THE DUKE OF SUSSEX'S EPERGNE
A GEORGE III SILVER EPERGNE
MARK OF THOMAS PITTS, LONDON, 1761, SOME BASKETS WITH MARK OF THOMAS BUMFRISS AND ORLANDO JACKSON, LONDON, CIRCA 1770
Pagoda form, the base with scrolling foliage legs connected with cast openwork fruiting foliage skirting, with four arms supporting a circular dish and four arms supporting openwork baskets with overhead handles, with a central basket and four columns which support the openwork canopy with suspended bells and a pineapple finial, each piece later engraved with an initial 'S' below a Royal Duke's coronet, marked on edge of canopy, on finial, underneath basket, on edge of base, the dishes marked on foot, two baskets marked on foot with maker's mark only, seven arms marked at the end, the columns and bells and one arm apparently unmarked further engraved under the basket 'The Weight of the Whole 230=10'
22 in. (56 cm.) high; 28 in. (71 cm.) overall length
221 oz. (6,880 gr.)
The later initial is that of H.R.H. Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (1773-1840), 6th son of King George III. In addition to the Dukedom of Sussex, he was created Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Baron Arklow and Earl of Inverness. Until 1804, he was mainly in continental Europe, and in 1792, when in Rome, he met Lady Augusta Murray, daughter of the Earl of Dunmore, whom he married in 1793, although the union was declared void by his father, George III. Throughout his life, he was a supporter of progressive political reform and also enlightened in the advancement of art and science: he was elected president of the Society of Arts in 1816 and from 1830-1838 was president of the Royal Society.
H.R.H. Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (1773-1843)
The Late Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, K.G.; Christie's London, 27 June 1843, lot 549 (£79 to Phillips)
The Will Trust of the late Captain W.S. Mitford; Christie's London, 27 November 1974
Mrs. E.L. Harris, Captain W.S. Mitford's daughter and then by descent to the current owner