See D. S. Howard, op.cit., p.686, for an arched teacaddy from this same service. The author notes that while not armorial, the elaborate 'cypher' contains every letter in the words SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS, for whom this service was made. It seems almost certain that Sir Joshua designed this himself. Born in 1723 in Devon, the son of a country clergyman, he came to study painting in London at the age of eighteen, and from 1744 became a portrait painter with an ever-widening and illustrious clientele. When in 1768 the Royal Academy was founded, next door to Christie's in Pall Mall, where Reynolds and the first James Christie's were known to be close and influential friends in the sophisticated crowds that flocked to exhibitions at both very fashionable venues, Reynolds was elected its first president, and some months later was knighted, but he did not become painter to King George III until the death of Allan Ramsay in 1784.