• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7574

    Thomas Hope & The Neoclassical Vision & The Collector of Collections

    24 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 384

    AN IMPORTANT GEORGE III SILVER CENTREPIECE EPERGNE

    MARK OF THOMAS HEMING, LONDON, 1763

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN IMPORTANT GEORGE III SILVER CENTREPIECE EPERGNE
    MARK OF THOMAS HEMING, LONDON, 1763
    The base cast as openwork roots and with flowers and snails, the stem cast as a vine and wrapped in fruiting grapevines, with nine detachable openwork leaf-shaped dishes and a central basket, marked on base, on basket and underneath each dish, some leaves applied to the stem marked for Robert Garrard, 1840
    25 in. (63.4 cm.) high
    311 oz. (9,663 gr.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Thomas Heming was the son of a Midlands merchant and was apprenticed in 1738 to the goldsmith Edmund Bodington, but on the same day was turned over to Peter Archambo. A. G. Grimwade, London Goldsmiths 1697-1837, London, 1982, p.543., describes his early work as showing 'a French delicacy of taste and refinement of execution which is unquestionably inherited from his master Archambo'. He registered his first mark in 1745 and soon acquired many good clients including John, 3rd Earl of Bute, for whom he was to supply large quantities of plate (see for example Christie's London, 3 July 1996, lots 77-83). Most importantly for Heming, it was Bute's relationship with George, Prince of Wales, later George III, that was to lead to Heming's appointment in 1760 as Principal Goldsmith to the King. He was to hold this post until 1782, when he was forced to resign after a malicious campaign to discredit him through accusations of excessive charges. Bank accounts at Messers Campbell and Coutts record the separate account administered by Bute which was used for the purchase of plate for the King. A payment of 1,000 is recorded on 11 July 1761 to Thomas Heming.

    Two further examples of this distincive model, also by Heming, were sold Christie's London, 19 October 1988, lot 162 and Christie's New York, 22 April 1993, lot 73.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.