THE LEINSTER SERVICE
A GEORGE II SILVER DINNER-SERVICE
THE LEINSTER SERVICE
A GEORGE II SILVER DINNER-SERVICE
THE LEINSTER SERVICE
A GEORGE II SILVER DINNER-SERVICE
THE LEINSTER SERVICE
A GEORGE II SILVER DINNER-SERVICE
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Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN 
THE LEINSTER SERVICE A GEORGE II SILVER DINNER-SERVICE

MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1745-1756

Details
THE LEINSTER SERVICE
A GEORGE II SILVER DINNER-SERVICE
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1745-1756
Comprising the following as detailed fully on the following pages:

A pair of Soup-Tureens, Covers, Liners, Stands and Ladles
An Epergne and Plateau
Seventy Dinner-Plates
A set of Eighteen Soup-Plates
A set of Twenty-Nine Dishes, Twenty-Two Covers and Two Mazarines
A set of Eleven Salvers and Waiters
A set of Four Candlesticks
A set of Eight Sauceboats and Four Sauce-Ladles
A pair of Cruet-Stands
A pair of Boxes and Covers
A set of Four Condiment-Vases

Total gross weight 5,295 oz. 9 dwt. (164,705 gr.)
(184)
The arms are those of FitzGerald impaling the Royal arms of Charles II for James FitzGerald, 20th Earl of Kildare, later 1st Duke of Leinster (1722-1773), and his wife Lady Emily (1731-1814), daughter of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, whom he married on 7 February 1747.




a.)
A PAIR OF GEORGE II SILVER SOUP-TUREENS, COVERS, LINERS, STANDS AND LADLES
THE LINERS, STANDS AND LADLES EACH WITH THE MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746, THE TUREENS AND COVERS APPARENTLY UNMARKED, CIRCA 1746
Each shaped oval on four openwork leaf-capped scroll feet, chased and pierced with stylized shells and scrolls and with reeded handles, the domed covers similarly chased and with reeded handles, each with plain liner, the stands with shell handles and reeded and shell borders, each with soup-ladle with fluted shell bowl, the stands each engraved with a coat-of-arms below an earl's coronet, the liners and ladles each engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, marked under the liners, stands and on ladles, the liners each numbered and engraved with a scratchweight 'No 1 19?=5' and 'No 2 191=12', the stands engraved 'No 1 88=12' and 'No 2 89=5', the ladles engraved 'No 1 11=12' and 'No 2 11=?'
The stands 21 in. (53.5 cm.) long
570 oz. 8 dwt. (17,742 gr.)
(6)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 17 February 1746 'To 2 Turreens [sic] 2 Dishes and 2 Ladles 592 oz. 14 dwt 6/1 £180 5s 6d'
'To Making at 7/6 £222 5s 3 d'
'To Graving Arms and Mantling on these 4 crests & Corts £8 12s'



b.)
A GEORGE II SILVER EPERGNE AND PLATEAU
THE PLATEAU WITH MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746, THE EPERGNE APPARENTLY UNMARKED, CIRCA 1746
The epergne on six shell and leaf-capped scroll feet and with pierced canopy, cast and chased with trailing vines and a finial cast as a basket of flowers, the plateau on four leaf-capped scroll feet and with shell, scroll and foliage border, the sides applied with foliage scrolls and cast with cornucopia, engraved with a coat-of-arms below an earl's coronet within trailing foliage issuing from vases, with mahogany base set with four part-ivory castors, the plateau fully marked underneath and with maker's mark only on border
the plateau 26¾ in. (68 cm.) long
gross weight 395 oz. 14 dwt. (12,307 gr.)
(2)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 19 August 1746
'To a Fine Epargne
[sic] and Basket & Table 427 oz. 16 dwt. 16/- £342 5s'
'To Graving the Border and Arms on the Table and Arm on Baskets £16 16s'
'To a Mahogany Board & brass Casters Silver'd for the Table £1 10s'



