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An extremely fine and rare pair of George III Serving Dishes made by Richard Richardson of Chester and assayed in London in 1772.


The Dishes are circular in form and have deep bowls, so could be used for serving a variety of foods. The wide rim rises to a shaped gadrooned edge and the border is engraved with a contemporary Armorial, with banner below engraved with a Motto. The Armorial is surrounded by a cartouche of scroll work and each dish is very well marked on the reverse. Both are well marked, are in excellent condition and are of a very good weight.

Our heraldic advisor has concluded that the Armorial is that as used by Sir Bellingham Graham, 5th Baronet of Norton Conyers House, County Yorkshire. An image of the house is shown in the image stream. He was born in 1729 and was Sheriff of Yorkshire 1770/71. He married, in 1763, Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin Hudson, of Bridlington, East Yorkshire. She died in 1767 and by her he had a son and two daughters, one of whom married the Earl of Warwick. Sir Bellingham died in 1790. Charlotte Bronte visited the House in 1839, when she was governess to a family called Sidgewicks. She was so taken by the property that it is believed she described it in great detail as Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre. Charlotte heard about the legend of a mad woman hidden in the attic, from the houses history and it is believed that this inspired her to create the insane Mrs Rochester character in her classic novel. Wood panelling on the first floor conceals a hidden door, which leads up to the attic space above. Snaking through a warren of corridors lies the Mad Womans Room. The original staircase was only uncovered in 2004, having been panelled in during the 1880s. The similarities between the actual staircase and the fictional one in Jane Eyre are striking.

Diameter: 11.5 inches, 28.75cm.

Weight: 68oz, the pair.