The arms are those of Bendyshe impaling those of Matcham quarterly with those of Eyre, as borne by John Bendyshe of Barrington Hall, Cambridgeshire (1790-1855). In 1820, John Bendyshe married Catherine, daughter of George Matcham of Ashfield Lodge, Sussex, by his wife Catherine, sister of Admiral Lord Nelson. Bendyshe served at sea, attaining the rank of Lieutenant and later served as Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire. In June 1820, Catherine Matcham wrote of John Bendyshe "Our dear Kate is going to be married to a young man who appears worthy of her, which is saying a great deal of him. He made his bow only yesterday. He is the son of Mr. Bendyshe, who has good estates in Cambridgeshire ... Mr. and Mrs. Blanckley have known him for years and say a better creature never lived. Thank God, our dear Girl has the prospect of being as happy as she deserves to be" (The Nelsons of Burnham Thorpe, 1911, p. 291).
The applied heads, lion's mantle and entwined branch handles of the present lot derive directly from the Warwick Vase, a colossal marble vase from the 2nd century AD. Like the Portland Vase and the Medici Krater, the Warwick Vase became one of the most celebrated pieces of antiquity, serving as inspiration for silver and silver-gilt copies during the Regency period. The vase, measuring nearly six feet high, was excavated in 1770 and acquired by Sir William Hamilton, antiquarian and Ambassador to Naples. It was later sold to the Earl of Warwick, who installed it on the grounds of Warwick Castle. Several views of the vase were engraved by G. B. Piranesi in Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi, Sarcofagi of 1778. In turn, a drawing for a wine cooler based upon the Warwick Vase, attributed to William Theed, is found among the Rundell designs in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. The present lot is a further adaptation of this design, grafting grapevine motifs appropriate to a wine cooler on to the Warwick Vase model.