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Peter Archambo (Unknown - 1767) The Earl of Warrington’s Salvers

A Highly Important Pair of George II Salvers

Silver
London, 1738
Maker’s mark of Peter Archambo

The pie-crust salvers of circular form with applied Bath-edge borders. The centres finely engraved with a coat-of-arms within a baroque cartouche in turn flanked by rampant boar supporters and under an earl's coronet. The salvers raised on four capped scroll feet.

 Fully hallmarked on the undersides and engraved with scratch weights 84=17 and 84=18

Diameter: 40.6cm, 16 in.Weight: 5,197g, 16 oz 2dwt.

The arms are those of Booth, for George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (1675-1758), of Dunham Massey, Cheshire.

Provenance

George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (1675-1758), of Dunham Massey, Cheshire, one salver then by descent to his daughter
Lady Mary Booth (1704-1772), wife of Harry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford (1715-1768) and then by descent to their son
George Harry Grey, 5th Earl of Stamford (1737-1819) and his wife Lady Henrietta Bentinck (1727-1837) and by descent to 
Catherine, Lady Grey (d.1925) her son Sir John Foley-Grey 8th Bt. (1893-1938) 
Catherine, Lady Grey and Sir John Foley-Grey; Christie's, London, 20 April, 1921, lot 54, (to Tessier)
A Lady of Title; Sotheby’s, London, 13 April 1961, lot 150, both salvers, (to Willson)
Acquired from Walter H. Willson Ltd., London, August 1961.

Literature

George, 2nd Earl of Warrington, The Particulars of my Plate and its Weights, 1754, p. 2, 2 very Large Waiters//84:17//84:18//30 
D. Fennimore et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Decorative Arts, New York, 1992, vol. IV, p. 400, no. 457 (illustrated).

Silversmith Biography

The son of a Huguenot, Peter Archambo was the most distinguished apprentice of another Huguenot goldsmith, Jacob Margas. Apprenticed in 1710, Archambo was free of the Butchers' Company in December 1720 and entered his first mark three months later. His earliest address is not known but after 1739 his workshop was in Coventry Street, Piccadilly. Archambo produced plate of fine quality and, together with Paul Crespin, Charles Kandler, and Paul de Lamerie, introduced the rococo style of the 1730's. As the major supplier to George Booth, second earl of Warrington, he also produced a significant quantity of plain domestic plate. Archambo's work is notable for its French taste and plasticity. His career evidently brought his prosperity, since he was described in his will as a "gentleman"; he appears to have been able to retire by about 1750, after which little plate with his mark is known.

Description

George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (1675-1758), was an important patron of the leading Huguenot silversmiths of his day, and his vast and well-documented collection provides us with a fascinating portrait not only of the 2nd Earl but also of the use of silver in a great country house of the first half of the 18th century. 

On his succession in 1693, the 2nd Earl inherited his father's prodigious debts along with his title. A strategic marriage to Mary Oldbury (d.1740), the daughter of a rich London merchant, raised the family out of their financial misfortune but brought personal woes with it. The couple had a troubled marriage and only one legitimate child, Mary Booth (b.1704). The Earl named his daughter as his sole heiress. Aside from improving its park--it was said that he planted over 100,000 trees--the 2nd Earl devoted himself to building a sizable silver collection. 

The Warrington Plate is distinguished by its uniformly high quality, exceptionally heavy gauge, and its conservative taste. The Earl favored the plain and heavy fashions of the early 18th century Huguenot silversmiths. His near obsession with expanding the collection at Dunham Massey is underscored by the existence of a lengthy inventory written in his own hand, titled ‘The Particular of my Plate & its Weight.’ The seventeen-page document, dated 1750 and amended by the Earl in 1754, records over 25,000 ounces of silver. This pair of salvers is described in the inventory as “2 very large Waiters//84:17//84:18//30.” The present lot represents the largest slavers in the Earl’s plate collection.

The Earl's only child, Mary, married Harry (Grey), 4th Earl of Stamford (1715-1768) in 1736. After Warrington's death in 1758, Dunham Massey passed to them and subsequently descended in the Grey family. Although a group of the Warrington Plate was sold by their descendants at Christie's, London in two sales (20 April 1921 and 25 February 1931), the Warrington Plate is significant because it is ‘probably the largest group of plate to have survived in the house for which it was originally made’ (J. Lomax and J. Rothwell, Country House Silver at Dunham Massey, London, 2006).

The Earl of Warrington’s Salvers (Unknown - 1767) Reference: DT20.90.3