The central depression of this superb sideboard dish is finely engraved with the Royal Arms of George II (1683-1760), within a baroque surround of angular foliate straps, masks and birds.
The boldly scrolling rim is chased with gadrooning, scallop shells and pendant tassels.
It carries the mark of Pierre Harache of London and the date 1702.
The arms and motto were added c.1727, the year of George’s accession to the throne, and these have been attributed to John Rollos (c.1683-1743).
It has been suggested that this may have been part of 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, but a magnificent silver-gilt helmet-shaped ewer (SIL04785) by Benjamin Pyne (c.1653-1732), the leading London goldsmith of his time, seems to have been the 8th Earl’s fee; the dish perhaps acquired to form a set.
Pierre Harache (1639-1712) was a member of a large family of Huguenot goldsmiths who produced some of the finest silverware of the late 17th and early 18th Centuries.
In 1682 he became the first Huguenot to be admitted to the Goldsmiths’ Company.