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    Sale 2039

    Important Silver and Objects of Vertu

    23 October 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 216

    AN IMPORTANT PAIR OF GEORGE II SILVER WAITERS

    MARK OF PAUL DE LAMERIE, LONDON, 1738

    Price Realised  

    AN IMPORTANT PAIR OF GEORGE II SILVER WAITERS
    MARK OF PAUL DE LAMERIE, LONDON, 1738
    Each shaped circular, on foliate bracket feet, the reeded border with shell and scroll motifs at intervals, the field flat-chased with a border of shells, foliage and fish scale, the center engraved with a coat-of-arms within an asymmetrical rococo cartouche, each marked on reverse, also engraved 'No. 2' '15=0', 'No. 3' '15=14'
    7¼ in. (18.4 cm.) diameter; 30 oz. (941 gr.) (2)


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    The arms are those of Lamb.

    These waiters by Paul de Lamerie were commissioned by Matthew Lamb, a successful lawyer and money lender, who served some of the most prominent members of the aristocracy. Lamb amassed a fortune through his professional associations, inheritance and advantageous marriage to the heiress, Charlotte Coke. His real estate holdings included Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire (through his wife), Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire and London.
    To demonstrate his position of influence, Lamb commissioned silver from England's premier silversmiths, Paul de Lamerie and the Royal Goldsmith, George Wickes, around the time of his marriage in 1739. His Lamerie purchases included a set of four waiters (including the present two), four sauce boats (a pair sold in these Rooms, 22 May 2008, lot 201) and four salt cellars. His Wickes purchases included a soup tureen and six dishes.
    Upon his death in 1768, Lamb's estate was valued at nearly £1 million. His will stated that his plate should be "kept and preserved" and the silver was bequeathed to his son, Peniston Lamb, Viscount Melbourne. In turn, Viscount Melbourne commissioned the Royal Goldsmiths, Parker and Wakelin to make additions to the dinner service (including a matching soup tureen to his father's tureen made by Wickes). This order coincided with his marriage to Caroline Milbanke in 1770, who was to become the mistress of George IV. Lamb's son, William, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (1779-1848) served as Prime Minister from 1835-1841. The silver descended though Lord Melbourne's sister, Lady Cowper, who married secondly the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston.
    Caption: Sir Matthew Lamb, Courtesy of Lord Ralph Kerr and The Melbourne Trust

    Provenance

    Sir Matthew Lamb, baronet (1704-1768), m. Charlotte Coke (b. 1710), to his son
    Peniston Lamb, 1st Viscount Melbourne (1748-1828), m. Elizabeth Milbanke (1749-1818), thence by descent,
    Sold, The Late the Rt. Hon Viscountess Gage, Christie's, London, 24 November 1971, lot 23 (set of four)
    Sotheby's, New York 4 June 1974, lot 78 (set of four)
    Christie's, Geneva, 13 May 1986, lot 126 (set of four)
    Sotheby's, New York, 22 April, 1998, lot 20 (set of four)
    Marks Anitques, London (two of four)


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A CALIFORNIA COLLECTION