The arms are those of Lamb.
These waiters were commissioned by Matthew Lamb, a successful lawyer and money lender, who served some of the most prominent members of the 18th century English aristocracy. Lamb amassed a fortune through his professional associations, inheritance, and advantageous marriage to the heiress, Charlotte Coke. His real estate holdings included Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire (through his wife), Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire and property in London.
To demonstrate his position of influence, Lamb commissioned silver from England's premier silversmiths, Paul de Lamerie and the Royal Goldsmith, George Wickes, around the time of his marriage in 1739. His Lamerie purchases included four waiters (reunited here as a complete set), four sauce boats (a pair sold in these Rooms, 22 May 2008, lot 201) and four salt cellars. His Wickes purchases included a soup tureen and six dishes.
Upon his death in 1768, Lamb's estate was valued at nearly £1 million. His will stated that his plate should be "kept and preserved" and the silver was bequeathed to his son, Peniston Lamb, Viscount Melbourne. In turn, Viscount Melbourne commissioned the Royal Goldsmiths, Parker and Wakelin to make additions to the dinner service (including a matching soup tureen to his father's tureen made by Wickes). This order coincided with his marriage to Caroline Milbanke in 1770, who was to become the mistress of George IV. Lamb's son, William, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (1779-1848) served as Prime Minister from 1835-1841. The silver descended though Lord Melbourne's sister, Lady Cowper, who married secondly the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston.
Sir Matthew Lamb (1704-1768)
Courtesy of Lord Ralph Kerr and The Melbourne Trust