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Silver from the Royal Prussian Collection
Many of the Royal Prussian items which follow are from the time of Kaiser Wilhelm II (b.1859, r.1888-1918, d.1941) and are engraved with his monogram. In 1888, the 'Year of Three Emperors', he succeeded his grandfather and father as Emperor or Kaiser. A firm Anglophile, intensely proud of his close relationship with his grandmother Queen Victoria, he also felt a fierce rivalry with England; but was said to have been devastated when war became inevitable. He had entertained on a lavish scale as had his Prussian ancestors at court, and was known for his enthusiasm for yachting and his sponsorship of prestigious races. After his abdication in 1918 he lived in exile at Huis Doorn until his death there in 1941.
The flatware is principally in the Rococo pattern, an innovative service in the English taste embellished with the Royal Prussian crown and monogram; another service is a variant on the standard King's pattern, with foliate scrolls. The sense of tradition in the royal household is reflected in the propensity for succeeding Prussian monarchs to re-order additional quantities of the same pattern with their own monogram.
A number of the dishes follow the English form of the wedding service of Prince Wilhelm, later Emperor Wilhelm I, and his wife Princes Augusta, commissioned from Hossauer in 1829. The pattern is inspired by a vine border employed most notably by London goldsmiths Digby Scott and Benjamin Smith. In the exhibition catalogue held at Stiftung Stadtmuseum, Berlin (Gold und Silber für den König, Johann George Hossauer (1794-1874) Goldschmied Sr. Majestät des Königs, 1998) it is noted that the form of the ribbon-bound reeded borders embellished with fruiting vines follows the form of a set of dinner-plates sold Christie's, New York, 25 October 1988, lot 258, formerly in the collection of the Earls of Lonsdale. Scott and Smith, together with Paul Storr, provided plate for the English Royal Goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge and Rundell and it is known that Hossauer visited Storr's workshop in 1826.
Ein Deutscher Silberteller