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Philip Rundell (1743 - 1827) An Important George IV Tray

Silver-Gilt
London, 1823
Maker’s mark of Philip Rundell
The arms are those of Lucy quartering Percy, for Hugh, 3rd Duke of Northumberland K.G. (1795-1847)

Length (handle to handle): 80cm, 31 1/2in.
Weight: 7682g, 247oz

Provenance

Supplied to Hugh, 3rd Duke of Northumberland K.G. (1795-1847) and then by descent to Hugh, 10th Duke of Northumberland K.G. (1914-1988). His Grace the Duke of Northumberland K.G., G.C.V.O., T.D., P.C.; Sotheby's London, 3 May 1984, lot 113. A Gentleman; Christie's London, 23 November 1999, lot 180

Literature

V. Brett, Sotheby's Directory of Silver 1600-1940, London, 1986, p. 257, no. 1,162

Silversmith Biography

Son of Thomas Rundell doctor of Widcombe Bath, born 1743. Apprenticed to William Rodgers jeweller of Bath on payment of £20. Arrived in London, 1767 or 1769, as a shopman to Theed and Pickett, Ludgate Hill, at a salary of £20 p.a.. Made partner with Picket in 1772 and acquired sole ownership of the business in 1785-6. Took John Bridge into partnership in 1788 and his nephew Edmund Walter Rundell by 1803, the firm being styled Rundell Bridge and Rundell from 1805. Appointed Goldsmith and Jeweller to the King in 1797, due it is said, to George III's acquaintanceship with John Bridge's relative, a farmer near Weymouth. He took Paul Storr into working partnership in 1807, an arrangement that lasted until 1819, when the latter gained independence. Only then was Rundell's mark entered as plateworker, 4th March, 1819. Address: 76 Dean Street, Soho, (the workshop). In 1823 John Bridge enters his first mark and it seems probable therefore that it was about this time that Rundell retired. He did not die however until 1827, leaving his fortune of 1.25 million to his nephew Joseph Neeld.

Description

Shaped oblong and on eight paired lion’s paw feet, with gadrooned border and two oak-branch, oak-leaf and acorn handles, the centre finely engraved with a coat-of-arms below duke’s coronet, within a border of ribbon-tied husk and rosette swags hung from oval paterae and with panels of matting.

Further details:

Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland (1785-1847), the eldest son of Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland and his second wife Frances Julia Burrell (d.1820) was born 20 April 1785. Educated at Eton College and St John's College, Cambridge where he obtained an M.A. and an L.L.D. in 1809. He began a political careen in 1806 when he was returned as member of Parliament for Buckingham, going on to serve the same role for Westminster, the county of Northumberland and Launceston. Though he rarely spoke in Parliament he did move for an amendment to the Slave Trade Abolition act which would have emancipated every black child born after 1 January 1810.

In April 1817 he married Lady Charlotte Florentia (d. 1866), second daughter of Edward Clive, 1st Earl of Powis. The service was held at the Percy's London home Northumberland House.

The marriage seems to have been a success, with the Duke being described by Greville as 'a very good sort of man, with a very narrow understanding, an eternal talker, and a prodigious bore. The Duchess is a more sensible woman, and amiable and good humoured. He is supposed to be ruled in all things by her advice.' (Greville Memoirs, 1.164).

The Duke was known for his love of extravagance, shown by his orders from Rundell, Bridge and Rundell who supplied large quantities of silver and silver-gilt from 1822 to 1831, including the present tray, one of a pair, and another smaller pair. Many of these commissions are recorded in the Percy Letters in the Duke of Northumberland's archives. Rundell's additionally gilded and repaired pieces in the Duke's existing collection, and provided insurance for the transport of the Duke's plate to France when he traveled there in 1825 as Special Ambassador at the coronation of Charles X. Indeed the Duke's probate inventory, prepared after his death in 1847, show that at Northumberland House alone there were twenty-nine chests.


An Important George IV Tray (1743 - 1827) Reference: dt20.26.1