The arms are those of Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton (1767-1852)
The 10th Duke of Hamilton was appointed Ambassador to the Court of St. Petersburg in 1806, and this tureen was part of the magnificent service commissioned for that important diplomatic post. Ambassadorial silver, while issued by the Crown and engraved with Royal armorials, was customarily awarded to the diplomat at his retirement as a perquisite of office. One of Storr's greatest dinner services, the Hamilton Service comprised 278 pieces and weighed a total of 9,513 oz. Christie's dispersed the entire service belonging to the Late Duke of Hamilton in 1919. In addition to the superb quality of this tureen, the scroll handle design is one the distinguishing features of the Hamilton Service. A pair of triangular vegetable dishes from the service, also with scroll handles, sold Christie's, New York, December 16, 2005, lot 75.
Of the 10th Duke, Lord Lamington wrote in Days of Dandies, "Never was such a magnifico, The Ambassador to the Empress Catherine; when I knew him he was very old but held himself straight as an Grenadier. He was always dressed in a military laced undress coat, tights and Hessian boots & c." Lady Stafford mentions "his great coat, his long Queue and Fingers cover'd with gold Rings." In 1810 he married Susan Euphemia, daughter and heir of renowned collector, William Beckford. He served later as Lord High Steward at the coronations of William IV and Queen Victoria.
Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton, by Willes Madox, 1852
National Trust for Scotland. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk