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THE SHARDELOES DINNER PLATES. A very fine set of six early George III Dinner Plates made in London in 1765 by Sebastian & James Crespel.

£ 7,950

The Dinner Plates are of a shaped rectangular form and display a raised rim which is decorated with an applied gadrooned band. The border of each plate is finely engraved with a contemporary Armorial surrounded by a Rococo shell and crossed branch cartouche. The plates are in excellent condition, are of a thick gauge and have a very fine colour. Each plate is very well marked on the reverse and is, in addition, engraved with its number within the dinner service and its original scratch weight.

The Arms are those of Drake, quartering Tothill and Marshall, with an inescutcheon of pretence for Raworth of London. They are specifically those of William Drake Esq LLD, M.P. of Shardeloes, Amersham, County Bucks. William Drake succeeded his father, Montague Garrard Drake, when he was three. Drake was returned as M.P. for Amersham from 1746 until his death in 1796, however there is no record of him ever making a speech in The House of Commons. Most of the work to rebuild Shardeloes was undertaken by William Drake who went on the Grand Tour from 1742-46. In 1747, he married Elizabeth, an heiress, and daughter of John Raworth Esq. This injextion of funds enabled him to rebuild Shardeloes between 1758 and 1766, at a cost of £ 19,000. A young Robert Adam provided designs for interiors including chimney pieces, woodwork and plaster work. Adam persuaded Drake to remodel the exterior and he designed a large portico on the North side. This was one of the first commissions on which Adam was engaged to work both inside and out. Images are shown of Shardeloes House and the Adam interiors, notably the dining room, ( where the plates would have been used), and the library. A painting, by John Hamilton Mortimer, is also shown of William Drake, and his family, discussing the plans for the new house.

Sebastian & James Crespel were of Huguenot descent and worked closely with the partnerships of Wakelin & Taylor. Their mark is often to be found on meat dishes and dinner plates of the finest quality. They had workshops in Whitcomb Street, Leicester Fields, when these plates were made. An exceptional set.

Diameter: 9.5 inches, 23.75cm.
Weight: 105oz, the set.