The arms are those of Hope impaling those of Johnstone, as borne by Charles Hope, 1st Earl of Hopetoun (1681-1742) and his wife Henrietta Johnstone, daughter of William, 1st Marquess of Annandale. Charles Hope was created Earl of Hopetoun at the age of 22 on April 15, 1703. Family tradition holds that the 1st Earl's father, John Hope, gave his seat in a lifeboat to the Duke of York (later James II) during the disastrous wreck of the Royal Gloucester in 1682. Since John Hope had given his life for the sake of the Royal Duke, Queen Anne granted a peerage to Hope's son Charles as soon as he came of age.
The 1st Earl was a zealous supporter of the Union of England and Scotland in 1707, but is best remembered today as the builder of Hopetoun House, chiefly from the designs of the architect Sir William Bruce.
Other pieces of silver made for the 1st Earl include a pair of Queen Anne sideboard dishes by Thomas Parr, 1707, sold at Christie's, New York, October 28, 1986, lot 335; three matching dishes by the same, sold at Sotheby's, London, June 8, 1972, lot 71; twelve soup plates by Philip Rollos, sold in the same Rooms, June 18, 1964, lot 128; six matching examples by the same, sold from the Patio Collection, Christie's, New York, October 20, 1986, lot 39; twelve dinner plates by Parr of 1707, sold at Sotheby's, London, June 13, 1983, lot 35 and a further set of twelve at Christie's, London, July 12, 1983, lot 172.