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Paul Storr (1771-1844)

Dessert stand (part of The Grand Service) 1812-13

RCIN 46984

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Four silver-gilt dessert centrepieces, each formed as a scallop shell supported by two tritons, on a circular base with a Vitruvian scroll border. This is supported on a separate rockwork stand cast with shells with a base of seafoam and waves. The Inventory of Plate belonging to George IV at Carlton House (c.1825) records '4 very large & elegant Dessert Ornaments each consisting of 2 large chased Tritons supporting shells chased from Nature, on circular chased Stands, with rich claw feet & 4 stands in form of Rocks &c.' The stands had been supplied without their rockwork bases, for George IV's Grand Service in 1812/13. Although Rundells' bill has not been traced, they are probably the '4 superb Ornaments for Dessert' whose arrival was recorded at Carlton House on 10 October 1813. In the same year a set of twenty-four salts similarly incorporating clam shells supported by tritons was also supplied. Both designs are probably attributable to the sculptor William Theed, head of Rundells' design department from 1803 until 1817. These stands are early examples of the rococo revival style pioneered by Rundells in the early nineteenth century. the asymmetric marine forms 'chased from nature' were inspired by the 1740s Marine Service of plate already in the Royal Collection. Rundells added the rockwork bases in 1820/1, presumably to satisfy George IV's increasingly elaborate tastes. Both the stand and base are depicted in a drawing in the V&A Museum attributed to Edward Hodges Baily, who joined Rundells' design team in 1815.