Paul Storr English Regency Large Antique Sterling Silver Meat Platter, London, 1819/20, bearing the Arms of the Earl of Stamford
This stunning serving dish was raised by hand to a shaped oval and has a cast and applied gadrooned border. Storr's great regency silver was purchased by all the royal families in Europe, and this platter would have been comfortable with any of them.
Paul Storr was the greatest silversmith of his era. As the principal silversmith of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell (who served as royal jewelers and silversmiths to their majesties George III, George IV and their extended families), Storr produced some of the most exciting, exquisite and expensive silver ever made.
This platter is engraved around the edge on two sides with the original coat-of-arms: Grey impaling Booth, for Harry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford, who married Lady Mary Booth, the only child and heiress of George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington.
The Earl of Warrington was one of the most important patrons of Huguenot silversmiths in the early 18th century and his country house, Dunham Massey (now a National Trust property), is rightly famous for its silver.
The collection of family plate [silver at Dunham Massey] is said to be superior in splendour and value to most in the kingdom. - Henshall's History of Cheshire (1823)(1)Dunham Massey
When the Earl of Warrington died in 1758, the 4th Earl of Stamford's wealth increased greatly with this inheritance and he purchased more fine silver. In 1819, the 6th Earl of Stamford inherited the estates and set about 'refashioning' some of the old silver.
Working with Robert Garrard (who became Queen Victoria's Crown Jeweller), the 6th Earl turned in thousands of ounces of old silver to be remade into new pieces. Garrard sourced this tray from Paul Storr and retailed it to the Earl.(2) In this case, the 6th Earl used the coat of arms of the 4th Earl to indicate pride in the origins of the silver. He used the 4th Earl's arms on other refashioned silver as well.(3)
This platter lived at the Earl's other country estate, Enville Hall in Staffordshire. It is recorded in the 1847 inventory as one of ‘2 Large oblong Dishes’ and was part of lot 41 in the Christie's 20 April 1921 sale of Enville Hall contents.(4) Some of the Enville Hall silver was also used at times at the Earl's London home, 33 Hill St., Berkeley Square.
This very large platter measures 24 inches long by 17.8 inches wide (larger than Storr's standard meat platter). It is fully marked on the back and weighs a hefty 114.1 troy ounces. Retaining an old (possibly original) surface, this magnificent and rare sterling platter is in excellent antique condition with a wonderful patina.
George Harry Grey, 6th Earl of Stamford, 2nd Earl of Warrington (1765–1845) George Harry Grey, 7th Earl of Stamford, 3rd Earl of Warrington (1827–1883) Harry Grey, 8th Earl of Stamford (1812–1890) William Grey, 9th Earl of Stamford (1850–1910) Roger Grey, 10th Earl of Stamford (1896-1976) Christie's 20 April 1921, lot 41 Private Collection
Quoted in James Lomax and James Rothwell, Country House Silver from Dunham Massey (Great Britain: National Trust Books, 2006), p. 1.
James Rothwell, National Trust Curator for Dunham Massey, private correspondence, 3 June, 2013.