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William Burwash The Talbot Wine Coasters

London, 1817,
Maker’s mark of William Burwash

Diameter: 15.5cm, 6.1in.
Height: 5cm, 1.9in.

Silversmith Biography

No record of apprenticeship or freedom. Heal records William Burwash, watchcasemaker, at 45 Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, from 1782-1804, for whom two incuse marks are entered in 1802 and 1803 at 3 Red Lion Street (Section V). It would seem very likely that he is the William Burwash of St.Stephen's, Wallbrook, married at that church, 7 November 1781, to Elizabeth Salt of St. John's, Clerkenwell, and that they may be the parents of William Burwash of this entry. First mark entered in partnership with Richard Sibley, 7 October 1705. Address: 14 Bartholomew Close. Second mark, alone, incuse, 6 July 1812. Third mark, (two sizes), 10 August 1812. Fourth mark, 23 April 1813, all at the same address. His son George apprenticed to Richard Sibley 1 January 1806, and another son William to William Chawner 6 November 1816, who had married Mary Burwashearlier that year.


An exceptional set of eight George III wine coasters which were made in London in 1817 for Charles-Talbot, 2nd Earl Talbot (1777-1849). Talbot was heavily involved in the organizing of a volunteer force for Staffordshire to see off a possible invasion by the French under Napoleon. In 1817 he became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and he rendered considerable services to the agriculture of the country, in recognition of which he was presented with the freedom of Drogheda. Being Lord Lieutenant of Ireland this made him the direct representative of the King and the head of the executive in Ireland. Therefore it is likely that he ordered a silver service as part of his diplomatic plate in 1817, including these coasters, for entertaining as would have been expected of somebody in such an important position.

It was during Lord Talbot’s term as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland that King George IV made his celebrated visit to Dublin where no doubts these wine coasters featured in the magnificent entertainments that Talbot provided for the King. In the course of the King’s visit Talbot was made a Knight of St Patrick; in his old age Talbot was made a Knight of the Garter by Queen Victoria.
Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 2nd Earl Talbot (1777-1849) was the son of John Chetwynd Talbot, 1st Earl Talbot (1750-1793), and his wife, Charlotte (d. 1804), daughter of Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire. He succeeded to the peerage on the death of his father in May 1793 and matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford the following year. After leaving Oxford Talbot joined Lord Whitworth's embassy in Russia as a voluntary attaché, returning to England before 1800, when he married Frances Thomasine (d.1819) 1800.
The 2nd Earl clearly had a great love of silver as everything that bears his crest is of the finest quality. For example, an exceptional silver-gilt tray made in 1805 by Benjamin Smith (See image below). Like the coasters, which were made twelve years later, this tray has a beautiful grape & vine boarder which would have been the height of fashion in the first part of the 19th century.

The Talbot Wine Coasters Reference: 22085.1