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The following fourteen lots form part of a service of dining plate ordered by John Spencer, later 1st Earl Spencer (1734-1783), presumably to celebrate his marriage, on 20 December 1755, to Margaret Poyntz (1737-1814), daughter of Stephen Poyntz.
As was the tradition in the late 18th century the service would have been vast and certainly included at least eight soup tureens by Thomas Gilpin (A. G. Grimwade, The Connoisseur, 'Silver at Althorp: IV The Rococo and Regency Period', December 1963, no. 2, 3 and 4) and four candlesticks by the same maker (A. G. Grimwade, The Connoisseur, 'Silver at Althorp: II The Candlesticks and Candelabra', March 1962, no. 2 (right).
The service would have been in the very latest fashion as shown by the tureens, the quilted decoration of which Grimwade describes as 'This decoration, so effective in it's production of a mass of sparkling high-lights, is apparently peculiar to English silver of the mid-eighteenth century, and is almost entirely confined to tureens, whether for soup or sauce, and to candlesticks' (op. cit. 'Silver at Althrop IV', no. 2).