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PHILIP RUNDELL. An important and exceptionally rare pair of George IV Armorial Wine Coasters made in London in 1821 by Philip Rundell.


The Wine Coasters are circular in form and have very unusual everted bat wing fluted sides. The rim is decorated with anthemions, as well as Rococo shells flanked by acanthus foliage. The base of the coasters display raised bands enclosing a die stamped raised contemporary Scottish Armorial with Crest and Motto Ready Ay Ready above. This is all surrounded by a cartouche of foliate scrollwork, as well as crossed thistle branches below, which is a very rare decorative feature. The Arms and Crest are those of Scott, of Thirlestane, Co. Selkirk, Scotland. This branch of the very numerous Scott family had the privilege of being granted the double tressure flory counterflory (raised outer frame), as an addition to the original arms. This was granted in about 1535 by James V of Scotland to Sir John Scott of Thirlestane. This was because Scott was the only Knight willing to follow his King on a planned invasion of England, all other nobility refusing to go en bloc. The tressure around the Arms is identical to the one that appears framing the Scottish Royal Arms and is said to have been awarded out of Royal gratitude for his loyalty. The whole thing being described in Sir Walter Scotts, Lay of the Last Minstrel.

Silver based Wine Coasters are very rare, as they usually have fruitwood bases. However, to find Armorial Coasters with a private die used to produce a raised Armorial is exceptionally rare, as they are usually engraved. The exceptional nature of these pieces, and gauge, is not surprising when one reflects on the workshops that they came from. Philip Rundell was one of the finest silversmiths, after Paul Storr, working during this period. He was apointed jeweller and silversmith to the King in 1797 and by the time of his death, in 1827, he left a fortune of £ 1.25 million pounds, one of the largest estates ever proved. George IV held him in very high regard and he was charged with making the Crown Jewels for the Coronation in 1821. Rundell left his fortune to his nephew Joseph Nield who left his entire estate, much increased, fortune to Queen Victoria. Both pieces are in excellent, crisp, original condition.

Diameter: 7.25 inches, 18.13cm.

Height: 2.1 inches, 5.25cm