George Wickes (1698-1761)
for Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745)
London, England, 1738
Courtesy of Christopher Hartop
This tureen is one of a very small group of English 18th-century silver objects for which there is complete documentation regarding their commissioning. Based on a design by William Kent, the tureen was made by London silversmith George Wickes, appointed silversmith to Frederick, Prince of Wales in 1735. Wickes's clients included the leading aristocrats of the day, including Sir Robert Walpole, Englands first prime minister, for whom this tureen was made. The silver tureen was inherited by Sir Robert's son, the author Horace Walpole, and was sold in the celebrated Strawberry Hill sale in 1843. It was subsequently acquired by an American collector in the early 1960s.