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Pembroke Dinner Plates by Paul Storr

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Pembroke Dinner Plates by Paul Storr

- Item No.

A magnificent silver service of 12 plates crafted by Paul Storr for the 12th Earl of Pembroke

Key Features

  • A stunning set of 12 silver plates crafted by Paul Storr for the 12th Earl of Pembroke
  • Crafted in an elegant yet exuberant style, these plates exhibit Storr's genius for design
  • The Pembroke crest is beautifully incorporated into the elaborate motif
  • Hallmarked London, 1834 and 1835
  • 10" diameter
  • 241 oz.

Item Details

  • Diameter:
    10 Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
This exquisite set of 12 William IV silver dinner plates was crafted by the inimitable Paul Storr for Robert Henry Herbert, the 12th Earl of Pembroke and 9th Earl of Montgomery. Edged with a gently scalloped and reeded rim, the plates are adorned with an exquisitely detailed border of cast and chased foliage scrolls and latticework on textured ground. The Pembroke coat of arms is beautifully integrated into this striking design, while the initials "PM" are joined by the engraved number and scratch weight on the reverse. Displaying an exuberance rarely seen in Storr's work, these plates are truly of matchless quality.

This set of dinner plates was part of an extensive service commissioned by the 12th Earl of Pembroke from Paul Storr between 1827 and 1837. Among the most impressive pieces from the service is the fantastical candelabrum surmounted by the Pembroke gryphon, which was made for the Earl in 1835 and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hallmarked London, 1834 and 1835

10" diameter
241 oz.

The plates are inscribed as follows:'No 2 19"15'; 'No 4 20"0'; 'No 5 20"18'; 'No 7 20"14'; 'No 13 20"5'; 'No 18 20"4'; 'No 19 20"7'; 'No 20 20"4'; 'No 35 20"7'; 'No 40 20"4'; 'No 45 20"19'; and 'No 75 20"9'

Robert Henry, 12th Earl of Pembroke and 9th Earl of Montgomery (1791-1862) and then by descent;
Presumably sold by the family in the second half of the 19th century;
Garrards, circa 1980

Robert Henry Herbert, 12th Earl of Pembroke and 9th Earl of Montgomery, was born in 1791, and lived a rather colorful life, much of it in exile. He was a renowned collector of French furniture from the ancien régime, lavishly furnishing houses on Carlton House Terrace in London and 19 Place Vendôme in Paris, where he lived for much of his life. He married in 1814 in the Butera Palace, Palermo, Ottavia Spinelli, newly widowed wife of the Prince of Butera and daughter of the Duke of Laurino. His father attempted to have the marriage dissolved without success but succeeded in persuading the Sicilian authorities to separate the parties. Accordingly Lord Herbert was imprisoned in a fortress and his wife in a convent. Herbert managed to escape, however, to Genoa and returned to England where his father persuaded him to abandon the Princess. A suit for restitution of conjugal rights was brought by her in the English courts in 1819 and she was awarded £800 per annum, which it is said was later increased to £5,000, but Lord Herbert and the Princess never came together again. On the death of his father in 1827, Herbert succeeded as Earl and took his seat in the House of Lords in 1833.

About the Maker

Paul Storr's Lasting Legacy

The Legacy of Paul Storr

Without question, Paul Storr can be considered among history's finest smiths and he will long be remembered for perfecting the works, styles and designs of the Regency period.

Storr pursued a career in silversmithing at an early age, apprenticing to Swedish-born smith Andrew Fogleberg when he was only 14. Fogleberg's interest in the neo-classical style greatly influenced his student, and in the young Paul Storr, he had found a most avid and accomplished protege.

Storr entered his first mark in 1792, which reflects his short-lived partnership with William Frisbee. Soon after, he began to use his PS mark, which he maintained for the duration of his career with only minor changes. Though he held no official title, Storr enjoyed patronage from many important and powerful figures of the period, including King George III. His first major work was a gold font commissioned by the Duke of Portland in 1797 and in 1799 he created the "Battle of the Nile Cup" for Lord Nelson.

Much of Storr's success was partly due to the influence of Phillip Rundell, of the popular silver retailing firm of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell. Rundell's firm nearly monopolized the early 19th century market for superior silver and obtained the Royal Warrant in 1806. This shrewd businessman realized the talent of Paul Storr and began pursuing him in 1803, but it wasn't until after declining many offers that Storr finally joined the firm in 1806.

After many years of working for Rundell, Storr realized he had lost much of his artistic freedom and by 1819 he left the firm to open his own shop, turning his attentions towards more naturalistic designs and soon began enjoying the patronage he desired.

After only a few years of independence, Storr realized he needed a centralized retail location and partnered with John Mortimer, founding Storr and Mortimer in 1822 on Bond Street. By 1838, his latest collaboration became riddled with complications, mostly due to Mortimer's poor management of the business. Storr retired from silversmithing and at the age of 68 he and his wife, Elizabeth, moved to Tooting in 1839. Storr died just five years later.

Paul Storr's legacy is a remarkable body of work with far-reaching influences. Neo-classical pieces, and exuberant, ornate vessels, Storr imparted a level of craftsmanship and superior quality that has seldom been seen since. His efforts were not reserved for his more prestigious pieces. In fact, every piece of Storr silver was given the same superior level of quality, receiving the benefit of being created from the finest high-gauge silver.


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Price: $78,500
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