A PAIR OF GEORGE II SILVER MEAT-DISHES
MARK OF PAUL DE LAMERIE, LONDON, 1745
Oblong and with canted corners, with robust shell and gadroon border, engraved with a coat-of-arms, marked underneath, the bases further numbered and engraved with a scratchweight 'No.14 27=4½' and 'No. 15 26=10'
13 in. (33 cm.) wide
50 oz. (1,554 gr.)
The arms are those of Ellis impaling Stanhope for Welbore Ellis (1713-1802). Ellis, born in Kildare, Ireland, was the sixth and youngest but only surviving son of Dr Welbore Ellis (1661/2-1734), bishop of Kildare and from 1732 of Meath, and his wife, Diana Briscoe (d. 1739), the daughter of Sir John Briscoe of Boughton, Northamptonshire, and Amberley Castle, Sussex.
Ellis was educated at Westminster school and later Christ Church Oxford, from which he graduated in 1736 before beginning a career in politics, first as member of parliament for Cricklade and later for Weymouth. During his career he served many political posts including spokesman for the Admiralty and Lord Chancellor of the Exchequer.
He married, on 18 November 1747, Elizabeth Stanhope (d. 1761), the only daughter of Sir William Stanhope. The couple lived at Tylney Hall, Hampshire, and at Pope's Villa, Twickenham, which Elizabeth had acquired from her father. The villa attracted a procession of dinner guests, but subjected Ellis to the merciless barbs of a critical neighbour, Horace Walpole, who dismissed him as an incorrigible placeman.
He was created 1st Baron Mendip in 1794, a title which passed to his great-nephew and heir, Henry Welbore Agar, second Viscount Clifden, who assumed the surname Ellis. (2)
Welbore Ellis (1713-1802), later 1st Baron Mendip and by descent to his great nephew
Henry Welbore Agar, 2nd Viscount Clifden (1761-7836) and by descent to Henry Agar-Ellis, 4th Viscount Clifden (1863-1895) perhaps sold privately
George Dunton Widener (1861-1912) and by descent to his son
George Dunton Widener Jr. (1889-1971);
Christie's New York, 29 April 1986, lot 175
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's London, 5 March 1998, lot 238