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Paul de Lamerie (1688 - London 1751) An Elaborate George II Basket

London, 1738
Maker’s mark of Paul de Lamerie

Width: 35 cm, 13 ¾ in.
Weight: 2286 gr., 73 oz. 15 dwt.

Additional Images Provenance

Sotheby’s London, Important Silver & Gold, 15th May 2003, Lot 86.
Private Collection.

Silversmith Biography

Paul de Lamerie arrived in England with his Huguenot parents in or before 1689, having been baptized at 's Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands in 1688. In 1703 he was apprenticed to the Huguenot goldsmith Pierre Platel, and after being admitted to the freedom of the Goldsmiths' Company, he registered his first mark and set up a workshop in Windmill Street, Soho, in 1712. He took thirteen apprentices between 1715 and 1749 who paid premiums varying between £10 and £45m In 1716 he married Louisa Juliott, also a Huguenot, and by her had six children, three of whom died in childhood. Little more of his personal history is known, although his career in the Goldsmiths' Company is comparatively well documented. By 1717, he was already referred to as 'the King's Silversmith' but again in a complaint 'for making and selling Great quantities of Large Plate which he doth not bring to Goldsmith's Hall to be mark't according to Law.' He joined the livery in 1717; fourteen years later he was elected to the court of assistants. In 1743 he was appointed fourth warden and in 1747 second warden; that he never became prime warden probably due to ill health. From the outset he had wealthy clients such as the Honourable George Treby and the Duke of Sutherland. Among his more important later patrons were Sir Robert Walpole, Baron Anson, and the fifth Earl of Mountrath. A gradual expansion of his business culminated in his move in 1739 to considerably larger premises in Gerrard street. His pre-eminent position in the trade is signified by the commission he received in 1740 from the Goldsmiths' Company to provide two of their most splendid pieces of ceremonial display plate, a silver-gilt inkstand and the famous rococo ewer and dish.


The foot rim cast with finely sculptured lion’ masks, serpents and corn ears. The base armorial engraved below a Viscount’s coronet within a foliate cartouche, the side pierced raffia form, the border case with shells and wheatears entwined with foliate. The swing handle on bracket supports and decorated with trailing flowers.

The arms are those of Harcourt with Le Bas quartering Moyer in pretence, for Simon, 1St Earl of Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt when still Viscount Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt. Harcourt married in 1735 Rebecca (d. 1765), daughter of Charles Samborne Le Bas of Pipewell Abbey, Northamptonshire. Sir Simon was Governor to the Prince of Wales, 1751-2, Ambassador to Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 1761. Ambassador to Paris 1768-72 and Viceroy of Ireland as Lord Lieutenant 1772-77. Harcourt, during his period as Lord Lieutenant, was an enthusiastic patron of Irish artists, doing so from a position of strength since he was well-travelled on the continent. His cultural enthusiasm was matched by the attainments of his career in royal service. Richard Pococke described Sir Simon Harcourt as a ‘most amiable serious fine gentleman of good nature and good sense.’

Marked to the underside with maker’s mark of Paul de Lamerie and scratch weight 76=6.

Included in additional images: Portrait of Simon, 1st Earl of Harcourt (1714-1777), by Robert Hunter, oil on canvas, National Portrait Gallery of Ireland NGI.1002

Read more about this magnificent Cup & Cover, among many other Paul de Lamerie treasure in our blog A Rare Collection of Paul de Lamerie Silver

An Elaborate George II Basket (1688 - London 1751) Reference: 23843/1