• 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 99

    A SET OF EIGHT GEORGE II SILVER SAUCE BOATS

    MARK OF SAMUEL COURTAULD, LONDON, 1757

    Price Realised  

    A SET OF EIGHT GEORGE II SILVER SAUCE BOATS
    MARK OF SAMUEL COURTAULD, LONDON, 1757
    Each oval, on shaped gadroon and shell foot, with gadrooned rim and scroll handle, engraved with a crest and a Duke's coronet, marked beneath spouts, also engraved No. 1 23-9½; No. 2 23=3; No. 3. 22=3; N 4 22=16½; N 5 22:14; No 6 23..5; No. 7 23:12; No 8 23:9
    8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm.) long; 170 oz. 10 dwt. (5,315 gr.) (8)


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    The crest and coronet are those of Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, known as the "Canal Duke" and the "father of inland navigation." During his grand tour, he visited the Languedoc canal, which inspired him to study science and engineering at the Academy of Lyons. He never married, and after breaking an engagement withdrew from London society to concentrate on managing his estates. To this end, he built the first arterial canal in England to connect his coal mines at Worsley with Manchester.

    The "Bridgewater Canal" opened in 1761 and became extremely profitable, as well as a popular tourist attraction. The Duke was well regarded by his employees, whose wages and conditions were well above average; indeed, his close association with his workmen is said to have imparted a brusque and rough manner of speech and behavior. Nevertheless, the Duke's great wealth enabled him to purchase the Orléans collection of Italian paintings, which today remains the centerpiece of the Bridgewater Collection, the largest collection of Old Masters in private hands, currently on view at the National Gallery of Scotland.

    Caption:
    Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, engraved by F. Scribon after a painting by Craig
    National Portrait Gallery of Illustrious and Eminent Personages, 1830

    Provenance

    Francis, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater (1736-1803), then by descent to his nephew
    George, 2nd Marquess of Stafford K.G. (1758-1833), then by descent to the late Duke of Sutherland, sold Christie's, London, 14 June 2005, lot 260
    With Alastair Dickenson, London


    Exhibited

    Hampton Court Palace, 1995-2005