c.)
SEVENTY SILVER DINNER-PLATES
SIXTY-NINE WITH MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, THIRTY-SEVEN 1745, TWENTY 1746, TWELVE 1756, ONE MODERN
Each shaped circular and with reeded and shell borders, each engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, each marked underneath, further engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 3 19=5'; 'No 4 20=0'; 'No 5 20=2'; 'No 7 19=19' 'No 10 19=10';'No 11 19=17'; 'No 12 19=8'; 'No 13 19=13'; 'No 14 19=8'; 'No 15 19=18'; 'No 17 19=17'; 'No 19 19=12'; 'No 21 19=16'; 'No 22 19=8'; 'No 24 19=14'; 'No 26 19=17'; 'No 27 19=18'; 'No 28 20=0'; 'No 29 20=4'; 'No 30 19=19'; 'No 31 20=3'; 'No 32 19=10'; 'No 33 19=19'; 'No 34 20=1'; 'No 35 19=8'; 'No 36 19=12'; 'No 37 19=18'; 'No 38 19=18'; 'No 39 19=18'; 'No 40 19=15'; 'No 41 19=11'; 'No 43 19=11'; 'No 44 19=10'; 'No 45 19=10'; 'No 46 19=15'; 'No 47 19=9'; 'No 48 19=9'; 'No 50 19=11'; 'No 51 19=13'; 'No 52 19=15'; 'No 53 19=17'; 'No 54 19=13'; 'No 55 19=6'; 'No 56 20=1'; 'No 57 19=19'; 'No 58 19=14'; 'No 59 19=11'; 'No 60 19=16'; 'No 61 19=16'; 'No 63 19=10'; 'No 64 19=13'; 'No 66 19=8'; 'No 67 19=7'; 'No 68 19=17'; 'No 69 19=14'; 'No 70 19=6'; 'No 71 19=18'; 'No 74 19=19'; 'No 76 19=17'; 'No 77 19=18'; 'No 78 19=18'; 'No 79 19=19'; 'No 83 19=8'; 'No 84 19=17'; 'No 85 19=15'; 'No 86 19=18'; 'No 90 19=19'; 'No 94 19=17' and 'No 95 19=13'
10 in. (25.4 cm.) diam.
The George II plates 1,290 oz. (40,123 gr.)
(70)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 February 1746
'To 7 dozn ½ of Plates 1794 oz. 6 dwt. 8/7 £770 1s. 2d'
(part)


d.)
A SET OF EIGHTEEN GEORGE II SILVER SOUP-PLATES
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, FOUR 1745 AND FOURTEEN 1746
Each shaped circular and with reeded and shell borders, each engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, each marked underneath, further engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 1 20=17'; 'No 2 20=17'; 'No 3 21=7'; 'No 4 21=6'; 'No 5 21=5'; 'No 6 20=15'; 'No 7 20=11'; 'No 8 20=19'; 'No 10 21=4'; 'No 11 21=7'; 'No 12 21=1'; 'No 13 21=7'; 'No 14 21=5'; 'No 15 20=14'; 'No 16 20=19'; 'No 17 20=13'; 'No 19 20=3' and 'No 78 20=4'
10 in. (25.6 cm.) diam.
363 oz. 12 dwt. (11,308 gr.)
(18)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 February 1746
'To 7 dozn ½ of Plates 1794 oz. 6 dwt. 8/7 £770 1s. 2d'
(part)


e.)
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE II SILVER SECOND-COURSE DISHES AND COVERS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746
Each shaped circular and with reeded and shell borders, the domed covers with applied foliate scroll strapwork and central reeded handles, each dish and cover engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, each marked under dish and on cover, the covers and dishes each engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 1 29=0 and 31=6'; 'No 2 30=6 and 31=13'; 'No 3 28=18 and 30=9' and 'No 4 29=6 and 31=14'
the dishes 12½ in. (31.6 cm.) diam.
228 oz. 2 dwt. (7,094 gr.)
(8)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 and 17 February 1746
'To 30 Dishes 1152 oz. 14 dwt. 9/1 £523 10s. 6d'
(part)
'To 22 Dish Covers 871 oz. 10 dwt. 9/7 £417 12s' (part)
'To Graving 22 Crests and Corts Large 4 8s' (part)


f.)
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE II SILVER SECOND-COURSE DISHES AND COVERS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746
Each shaped circular and with reeded and shell borders, the domed covers with applied foliate scroll strapwork and central reeded handles, each dish and cover engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, each marked under dish and on cover, the covers and dishes each engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 5 32=15 and 37=4'; 'No 6 33=12 and 38=0'; 'No 7 34=2 and 37=11' and 'No 8 31=18 and 36=8'
the dishes 13¼ in. (33.5 cm.) diam.
271 oz. 10 dwt. (8,443 gr.)
(8)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 and 17 February 1746
'To 30 Dishes 1152 oz. 14 dwt. 9/1 £523 10s. 6d'
(part)
'To 22 Dish Covers 871 oz. 10 dwt. 9/7 £417 12s' (part)
'To Graving 22 Crests and Corts Large £4 8s' (part)


