Paul Storr

( 1771 - 1844 )

The Rutland Gold Salver

Paul Storr

( 1771 - 1844 )

The Rutland Gold Salver

A Highly Important George III Gold Salver
London, 1801
Maker’s mark of Paul Storr
Retailed by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell

Diameter: 31.7 cm. 12.5 in
Weight: 2,399 g, 77 oz. 2 dwt

The central arms are those of Manners, for John Henry Manners, 5th Duke of Rutland (1778-1857).

The salver circular and on four-winged claw-and-ball feet with cast acorn and oak leaf border on matted ground. Engraved with a coat-of-arms below a Duke's coronet and surrounded by sixteen further engraved coats-of-arms, 

Fully hallmarked underneath, the back further engraved 'Rundell et Bridge Londini fecerunt’.

The cost of gold has meant that a relatively small number of pieces were ever produced and that they would be among the first items to be considered for melting when a family was in need of funds. The total number of pre-1800 objects wrought in gold stood at only fifty-nine when Arthur Grimwade published an article in the Connoisseur in 1951. Whilst other pieces have come to light in the years since the publication of that article the number of extant pieces is still very small. The number of objects made from gold by Paul Storr is even smaller, with only four pieces known: the present salver, the Duke of Portland font and the Duke of Devonshire and Earl of Chatham salvers listed below.

The tradition of transforming a gold or silver object, such as a seal or presentation box, can be traced back to the Royal seals these were presented to the holders of important offices as in Great Britain where holders of important offices whose role entitled the use of the Royal Seal. On the death of a Monarch or when the office left his office the seal matrix was required by law to be defaced or broken and officially the seal should have been returned to the Jewel house, though more often than not the matrix was presented to the holder of office as a perk of office. It became the custom by the 17th century for the recipient to commission the leading silversmiths of the day to turn the defaced seal into a piece of wrought plate incorporating an engraved version of the original seal. However, the earliest example of this is recorded in the late 16th century when Sir Nicholas Bacon (15101579) commissioned three cups of 'covered bowles' in 1573 to be made from the matrix of the Great Seal of Queen Mary I. (see J. Banister, 'Rewards of High Office, part l', Country Life, 29 January 1981, pp. 278-9). While in some cases cups or other three-dimensional objects were created from the seals it is salvers that were the most popular as their flat surfaces lent themselves well to the engraving of the seals.


Made from Gold Freedom boxes presented to the Dukes of Rutland, the majority presented to Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland (1754-1787) while Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, on the order of
John Henry Manners, 5th Duke of Rutland (1778-1857) and by descent.
Charles John Robert Manners, 10th Duke of Rutland (1919-1999).
His Grace the Duke of Rutland; Christie's, London, 26 January 1944, lot 66 (£1,500 to Lumley).
J. Maher, Esq.; Sotheby's, London, 24 April 1952, lot 160 (£1,900 to Lamb).
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 4 May 1978, lot 101.

E. A. Jones, Old English Gold Plate, London, 1907, p. 28.
I. Delamere, 'Freedom Boxes', Dublin Historical Record, December 1978, vol. 32, no. 1, p. 10.
J. B. Hawkins, Masterpieces of English and European Silver and Gold, Sydney, 1979, pp. 46-48, no. 14.
J. B. Hawkins, The Al Tajir Collection of Silver and Gold, London, 1983, pp. 80-82, no. 20.
M. Clayton, The Collectors Dictionary of the Silver and Gold of Great Britain and North America,
Woodbridge, 1985, p. 323, pl. 470.
The Glory of the Goldsmith, Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection, 1989, p. 149.
E. Turner, The Rutland Salver' in the exhibition catalogue ed. T. Stannage, Gold and Civilisation,
Sydney and Canberra, 2001 p. 140.

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 was of 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.

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Paul Storr