The Hamilton service, one of the great Storr dinner services, was commissioned by the 10th Duke of Hamilton as his ambassadorial plate on his appointment to the court of St. Petersburg on May 28, 1806. Its superb quality and design should be compared with the celebrated Egremont service of 1806/7 sold in these Rooms on behalf of the Republic of the Phillippines through the Presidential Commission for Good Government, January 10, 1991, lot 54. The distinctive design of the handles on the present lot, however, appear to have been used only on the Hamilton service; a set of triangular dishes from the same service with identical handles is in an American private collection and illustrated in Michael Clayton, The Collector's Dictionary of the Silver and Gold of Great Britain and North American, 2nd ed., 1985, cover illustration and plate 74. Other pieces from the Hamilton service include a pair of octagonal entree dishes and covers sold in these Rooms October 26, 1986, lot 611 and a further pair sold April 28, 1992, lot 185, and a pair of sauce tureens and covers, also sold in these Rooms, October 30, 1990, lot 174. A significant portion of the Hamilton service, comprising some 278 pieces and weighing a total of 9513 oz., was dispersed by Christie's in London in 1919.
Lord Lamington in The Days of the Dandies wrote of the 10th Duke of Hamilton; "never was such a magnifico as the 10th Duke, the Ambassador to the Empress Catherine; when I knew him he was very old but held himself straight as any Grenadier. He was always dressed in a military laced undress coat, tights and Hessian boots &c".