A Pair of Silver-Gilt Comports
The design of these comports were a form produced almost exclusively by the Garrard silversmith company and should be recognised as a specific design unique to the repertoire of their maker. These comports take their design and inspiration from the Renaissance period.
The company that was to become Garrard was founded by George Wickes (1698–1761), who entered his mark in Goldsmiths' Hall in 1722. Wickes set up business in Threadneedle Street in the City of London in 1722; the company moved to Panton Street off Haymarket in central London in 1735 as a goldsmith and provider of jewellery and other luxury items to aristocratic patrons. Wickes was an accomplished silversmith known for his work in the rococo style, and gained the patronage of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Two apprentices of Wickes, John Parker and Edward Wakelin, purchased the company following Wickes' retirement in 1760, replaced by John Wakelin and William Taylor in 1776. Following the death of William Taylor, Robert Garrard became a partner in the company in 1792. Garrard took sole control of the firm in 1802, with his sons Robert Garrard II, James and Sebastian succeeding him in running the company, trading as R., J., & S. Garrard (or Robert Garrard & Brothers) until James' retirement in 1835, when the company became R & S Garrard. The company remained in the hands of the Garrard family until the death of Sebastian Henry Garrard, great-grandson of Robert Garrard senior, in 1946.
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