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Paul Storr (1771 - Tooting 1844) The Earl of Ailesbury’s Tray

A Highly Important Regency Two-Handled tray

Silver-gilt                                                                                                                      
London, 1814                                                                                                               
Maker’s mark of Paul Storr

Length over handles: 76.2cm, 30in.                                                                                 
Weight: 8,385g,  269oz 10dwt

The tray oval, on four shell feet headed by grapevine, the openwork grapevine border with flower head rim, entwined snake-form handles, centre engraved with arms and supporters
Hallmarked on base and rim, stamped on base with the retailer’s stamp ‘Rundell Bridge et Rundell Aurifices Regis et Principis Walliae Regentis Britanniae’ and numbered 321

Additional Images Provenance

The Lillian and Morrie Moss Collection
Garrard, London, 1981

Literature

The Lillian and Morrie Moss Collection of Paul Storr Silver, 1972, pp. 240-241, illus. Plate 178

Silversmith Biography

Son of Thomas Storr of Westminster, first silver-chaser later innkeeper, born 1771. Apprenticed c'1785. Before his first partnership with William Frisbee in 1792 he worked at Church Street, Soho, which was the address of Andrew Fogelberg, This is also the address at which Storr's first separate mark is also entered. First mark entered as plateworker, in partnership with William Frisbee, 2 May 1792. Address: 5 Cock Lane, Snow Hill. Second mark alone, 12 January 1793. Address: 30 Church Street, Soho. Third mark, 27 April 1793. Fourth 8 August 1794. Moved to 20 Air Street, 8 October 1796, (where Thomas Pitts had worked till 1793). Fifth mark, 29 November 1799. Sixth, 21 August 1807. Address 53 Dean Street, Soho. Seventh, 10 February 1808. Ninth, 21 October 1813. Tenth, 12 September 1817. Moved to Harrison Street, Gray's Inn Road, 4 March 1819, after severing his connection with Rundell, Bridge and Rundell. Eleventh mark, 2 September 1883. Address: 17 Harrison Street. Twelfth and last mark, 2 September 1833. Heal records him in partnership with Frisbee and alone at Cock Lane in 1792, and at the other addresses and dates above, except Harrison Street. Storr married in 1801, Elizabeth Susanna Beyer of the Saxon family of piano and organ builders of Compton Street, by whom he had ten children. He retired in 1838, to live in Hill House in Tooting. He died 18 March 1844 and is buried in Tooting Churchyard. His will, proved 3 April 1844, shows an estate of £3000. A memorial to him in Otely Church, Suffolk was put up by his son Francis the then incumbent of the parish. For full details of Storr's relationship with Rundell, Bridge and Rundell please see N.M. Penzer, 1954 or Royal Goldsmiths, The Art of Rundell and Bridge, 2005. Storr's reputation rests on his mastery of the grandoise neo-Classical style developed in the Regency period. His early pieces up to about 1800 show restrained taste, although by 1797 he had produced the remarkable gold font for the Duke of Portland. Here, however the modelling of the classical figures must presumably have been the work of a professional sculptor, as yet unidentified, and many of the pieces produced by him for Rundell and Bridge in the Royal Collection must have sprung from designs commissioned by that firm rather than from his own invention. On the other hand they still existed in his Harrison Street workshop, until destroyed in World War II, a group of Piranesi engravings of classical vases and monuments bearing his signature, presumably used as source material for designs. The massiveness of the best of his compositions is well shown in the fine urn of 1800 at Woborn Abbey, but the Theocritus Cup in the Royal Collection must be essentially ascribed to the restraint of its designer John Flaxman, while not denying to Storr its superb execution. Lord Spencer's ice pails of 1817 show similar quality. Not all Storr's work however wasof classical inspiration. The candelabra of 1807 at Woburn derive from candlesticks by Paul Crespin of the George II period, formerly part of the Bedford Collection, and he attempted essays in floral rococo design from time to time, which tend to over-floridity. On occasions the excellence of his technical qualities was marred by a lack of good proportions, as in the chalices of the church plate of St Pancras, 1821. In spite of these small lapses there is no doubt that Storr rose to the demands made upon him as the author of more fine display plate than any other English goldsmith, including Paul De Lamerie, was ever called upon to produce.

Description

The arms are those of Bruce quartering Brudenell and impaling Noel-Hill, for Charles, 2nd Earl and 1st Marquess of Ailesbury, b.1772 and his first wife Henrietta Maria, daughter of Noel, 1st Lord Berwick of Attingham, whom he married in 1793. In 1821 he was created Viscount Savernake, Earl Bruce and Marquess of Ailesbury. He was the son of Thomas, 1st Earl, K.T. who succeeded by special limitation to the Barony of Bruce of Tottenham on the death of his uncle, Charles, 4th Earl of Elgin and 3rd Earl of Ailesbury. The latter in 1761 married Susanna, daughter and co-heir of Henry Hoare of Stourhead, Wilts. and relict of Viscount Dungarvan. Charles was M.P. for Marlborough in five parliaments 1796-1814, Colonel in the Wilts. Militia 1811-27, K.T. 1819. His first wife died in 1831 and he married in 1833 at Ham House, Maria  Elizabeth, 2nd daughter of the Hon Charles Tollemache, 3rd son of suo jure Countess of Dysart. The marquess died at Tottenham Park in 1856. His widow, who was born in 1809 died at the age of 83 in 1893. Known as the “evergreen Maria Marchioness, sprightly, gay and universally popular, was a constant frequenter of London parties and country race courses, and was to be seen in Hyde Park with flaxen hair (or wig) driving two ponies, generally preceded by two outriders.” (The Complete Peerage)
The house Tottenham Park is now owned by the Earl of Cardigan.

The engraving may be attributed to Walter Jackson, apprenticed to John Thompson of Gutter Lane, who became free in 1801 and worked for Rundell, Bridge and Rundell. In 1815, he took an apprentice Samuel Jackson, possibly a nephew, who became free in 1822 and continued the business. Walter became a liveryman of the Goldsmiths’ Company in 1824 and died in 1834 (see Charles Oman, English Engraved Silver 1150-1900).

The Earl of Ailesbury’s Tray (1771 - Tooting 1844) Reference: DT20.83.2