g.)
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE II SILVER MEAT-DISHES AND COVERS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746
Each shaped oval with shell handles and reeded and shell borders, the domed covers with applied foliate scroll strapwork and central reeded handles, each dish and cover engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, each marked under dish and on cover, the covers and dishes each engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 9 25=7 and 28=10'; 'No 10 23=0 and 27=5'; 'No 11 24=13 and 27=12' and 'No 12 24=6 and 27=19'
the dishes 13½ in. (34.2 cm.) wide
199 oz. 2 dwt. (6,192 gr.)
(8)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 and 17 February 1746
'To 30 Dishes 1152 oz. 14 dwt. 9/1 £523 10s. 6d'
(part)
'To 22 Dish Covers £871 oz. 10 dwt. 9/7 £417 12s' (part)
'To Graving 22 Crests and Corts Large £4 8s' (part)


h.)
A SET OF EIGHT GEORGE II SILVER MEAT-DISHES AND FOUR COVERS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746
Each shaped oval with shell handles and reeded and shell borders, the domed covers with applied foliate scroll strapwork and central reeded handles, each dish and cover engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, each marked under dish and on cover, the covers and dishes each engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 13 27=9 and 31=12'; 'No 14 26=15 and 31=9'; 'No 15 27=19 and 30=16'; 'No 16 28=11 and 30=2'; 'No 17 28=10'; 'No 18 28=5'; 'No 19 27=19' and 'No 20 27=12'
the dishes 14 1/8 in. (36 cm.) wide
329 oz. 6 dwt. (10,244 gr.)
(12)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 and 17 February 1746
'To 30 Dishes 1152 oz. 14 dwt. 9/1 £523 10s. 6d'
(part)
'To 22 Dish Covers 871 oz. 10 dwt. 9/7 £417 12s' (part)
'To Graving 22 Crests and Corts Large £4 8s' (part)


i.)
A SET OF FIVE GEORGE II SILVER MEAT-DISHES AND FOUR COVERS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746
Each shaped oval with shell handles and reeded and shell borders, the domed covers with applied foliate scroll strapwork and central reeded handles, each dish and cover engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, each marked under dish and on cover, the dishes each engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 21 46=4'; 'No 22 46=5'; 'No 23 45=12', 'No 24 48=4' and 'No 25 47=0', the covers each engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 17 50=18'; 'No 18 50=8'; 'No 19 50=18' and 'No 20 50=8'
the dishes 18 in. (45.5 cm.) wide
416 oz. 7 dwt. (12,949 gr.)
(9)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 and 17 February 1746
'To 30 Dishes 1152 oz. 14 dwt. 9/1 £523 10s. 6d'
(part)
'To 22 Dish Covers 871 oz. 10 dwt. 9/7 £417 12s' (part)
'To Graving 22 Crests and Corts Large £4 8s' (part)


j.)
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE II SILVER MEAT-DISHES, TWO COVERS AND TWO MAZARINES
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746
Each shaped oval with shell handles and reeded and shell borders, the domed covers with applied foliate scroll strapwork and central reeded handles, each dish and cover engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, each marked under dish and on cover, the dishes each engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 27 74=16'; 'No 28 78=5'; 'No 29 76=10' and 'No 30 74=4', the covers each engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 21 81=3' and 'No 22 79=6', the mazarines engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 1 27=5' and 'No 2 26=18'
the dishes 21½ in. (54.6 cm.) wide
494 oz. 18 dwt. (15,394 gr.)
(8)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 and 17 February 1746
'To 30 Dishes 1152 oz. 14 dwt. 9/1 £523 10s. 6d'
(part)
'To 22 Dish Covers 871 oz. 10 dwt. 9/7 £417 12s' (part)
'To Graving 22 Crests and Corts Large £4 8s' (part)
'To 4 Fish Plates 93 oz. 9/7 £44 11s. 3d' (part)


k.)
A GEORGE II SILVER SALVER
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746
Shaped circular on four scroll feet and with reeded and shell border, engraved with a coat-of-arms below an earl's coronet within a band of shells and scrolling foliage, marked underneath, further numbered and engraved with a scratchweight 'No 1 120=10'
21 in. (53.3 cm.) diam.
115 oz. 6 dwt. (3,587 gr.)

