A REGENCY SILVER ARGYLE
A REGENCY SILVER ARGYLE

MAKER'S MARK OF THOMAS ROBINS, LONDON, 1814

Details
A REGENCY SILVER ARGYLE
Maker's mark of Thomas Robins, London, 1814
Cylindrical and double walled, with gadrooned foot, with curved spout and wood handle at right angle, the fluted domed cover with acorn finial, the hot water compartment with hinged cover, engraved with the script monogram HStA under a Duchess's coronet, marked under base and on bezel of cover
5½in. (14cm.) high; gross weight 14oz. (442gr.)
Provenance
Harriet Mellon, Duchess of St. Albans (1777-1837)
Crichton Bros., London, August 1952

Lot Essay

SUPP. IMAGE TEXT:
Harriet Mellon, Duchess of St. Albans (1777-1837)

The monogram is that of Harriet Mellon, Duchess of St. Albans, who was one of the most colorful figures of the Regency. In 1815, after enjoying a successful 27 year career as an actress, she married her admirer, Thomas Coutts, a prominent banker 42 years her senior. Thomas Coutts died in 1822 at the age of 87, making her one of the wealthiest widows in England. Soon after, her enduring beauty and great fortune attracted the 26-year old Duke of St. Albans, whom she married in 1827 (Complete Peerage). Though she tried to make society forget that Miss Mellon the actress had existed, she was bored by her aristocratic life and often looked nostalgically upon her high spirited days as an actress. She is frequently remembered today for her vast collection of silver, both inherited from Thomas Coutts and commissioned while she was Duchess, of which several pieces by Paul Storr have come to auction in recent years (John Brewer, The Pleasures of the Imagination, pp. 341-43).
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