• Important Silver and Objects o auction at Christies

    Sale 2209

    Important Silver and Objects of Vertu Including the Inventory of Marks Antiques of London

    22 October 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 141

    THE NORTHUMBERLAND PLATEAU: A REGENCY SILVER-GILT MIRROR PLATEAU

    MARK OF PHILLIP RUNDELL, LONDON, 1819

    Price Realised  

    THE NORTHUMBERLAND PLATEAU: A REGENCY SILVER-GILT MIRROR PLATEAU
    MARK OF PHILLIP RUNDELL, LONDON, 1819
    Oblong, in five sections, set on lion's-paw supports, the sides with gothic arches applied alternately with the crescents and paired manacles of the Percy badge, the gallery surmounted by heraldic strawberry leaves, each end applied with later armorials, with wood backing, marked on each section
    133 in. (337 cm.) long, 20 in. (51 cm.) wide


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    Caption:
    Charlotte Florentia, Duchess of Northumberland (1787-1866), Christie's Images


    Charlotte Florentia, Duchess of Northumberland, designed this plateau for the Adam-decorated interiors of Alnwick Castle, described in 1822 as "in the gayest and most elegant style of Gothick architecture." A five-section plateau of matching design was ordered in 1818 from silversmith Edward Thomason of Birmingham, whose Memoirs describe the commission: "At this period (1818/19) I was honoured with an order from the Duke of Northumberland, to manufacture for his Grace a silver plateau, thirty-three feet in length. The elevated edge or border was of the highest classical taste, and, as I was informed, designed by the Duchess; it was adapted for the long dining-room at Alnwick Castle . . . ." (v.I. p. 170) See A. H. Westwood et al., Birmingham Gold & Silver, 1973, for an illustration of one of the parts of the Alnwick plateau - there were additions of 1841 - and the quotations above, cat. nos. B2 and B3.

    The Duchess' design employs a distinctive and subtle integration of heraldry and decoration. The use of the strawberry leaves of a Duke's coronet as a decorative motif is unique, and instead of employing the full armorials, traditionally either applied or engraved, the scattering of emblems from the Percy badge is also very individual. The Duchess was a talented artist, and published Castles of Alnwick and Warkworth, etc., from Sketches by Charlotte Florentia, Duchess of Northumberland in 1824.

    Unlike the Alnwick plateau, the present example was made in London by Royal Goldsmith Phillip Rundell, and used at Northumberland House. It was almost certainly among those described in the 1847 Northumberland House inventory as follows:

    p. 195: Service of costly silver and silver gilt plate at Messrs Garrards
    Chest No 1: 9 pieces of Plateau


    (Archives of the Duke of Northumberland, Syon Manuscript H.VIII.1.b, Inventory of Plate at Northumberland House, 1847)

    There were at least two additional small circular plateaux made in London for the 3rd Duke in 1828 (marked by John Bridge, sold Christie's New York, 22 February 1980, lot 23) which probably made up part of the nine pieces of plateaux in the 1847 inventory.

    Provenance

    Hugh, 3rd Duke of Northumberland (1785-1847), succeeded to the Dukedom in 1817 and was married the same year to Charlotte Florentia (1787-1866), daughter of Edward (Clive), Earl of Powis

    Garrard & Co. Ltd.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF MRS. PATRICIA M. KLUGE