The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 February 1746
'To 1 Large & 10 Smaller Waiters 362 oz. 2 dwt. 11/1 £200 13s 2d'
(part)


l.)
A PAIR OF GEORGE II SILVER SALVERS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746
Each shaped circular on four scroll feet and with reeded and shell border, each engraved with a coat-of-arms below an earl's coronet within a band of shells and scrolling foliage, each marked underneath, further numbered and engraved with a scratchweight 'No 2 59=9' and 'No 3 58=18'
15 in. (38 cm.) diam.
111 oz. 2 dwt. (3,456 gr.)
(2)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 February 1746
'To 1 Large & 10 Smaller Waiters 362 oz. 2 dwt. 11/1 £200 13s 2d'
(part)


m.)
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE II SILVER WAITERS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746
Each shaped circular on four scroll feet and with reeded and shell border, each engraved with a coat-of-arms below an earl's coronet within a band of shells and scrolling foliage, each marked underneath, further numbered and engraved with a scratchweight 'No 4 19=6'; 'No 5 19=8'; 'No 6 19=8' and 'No 7 19=1'
9½ in. (24.1 cm.) diam.
70 oz. 12 dwt. (2,197 gr.)
(4)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 February 1746
'To 1 Large & 10 Smaller Waiters 362 oz. 2 dwt. 11/1 £200 13s 2d'
(part)


n.)
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE II SILVER WAITERS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746
Each shaped circular on four scroll feet and with reeded and shell border, each engraved with a coat-of-arms below an earl's coronet within a band of shells and scrolling foliage, each marked underneath, further numbered and engraved with a scratchweight 'No 8 11=14'; 'No 9 11=18'; 'No 10 11=6' and 'No 11 11=5'
7¾ in. (19.7 cm.) diam.
41 oz. (1,275 gr.)
(4)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 February 1746
'To 1 Large & 10 Smaller Waiters 362 oz. 2 dwt. 11/1 £200 13s 2d'
(part)


o.)
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE II SILVER CANDLESTICKS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1748
Each on spreading circular base and four shell feet with fluted baluster stems, with spool-shaped sockets and plain fixed nozzles, each engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, each marked under base, further engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 1 23=4'; 'No 2 24=6'; 'No 3 24=4' and 'No 4 22=11'
9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm.) high
90 oz. 17 dwt. (2,825 gr.)
(4)

p.)
A SET OF EIGHT GEORGE II SILVER SAUCEBOATS AND FOUR SAUCE-LADLES
THE SAUCEBOATS WITH MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, 1746, THE LADLES APPARENTLY UNMARKED, CIRCA 1746
Each shaped oval on three scroll feet and with reeded and foliage borders and leaf-capped scroll handles, the ladles cast with foliage and shells and with shell cast bowls, each engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, the sauceboats each marked underneath, further engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 1 23=12'; 'No 2 23=1'; 'No 3 23=1'; 'No 4 22=9'; 'No 5 22=15'; 'No 6 23=4'; 'No 7 16=16?' and 'No 8 17=5'
six 8½ in. (21.6 cm.) wide and two 7¼ in. (18.4 cm.) wide
175 oz. 2 dwt. (5,447 gr.)
(12)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 9 February 1746
'To 10 Sauceboats & 10 Spoons 232 oz. 17 dwt. 11/1 £129 1s'
(part)


q.)
A PAIR OF GEORGE II SILVER CRUET-STANDS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, CIRCA 1746
Each on four scroll feet, the sides pierced with shells and scrolls and with leaf-capped scroll handle, fitted with two cut-glass bottles, each with detachable silver cover with bud finial, each engraved underneath with a crest below an earl's coronet, each marked underneath with maker's mark only struck four times, further engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 1 21=11' and 'No 2 21=16'
7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm.) wide
50 oz. 8 dwt. (1,567 gr.) weighable silver
(2)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 17 February and 2 May 1746
'To 4 Cruet Tops 7 oz. 16 dwt. 6/1 £2 7s 6d'
'To 4 Tops for gls Cruets 2 oz. 10 dwt. 6/1 15s 2d'
'To making £3 3s'



