A George II helmet-shaped silver-gilt ewer, Benjamin Pyne, London, 1727.

The Royal Arms of George II are engraved on this magnificent ewer.

The arms and the date suggest that the ewer was the Almoner’s fee received by Brownlow, 8th Earl of Exeter (1701-1754), at the Coronation of George II in 1727.

The role of Hereditary Grand Almoner, which includes ceremonial duties at coronations, has been held by the Earls and Marquesses of Exeter since the early 17th Century.

The fee was usually a silver-gilt salver, or sideboard dish, and it is thought that such a dish in the Burghley Collection, with the mark of Pierre Harache and dated 1702, but with the arms of George II (SIL04925), was probably acquired to form a set with the ewer.

Benjamin Pyne (c.1653-1732) was the leading London goldsmith of his time.


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