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AN IMPORTANT PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER FOUR-LIGHT CANDELABRA
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN 
AN IMPORTANT PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER FOUR-LIGHT CANDELABRA

MARK OF DIGBY SCOTT AND BENJAMIN SMITH, LONDON, 1804, RETAILED BY RUNDELL, BRIDGE AND RUNDELL

Details
AN IMPORTANT PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER FOUR-LIGHT CANDELABRA
MARK OF DIGBY SCOTT AND BENJAMIN SMITH, LONDON, 1804, RETAILED BY RUNDELL, BRIDGE AND RUNDELL
On three foliage capped hairy lion's paw feet, separated by cast classical female masks wearing fruiting grapevine headdresses, the stems supported on three pairs of feet and capped with three cast masks, the branches each capped with foliage and with lion mask cast roundells, terminating in fluted drip pans and with detachable nozzles, the nozzles each engraved with a crest and earl's coronet, fully marked, the bases further engraved 'RUNDELL BRIDGE ET RUNDELL AURIFICES REGIS ET PRINCIPIS WALL:æ FECERUNT'
25¼ in. (64.2 cm.) high
gross weight 423 oz. (13,161 gr.)
The crest is that of Alexander for Du Pre, 2nd Earl of Caledon, K.P., M.P. (1777-1839), son of James Alexander, 1st Earl of Caledon (1730-1802) and his wife Anne, second daughter of James Craufurd of Craufurdsburn, co. Down. (2)
Provenance
Du Pre, 2nd Earl of Caledon, K.P., M.P. (1777-1839).
with Conrad Nicholls, September 1967.
A Lady; Christie's, London, 2 December 1981, lot 112.
Literature
J. B. Hawkins, The Al Tajir Collection of Silver and Gold, London, 1983, pp. 96-97.
The Glory of the Goldsmith, Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection, 1989, p. 156.
Exhibited
Christie's, London, The Glory of the Goldsmith, Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection, 1989, no. 118 (part).
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Lot Essay

DU PRE, 2ND EARL OF CALEDON

Du Pre, 2nd Earl of Caledon, K.P., M.P. (1777-1839) was the son of James Alexander, 1st Earl of Caledon (1730-1802) and his wife Anne, second daughter of James Craufurd of Craufurdsburn, co. Down, whom he married on 28 November 1774. Du Pre was Member of Parliament for Newtownards and Colonel of the Tyrone Militia, and succeeded to the title upon the death of his father in 1802. He married on 16 October 1811, Catherine Freeman (d.1863), second daughter and co-heir of the 3rd Earl of Hardwicke.

He was the first civil governor of The Cape of Good Hope after its reconquest from the Dutch in 1806. His own appraisal of his governorship may be found in a letter to the Prime Minister in 1818 stating his claims to be given a peerage of the United Kingdom: 'The administration of the colonial government during my residence there for a term of four years, was more than usually arduous, in consequence of my being the first civil governor after the capture of the settlement, and from there being no records of a former British government in any of the public offices at The Cape .... I hope I shall be excused for stating that, upon my own responsibility and under the most embarrassing circumstances, occasioned by the loss of four British frigates which were to have protected the convoy, I detached 2,000 infantry to co-operate with the force from India in the reduction of the Mauritius. In a letter from Lord Minto upon that occasion, he acknowledges the public service I rendered, not only as relating to the fall of the Mauritius, but adds that it was to the co-operation I afforded he was indebted for the means of moving against Java.' (The Caledon Papers, The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland). Upon his return from The Cape he was appointed Lieutenant of Co. Tyrone, Ireland in which capacity he served from 1811-1831. He died on 8 April, 1839 and was succeeded by his son, James Du Pre.

A pair of candelabra of a the same model, engraved with the arms of Solomon Benedict de Worms, Baron de Worms, of Milton Park, were sold Sotheby's, New York, 20 October 2009, lot 194.

RUNDELL, BRIDGE AND RUNDELL

While today names like Paul Storr and John Bridge are celebrated for their excellence of design and skill in craftsmanship, in first years of the 19th century it would have been the retailers Rundell Bridge and Rundell whose name represented the pinnacle of The Business of Luxury,as they are described in Royal Goldsmiths: The Art of Rundell & Bridge 1797-1843, London, 2005.

The firm, located at 32 Ludgate Hill, was born when Philip Rundell (1746-1827) bought the business of William Pickett, in 1786. He was joined in running the business by John Bridge. The pair made a perfect team with Rundell running the shop while Bridge dealt with the clients. In 1805, Rundell took his nephew, Edmund Waller Rundell into partnership, whereupon the business was restyled Rundell, Bridge and Rundell.

By this time they were one of the main manufacturers of quality silver plate, jewels and gold boxes. The firm grew rapidly, so much so that by the 1820's, it was a vast enterprise with agencies in Paris, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Baghdad, Constantinople, Bombay, Calcutta, and various cities in South America.

It was in 1807 that Paul Storr, the gifted master silversmith, was persuaded to join the firm, followed the next year by the sculptor, William Theed (1764-1817) who had previously worked as a modeller for Wedgwood. When Theed died, Rundell took on another leading sculptor, John Flaxman (1755-1826). Unlike Theed, Flaxman was never a partner but was employed as the firm's designer and made models and drawings for many of the firms important commissions

Having been appointed, in 1797, as one of the goldsmiths to King George III the firm were regular suppliers to the Royal Family. For example the Prince of Wales ordered a service of silver-gilt plate of sufficient size and importance for use on State occasions. The Prince of Wales State plate was shown in an exhibit held for three days of every week during the spring of 1807. Invitation was by ticket only.
"All the Rich, the great and Noble of the Land flocked to see the display of the Grand Service. Their carriages blocked Ludgate Hill until seven o'clock each evening."

It was not until after Paul Storr had left the firm in 1819 that Philip Rundell entered his own mark, though he retired soon after, in 1823. He died four years later leaving a phenomenal personal fortune of around £1,500,000 to his nephew, Joseph Neeld, (who in turn bequeathed his wealth to Queen Victoria). Rundell's workshop continued operating up until the death of John Bridge in 1834. Thereafter the firm continued to commission silver from other manufacturers until it finally closed in 1843.
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