Maker’s mark of Christian Hillan
Weight : 4433 gr, 156.37 oz
Height: 26.5cm, 10.5 in
Length: 40cm, 15.75 in
The body, Rococo and lavishly ornated, with finely chiselled bas-reliefs of flanking draped putti bearing wheat sheaf and holding a cartouche depicting coat of arms placed in front of clouds from which springs a bird with open wings, with, on its right, a phoenix on a pedestal rising from the ashes. Everything emerging from the waters, antiquity styled fish and seahorse, trees and plants on the background. Artichoke and acanthus leaf buds, lid ornated with bas-relief of flower and wine branch decoration on the outline, two putti, birds and two fruit baskets on a pilaster ending by a draped ray. The four volute feet resting on four small acanthus leaves, the extremity of the feet ornated with masks. All lifted by a knurled and beribboned braid, leafy ornaments and acanthus leaves.
Provenance: former collection of Joseph Simard (Sorel, Quebec).
Private collection, Montreal.
Very little is known of the silversmith Christian Hillan, who flourished in London for a few years from the time of entering his first mark as a plate worker on 20 April 1736. His name, it is thought, suggests that he may have been a Scandinavian immigrant. His most productive period seems to have been immediately following his move about 1740 to the sign of the Crown and Golden Ball, Compton Street, Soho. His vacated premises there were subsequently taken by William Cripps who at that time (1743) was a next door neighbour of Nicholas Sprimont. All three silversmiths worked in the fashionable rococo style but whereas Hilland disappears from the records in late 1742 or early 1743, and Sprimont went on in the mid 1740s to open the Chelsea porcelain factory, Cripps moved in 1746 to St. James's Street where he successfully continued the business established by David Willaume.Description
The arms are those of Robert Hampden-Trevor, 1st Viscount Hampden (17 February 1706 – 22 August 1783) who was a British diplomat at The Hague and then joint Postmaster General.
He was the eldest son of the second marriage of Thomas Trevor and studied at Queens College, Oxford, graduating in 1725 and then becoming a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. In 1729, he was appointed as a clerk in the Secretary of State's office. In 1734 he went to the United Provinces as secretary to the embassy under Horatio Walpole. He succeeded as head of the embassy in 1739, initially as Envoy-Extraordinary, and from 1741 as Minister-Plenipotentiary. During this time, he maintained a regular correspondence with Horace Walpole. In 1750 he was appointed a commissioner of the Revenue in Ireland. He took the additional name of Hampden in 1754, on succeeding to the estates of that family, from John Hampden. In 1776, twelve years after he had succeeding his brother as Baron Trevor, he was created Viscount Hampden. From 1759 to 1765 he was joint Postmaster General. He wrote some Latin poems which were published at Parma in 1792 as Poemata Hampdeniana. His second son, John Hampden-Trevor (1749–1824), died only three weeks after he had succeeded his brother Thomas as 3rd Viscount Hampden, the titles becoming extinct.
1. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Trevor, Sir John § Robert, 4th Baron Trevor and 1st Viscount Hampden". Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 257.
2. William Carr, "Trevor, Robert Hampden-, first Viscount Hampden (1706–1783)", rev. Martyn J. Powell, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008) , accessed 10 Aug 2008.
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