r.)
A PAIR OF GEORGE II SILVER BOXES AND COVERS
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, CIRCA 1746
Each oval and on openwork spreading foot, chased with shells, scrolls and with reeded borders, with two handles, the domed covers with trailing foliage and bud finials, each engraved underneath with an initial 'K' below an earl's coronet, each marked underneath with maker's mark only struck three times, each engraved underneath with number and scratchweight 'No 1 20=19' and 'No 2 21=13'
6 in. (15.2 cm.) wide over handles
41 oz. 15 dwt. (1,299 gr.)
(2)
The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 17 February 1746 'To 2 ovill [sic] and 4 round boxes 83 oz. 14 dwt. 6/1 £25 9s 1d' (part)
'To making 7/6 £31 7s. 9d' (part)


s.)
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE II SILVER CONDIMENT-VASES
MARK OF GEORGE WICKES, LONDON, CIRCA 1746
Each baluster on openwork spreading foot, chased with shells and scrolls, the domed covers chased with trailing foliage and with bud finial, each engraved with a crest below an earl's coronet, further engraved underneath with an initial 'K' below an earl's coronet, each marked underneath with maker's mark only, further engraved with a number and scratchweight 'No 1 10=3'; 'No 2 10=8'; 'No 3 10=1' and 'No 4 10=9'
5 in. (14 cm.) high
40 oz. 8 dwt. (1,256 gr.)
(4)

The Rt. Honble. The Earl of Kildare, Debtor 17 February 1746
'To 2 ovill [sic] and 4 round boxes 83 oz. 14 dwt. 6/1 £25 9s 1d' (part)
'To making 7/6 £31 7s. 9d' (part)
Provenance
James FitzGerald, 20th Earl of Kildare, later 1st Duke of Leinster (1722-1773) and then by descent to
Edward, 7th Duke of Leinster (1892-1976), sold in January 1918 as part of his inheritance to
Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley (1863-1937), property magnate.
with French and Co., New York.
Walter P. Chrysler Jr. (1909-1988), collector and philanthropist.
Walter P. Chrysler Jr., 'Offered at Private sale', Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, 23 April-5 May 1960.
Literature
George Wickes, Gentleman's Ledger, 1746.
M. Snodin, 'Silver Vases and their Purpose', The Connoisseur, January 1977, pp. 37-42.
Elaine Barr, George Wickes, Royal Goldsmith 1698-1761, London, 1980. pp. 197-205.
J. B. Hawkins, Masterpieces of English and European Silver and Gold, Sydney, 1980, pp. 30-35.
J. B. Hawkins, The Al Tajir Collection of Silver and Gold, London, 1983, vol. I, pp. 54-66.
M. Snodin, Rococo: Art and Design in Hogarth's England, London, 1984, pp. 116-117.
P. Glanville, Silver in England, London, 1987, p. 189.
The Glory of the Goldsmith, Magnificent Gold and Silver from the
Al Tajir Collection
, 1989, pp. 130-131.
B. Carver Wees, English, Irish, and Scottish Silver at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, New York, 1997, p. 122, n. 28.
J. McDonnell, 'Irish Rococo Silver', Irish Arts Review Yearbook, vol. 13, 1997, pp. 78-87.
Exhibited
Sydney, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Masterpieces of English and European Silver and Gold, 1980, no. 9.
London, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Rococo: Art and Design in Hogarth's England, 1984, G23.
London, Christie's, The Glory of the Goldsmith, Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection, 1989, no. 94.
Hampton Court, Hampton Court Palace, 1994.
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
Sale room notice
Please note that the Set of Five George II Silver Meat-Dishes measure 18 in. (45.5 cm.) diam. and not 13½ in. (34.2 cm.) as mentioned in the catalogue.

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Lot Essay

James FitzGerald, 20th Earl of Kildare and later 1st Duke of Leinster (1722-1773)

James FitzGerald, 20th Earl of Kildare and 1st Duke of Leinster (1722-1773) was the son of Robert, Earl of Kildare (1675-1744) and his wife Mary, eldest daughter of William O'Brien, 3rd Earl of Inchiquin. He was born on 29 May 1722, and styled Lord Offaly until 1744, when he succeeded his father to the peerage as Earl of Kildare. He served as Member of Parliament for Athy in 1741-44 while underage. On 21 February 1746 he was created Viscount Leinster of Taplow, co. Buckingham, and was made a member of the Irish Privy Council. Two weeks previously he had married, from her father's house in Whitehall Place, at St Margaret's Westminster, Emilia Mary (1731-1832), god-daughter of King George II and second surviving daughter of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, and his wife Sarah, daughter and co-heiress of William Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan. James and Emilia had no fewer than nine sons and eight daughters.

