was known for his quarrelsome nature, his harsh treatment of soldiers, and his complicated personal life. Indeed, he married his first wife after payment of £1,000 in damages to her first husband, Captain Frederick Johnstone. Brudenell was a profligate spender who entertained lavishly at the family seat, Deene Park. These silver tureens, dated 1838-1840, would have been commissioned shortly after he succeeded to the title in 1837. In spite of a yearly income of £40,000, upon his death, he left debts in excess of £375,000.
Image caption: James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, National Portrait Gallery, London