Part of the Hanover Royal plate, these casters and the following two lots presumably remained at Herrenhausen, the Palace in Hanover from 1722/1723 until shortly after the Seven Weeks War in 1866. The Palace itself was sacked by Prussian troops during the War but the Royal Plate was hidden in a vault covered by lime and debris. George Frederick, King of Hanover was deposed during that war and the family, which was deprived of the title Kings of Hanover, were henceforth known as Dukes of Brunswick and moved to Austria. The silver was moved to Penzing near Vienna and to the Duke's villa at Gmunden. On the death of George Frederick's son Ernest Augustus, a considerable part of the Hanover silver, both English and German, was purchased by the Vienese dealer Gluckselig and appears to have been resold to the London dealers Crichton Brothers.
These casters, in superb condition, are exceptionally good examples of the silver made by the Hanover Court goldsmiths in the English taste. Strongly influenced by the English Huguenot style, with its reliance on severe geometric and baluster forms, the Hanover goldsmiths produced silver of quite remarkable quality and beauty. The unusual press button release to the cover of two of the casters is rarely if ever seen on English silver of the period. However, if we assume that these casters were intended for the same use as their English counterparts, then the large one was for sugar, the smaller castor with pierced cover was for pepper and the other with un-pierced or 'blind' cover was for dried mustard.
The maker of these casters and the following two lots, Lewin Dedeke of Celle, is known to have collaborated with the Hanover court goldsmith, Conrad Holling from 1706/7-1726/7 (see W.Scheffler, Goldschmide Niedersachsens, Berlin, 1965, p.249). Indeed it is tempting to suggest that the D crowned and DD crowned marks found in association with Holling's mark on Hanover Royal silver - the former on two flasks and the latter on three further flasks and the Luton Hoo ewers and basins (Sotheby's, London, 24 May 1995, lot 100) - are perhaps unrecorded Dedeke marks. Lewin Dedeke's mark alone appears on a large number of pieces made for the Hanover Court and recorded at Penzing (see Scheffler, op.cit. p.250).