He played an active part in Irish politics and with his enormous wealth and influential family connections soon formed a powerful party, becoming one of the most popular noblemen in Ireland. He accepted a post in the Government as Lord Deputy in 1756, and that of Master General of the Ordinance in 1758, and in 1761 was created Marquess of Offaly in the peerage of Ireland. Five years later he was created Duke of Leinster in the peerage of Ireland at a time when there were no other Irish Dukes. While his principal seat was the Palladian Carton House, in county Kildare, which had been built by his father and where,together with his wife, he created one of the most idyllic landscape gardens in Ireland, he also built, between 1745-48, Kildare House in the south of Dublin. Initially his townhouse was some distance from his aristocratic peers, who were clustered around Rutland and Mountjoy squares but as Kildare rightly predicted others were to follow him. The house, designed by the architect Richard Cassels, remained in the family until 1815 when it was sold to the Royal Dublin Society, having been renamed Leinster House. The house again changed hands in 1924 when it was acquired by the Irish state to become the home of the Irish Parliament.



The Leinster Dinner-Service

The wealth of Royal and aristocratic patrons, the skill of the goldsmith and the inventiveness of design are embodied in the greatest of 18th century dinner-services. The Leinster dinner-service is the grandest and most complete surviving aristocratic service. Its cost far exceeded that of the Prince of Wales' service, and unlike so many others, it has remained almost intact.

The dinner-service was not only the greatest form of display plate but was also practical use. In the 17th century the buffet at the side of the dining-room had been used to show the host's wealth through the assembled arrangement of flagons, flasks, cups and dishes. In the 18th century, display moved to the dining-table itself. The linen-covered table was centered on the great epergne or surtout-de-table. The fashion for dining à la française also called for soup-tureens for the first course and a plethora of dishes and covers for the following courses. The French style of dining created the need for cruets, sauceboats and condiment-vases for the table as the diners served themselves and their neighbours from the dishes that were placed on the table. The diners entered the dining-room to see a fully dressed table and, as the courses progressed, the dishes were removed and replaced. All courses were similarly served on silver dishes, and in the richest of houses with silver covers, protecting the food and providing a visual spectacle for the guests.

The way in which the dining table could be presented was the subject of great fashion and many publication. For example, Vincent La Chapelle's The Modern Cook, published in 1736, gave instructions as to how the table should be arranged in the latest fashion. La Chapelle, cook to the great Francophile Earl of Chesterfield, included engravings, which illustrated the many different geometrical arrangements of dishes.

The Leinster dinner-service is rare, not only because of its survival, but also because its commission is fully listed in the Gentleman's Ledgers of its maker, the Royal goldsmith George Wickes. The entry records each piece with its weight and its cost together with the cost of engraving and, in some instances, the cost of cases and the glass. This gives an insight into the contemporary use for the many elements which were incorrectly identified in the past. Michael Snodin, in 'Silver Vases and their Purpose', op. cit., pp. 37-42, notes that the set of four vases, described in the Wickes Ledger as '4 round boxes', are some of the earliest surviving condiment urns and the 'two ovill boxes' were intended to hold sugar to be used in salad dressing. He deduced this from the items that follow their entry in the invoice, the spoons for use with the vases and boxes, namely 'to 2 suger [sic] spoons 2 pepper 2 musterd [sic] spoons To 24 salt glasses and 12 musterd [sic] and pepper glasses'.

The centrepiece or epergne as described by George Wickes is derived from a 'surtout' designed by William Kent and published in John Vardy's Designs of Mr Inigo Jones and Mr William Kent, 1744, pl. 27. This was commissioned by Frederick, Prince of Wales, from George Wickes in 1745. The form was influential. The same design was also the inspiration for the Bute epergne of 1761, commission from another Royal goldsmith, Thomas Heming, by John, 3rd Earl of Bute (1713-1792). Bute was a great friend of the Prince of Wales, and had served as Lord of the Bedchamber. The choice of this design, first created for the Prince, was perhaps influenced by the family's close relationship with the Royal family.

The service is in the Rococo style which was both highly fashionable and costly. The exceptional quality of the cast and chased ornament on, for example, the soup-tureens, epergne and plateau, together with the sheer quantity of silver used made the Leinster dinner-service the most costly of commissions. Joseph MacDonnell in his article for Irish Arts Review Yearbook put the price into context. The service cost £4,044 which equated to over 100 times the yearly salary of a curate. The service would have been used both at Carton House, co. Kildare and at Leinster House, his Dublin town house.

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