Magnificent Candelabra From The Scandalous Pembroke Service At Bonhams

Important Design
21 Nov 2018
London, New Bond Street

An ornate pair of Paul Storr William IV Silver-Gilt six-light Rococo Revival Candelabra from the Pembroke Service leads Bonhams Important Design: 500 Years of Fine Decorative Arts at New Bond Street, London, on Wednesday 21st November 2018. The estimate is £120,000-180,000.

They were commissioned in 1835 by the notoriously extravagant Robert Henry Herbert, 12th Earl of Pembrokeshire and 9th Earl of Montgomery. Heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Britain, he abandoned the Parliamentary duties he assumed on the death of this father, and ran off to Paris where he set up home in a mansion on the Place Vendôme. Over the course of his life, he sired seven illegitimate children by two lovers with whom he was conducting simultaneous affairs.

Two years before he moved abroad in 1837, Pembroke commissioned a magnificent silver service from the greatest silversmith of the age, Paul Storr, who spent a number of years fulfilling the order. At this period, Storr was based on New Bond Street where he held shared premises with John Mortimer. Having tired of the restrictions on his designs at Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, with whom he had worked since 1807, he had left the company to work alone for several years, until in 1822 he joined with Mortimer. Their partnership granted Storr far greater artistic freedom. This can be clearly seen in the florid second-wave Rococo design of the Pembroke Service Candelabra, which includes imagery of the Herbert family heraldic wyvern, chasing cherubs and rocaille leaves.

Bonhams Head of Silver, Elllis Finch said, "Paul Storr was the finest Silversmith of his day, and the crowned heads and nobility of Europe were among his distinguished customers. His pieces are held by the world's leading museums including the Metropolitan in New York and the Victorian and Albert Museum in London. The Pembroke Service is stunning in its intricacy and technical virtuosity and rightly seen as one of Storr's finest achievements. The Candelabra are as striking today as when they were first made, and are the finest pieces from the service ever to have appeared at auction."


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewelry. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

  1. Ellis Finch
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    London, United Kingdom SW7 1HH
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