Rundell's produced four known dishes of this model, all with Stothard's central relief of Bacchus and Ariadne, including an example made for the Prince Regent in 1814, still in the Royal Collection, and a pair of 1813 from the collection of the Duke of Northumberland (illustrated in The Glory of the Goldsmith, 1989, fig. 141, pp. 182-183).
Thomas Stothard was the designer of the central relief, and according to his daughter-in-law "chose for his subject Bacchus and Ariadne, drawn by a chariot by Satyrs. This was imagined and delineated with true classic taste and feeling. All these drawings were most elaborately finished in sepia" (Anna Stothard Bray, Life of Thomas Stothard, R.A., 1851, p. 162). Stothard's drawing survives in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum (illustrated here, p. ???).
The source for Stothard's drawing was an engraving in Bernard de Montfaucon's L'Antiquitée expliquée of 1719, an encyclopedic compilation of ancient works of art, a copy of which was undoubtedly owned by Rundell's. (Another dish with a design after Montfaucon with Rundell's signature is in the Love Collection, lot 241.) The subject of Montfaucon's engraving was the celebrated antique Roman cameo of the Triumph of Bacchus excavated in 1661. Pope Benoit XIV purchased the cameo in 1741, and it remained in the Vatican until it was seized by Napoleon with other important antiquities in 1798. It arrived in Paris in 1801, and remains today at the Louvre (illustrated here, p. ???).
Stothard used the Bacchus cameo in at least one other design for silver. A pen-and-wash rendering of a wine cooler, now at the British Museum, employs the same four centaurs, intended for execution in silver as fully modelled figures arranged around a central vase. The design was apparently never executed.
1) Plate from Bernard de Montfaucon, L'Antiquitée expliquée, 1719 (London edition, 1721) after Buonarotti's 1698 engraving of an antique Roman cameo
2) Antique Roman Marble Cameo of the Triumph of Bacchus, Collection Musée du Louvre; photograph by Chuzeville, Réunion des Musées Nationaux, France
3) Thomas Stothard's pen-and-wash rendering of the Triumph of Bacchus, after Montfaucon. Courtesy the Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum
4) Detail, lot 236