A monumental Victorian silver table centre piece and stand by Robert Garrard (II), London 1840, the slightly stand also by Robert Garrard (II) London 1844.
Lot 72Y
A monumental Victorian silver table centre piece and stand
by Robert Garrard (II), London 1840, the slightly stand also by Robert Garrard (II) London 1844.
Sold for £32,500 (US$ 54,626) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Antique Silver
A monumental Victorian silver figural table centre piece and plinth
by Robert Garrard (II), London 1840, the plinth also by Robert Garrard (II) London 1844.Formed as The Duke of Marlborough taking the surrender at the Battle of Malplaquet from Villars in 1709, the Duke on horseback with Villars standing, his gauntlet discarded to one side, behind the horse another figure (possibly Prince Eugene of Savoy), all standing on a naturalistic grassy bank, dimensions without plinth height 56cm, length 65cm, width 40.5cm, weight silver 447oz The rectangular plinth with rounded ends, the sides with narrow rectangular reserves, one applied with 'Malplaquet 1706(sic)' beneath a gauntlet and the other engraved, "Prince Alfred's Cup - Egham - 1866, won by Skirmish,' with a wooden frame and ivory casters, length 67cm, height 17cm



    The Battle of Malplaquet (11 September 17090) was the fourth, bloodiest and least conclusive defeat by The Duke of Marlborough against Louis XIV in the War of The Spanish Succession.

    In the spring of 1709, King Louis XIV had informally approached the Duke of Marlborough, with a view to ending the war that was proving disastrous for France. However, the terms that Marlborough was instructed to put before Louis proved to be unacceptable. During the summer, the allies advanced through Tournay to Mons. By 29th August, the allied troops and the Franco/Bavarian armies lay within striking distance of each of other but Marlborough was held back from attacking by the senior allied Generals and the Dutch deputies. It was not until 11 September that a full battle could ensue with great losses on both sides. Figures vary but some have the Allied looses at double those of the French and their supporters. This was Marlborough's last field battle as he was recalled to England.


    Robert Garrard (II) was the successor to a long line of illustrious silversmiths starting with George Wickes, who registered his first mark in 1722. 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. On the accession of William IV, in 1830, Garrard's were appointed Royal Jewellers and in 1843, succeeded Paul Storr's firm, Rundell, Bridge and Co as "Crown Jewellers."

    Garrard's head designer was Edmund Cotterill (1795 - 1860), who "deservedly stands at the head of the class of artists who model for silversmiths and his production, annually exhibited at Messrs. Garrards, have earned for that house a celebrity which no other can equal" (Illustrated London News, Vol. 1, 1842, p73.) Popular amongst Cotterill's design were grand scenes from English history. Garrard's produced some of the most impressive trophies for the sporting events of the time: The Ascot, Doncaster and Goodwood Cups and, in 1848, The America's Cup.

    There are similar impressive centrepieces in prestigious collections:
    The Royal Collection: a table fountain (1) made in 1852 and exhibited at the International Exhibition in 1862.
    Marquess of Bath: a figural group (2) depicting the Battle of Landsdowne from the Civil War.
    Blenheim Palace: a figural group (3) depicting the Duke of Marlborough writing a despatch after the victory of Blenheim, hallmarked in 1846 and part of a set of plate for 6th Duke of Marlborough. The present lot dates from 1840 and 1846; speculation is that it was part of this service, which took 6 years to complete.

    The latter three examples are illustrated in Patricia Wardle, Victorian Silver and Silver-Plate (Victorian Collector Series 1963) plate 2 on page 34, plate 27 on page 107 and plate 22 on page 86, respectively.


    Recorded in the Racing Calendar, August 1866 "The Prince Alfred Cup (Handicap) a piece of plate value 200 sov. one mile straight, Mr Heathcote's Skirmish, by Skirmisher, 4yrs, 8st 3lbs, Hibberd.
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  1. Michael Moorcroft
    Specialist - Silver
    Montpelier Street
    London, SW7 1HH
    United Kingdom
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