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A set of silver-gilt plates; the reeded rim cast with fruiting vines and scallop shells. The plate is engraved with the Royal coat of arms, with supporters, mantling and coronet.

George IV's spectacular silver-gilt dining service and buffet

Paul Storr (1771-1844)

The Apples of the Hesperides candelabrum (part of The Grand Service) 1810-17

Silver gilt | 122 x 69 x 69 cm (whole object) | RCIN 51976

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This candelabrum and its pair (RCIN 51977) are the largest and most magnificent in George IV's Grand Service. Rundells' artists made use of Renaissance and classical sources for the design and the overall form is similar to the sculptural bronze tripods made in Venice during the sixteenth century. The scene around the stem shows the last of the Twelve Labours of Hercules: the serpent Ladon guards the golden apples of the Hesperides, which Hercules must steal, and around the base are fauns and panthers.

One of the designers of this piece, John Flaxman, was so preoccupied with the elaborate design that he originally forgot to add the candelabrum's most crucial part: the candle branches.

  • Creator(s)

    Paul Storr (1771-1844) (goldsmith)

    John Flaxman (1755-1826) (designer)

    William Theed (1764-1817) (modeller)

    View person page

    Rundell Bridge & Rundell (retailer/supplier)

    England (place of production)

  • Base and lower branches purchased by George IV when Prince of Wales from Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, invoiced 4 June 1811 (£1,985 19s); stem and upper branches added by Rundells 1816-17, for £1,365.