Description & Technical information

An exceptional set of eight George III wine coasters which were made in London in 1817 for Charles-Talbot, 2nd Earl Talbot (1777-1849). Talbot was heavily involved in the organizing of a volunteer force for Staffordshire to see off a possible invasion by the French under Napoleon. In 1817 he became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and he rendered considerable services to the agriculture of the country, in recognition of which he was presented with the freedom of Drogheda. Being Lord Lieutenant of Ireland this made him the direct representative of the King and the head of the executive in Ireland. Therefore it is likely that he ordered a silver service as part of his diplomatic plate in 1817, including these coasters, for entertaining as would have been expected of somebody in such an important position.

It was during Lord Talbot’s term as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland that King George IV made his celebrated visit to Dublin where no doubts these wine coasters featured in the magnificent entertainments that Talbot provided for the King. In the course of the King’s visit Talbot was made a Knight of St Patrick; in his old age Talbot was made a Knight of the Garter by Queen Victoria.
Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, 2nd Earl Talbot (1777-1849) was the son of John Chetwynd Talbot, 1st Earl Talbot (1750-1793), and his wife, Charlotte (d. 1804), daughter of Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire. He succeeded to the peerage on the death of his father in May 1793 and matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford the following year. After leaving Oxford Talbot joined Lord Whitworth's embassy in Russia as a voluntary attaché, returning to England before 1800, when he married Frances Thomasine (d.1819) 1800.
The 2nd Earl clearly had a great love of silver as everything that bears his crest is of the finest quality. For example, an exceptional silver-gilt tray made in 1805 by Benjamin Smith (See image below). Like the coasters, which were made twelve years later, this tray has a beautiful grape & vine boarder which would have been the height of fashion in the first part of the 19th century.

Date:  1817
Period:  1750-1850, 19th century
Origin:  England, London
Medium: silver-gilt
Signature: Maker’s mark of William Burwash

Dimensions: 5 x 15.5 cm (2 x 6¹/₈ inches)
Categories: Silver