A George III Lloyds Patriotic Fund Vase  by Benjamin Smith and James Smith, London, 1809  54.5 cm. (18 in.) high overall, cover and shoulder 2420 grammes (85.36 oz)

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Lot 1
A George III Lloyds Patriotic Fund Vase by Benjamin Smith and James Smith, London, 1809 54.5 cm. (18 in.) high overall, cover and shoulder 2420 grammes (85.36 oz)

Sold for £ 23,900 (US$ 29,906) inc. premium
A George III Lloyds Patriotic Fund Vase
The later cover with an applique walking lion, the separate socle shape shoulder with knurled rim over a fruiting oak band and laurel banding, both on matted grounds, flanking the inscription 'From the Patriotic Fund at Lloyds to Charles Stirling Esq. Rear Admiral of the White, Commanding a Squadron of His Majesty's Ships, on the reduction of the Fortress and City of Monte Video in the Month of February 1807. For his juditious and zealous Cooperation in this important capture, effected by His Majesty's combined Naval and Military Forces, as recorded in the London Gazette extraordinary of the 13th of April 1807', the urn shape main body with a repousse florid meander scroll frieze, on a matted ground and with rope twist borders, flanked by a pair of tall vertical handles with rosette tops and rope twist banding over a rosette terminal and a formal foliate spray, the front with a chased panel of Hercules slaying the Hydra, the verso with Britannia, seated, her raised right hand supporting a figure of Victory, all over a formal band of anthemions and foliate sprigs upon the stiff leaf and acanthus chased socle foot

Footnotes

  • Between 1804 and 1809 Lloyds Patriotic Fund awarded sixty six silver vases in recognition of distinguished service to Naval and Military officers. Most of the vases were of £100 value and very few have ever appeared at auction.

    Vice-Admiral Charles Stirling (1760-1833) joined the Royal Navy as a young man and was promoted Lieutenant and then Commander in 1778 and 1780 respectively. Made Post-Captain in 1783, in recognition of his gallantry during the American War of Independence, he was given command of the “Unicorn” and, by 1795, was commanding H.M.S. “Jason” which took part in Sir John Borlase Warren’s Quiberon expedition. After “Jason’s” loss in 1798, Stirling was given the 80-gun “Pompée” in which he served with distinction until that ship was paid off in 1803. Advanced to Rear-Admiral in 1804, with his flag in the 98-gun H.M.S. “Glory”, he joined forces with Sir Robert Calder for the controversial action on 22nd July 1805 but, escaping the censure reserved for Calder afterwards, was then transferred to a command in the South Atlantic. Shortly after this appointment, a strong force of troops under General Auchmuty was sent to the River Plate to recapture Buenos Aires which had fallen to the Spanish. The first priority of this expedition was to take Monte Video, the only location on the Plate estuary from which the assault on Buenos Aires could be mounted. Although essentially land-based, Stirling’s efforts to assist the siege of Monte Video carried the day and, on 3rd February 1807, the town capitulated; for his services on that occasion, Rear-Admiral Stirling received this vase from the Patriotic Fund.

    With the base at Monte Video now secured, reinforcements arrived from England and the campaign passed out of Stirling’s control, leaving him stationed offshore with his squadron. Subsequently transferred to the Cape of Good Hope, he was made Vice-Admiral in 1810 and, in 1811, was appointed Commander-in-Chief in Jamaica. Later court-martialled (in 1814) on bribery charges, he was denied further promotions and died in November 1833.
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