Royal Interest - A George II Silver Harvest Basket London 1759, by William Tuite

$64,649

An impressive George II silver swing handle harvest basket by William Tuite from Ernest, Duke of Cumberland's collection. Of pierced oval form, adorned with an immaculately cast rim decorated with scrolls, wheat sheaves and grapes surrounding four putti collecting the harvest. Each of the eight pierced sections are framed by cascading harvest bountyThe arched, swing handle decorated with matching floral, wheat and grape decoration, supported either side by a cast putti bust arising from a flower capped double C-scroll support. The pedestal foot is decorated with additional harvest decoration of pears, flowers and grapes surrounding four greyhounds couchant. The base centre engraved with a later impaled coat of arms above the motto Garde Ta Foy, all surmounted by a crest from the battlements of a castle of three towers proper a demi-lion double queued issuant erminois between the paws a pellet. Engraved underneath this with script initials EDC below a Ducal coronet, the underside of rim engraved EAF. Fully marked underneath, the handle unmarked. Also, underneath a partially obliterated inscription “The gift of Mr Nathaniel […]”.

Hallmarked to the underside for London 1759 by William Tuite. The handle is struck twice with the lion passant, once to each of the putti supports.

This beautiful basket was in the collection of Ernest, Duke of Cumberland the fifth son of George III, who became the King of Hanover in 1838.

This is a beautifully decorated and impressive piece of early Georgian silver in exceptional, museum quality condition. The hallmarks are very well struck, lovely patina and excellent gauge to the silver, the handle is firm. The workmanship is of the very highest quality of exceptional the weight and size. 

Length: 44cm or 17.5”

Height to top of handle: 36 cm or 14.25”

Width: 36 cm or 14.25”

Weight: 2685 g or 86.3 oz Troy or 94.7 oz


The arms are for Hammet impaling Woodford quartering Reesen quartering possibly Van Sleet

For John Hammet (1767-1811) and his wife Elizabeth Woodford (1779-1843) who were married on the 14th June 1801.

John of Park Farm Place, Eltham in the County of Kent and of New Norfolk Street in the County of Middlesex was the eldest son of Sir Benjamin Hammet (c.1736-1800), Knight, of Wilton House, Sherford, near Taunton in the County of Somerset and of Park Farm Place aforesaid and his wife, Louisa Esdaile, whilst Elizabeth was the only daughter of Sir Ralph Woodford the 1st Baronet of Carleby (c.1735-1810) in the County of Lincolnshire and his wife, Gertrude Reesen. John and Elizabeth were married in the house of his father in New Norfolk Street within the Parish of St George Hanover Square on the 14th June 1801.

John apart from following his father as the Member of Parliament for Taunton from 1800 and 1811 (his death), was also a banker in the family business and a shareholder in the East India Company as well as serving as the Bailiff of Taunton from 1781 until once again his death in 1811 and was a Captain in the Duke of Gloucester’s Volunteer Infantry.

Ernest Augustus (1771-1851) was the fifth son of George III and Queen Charlotte. From 1786 to 1799 he was in Germany, first at Gottingen university then in the Hanoverian army. On his return he was created Duke of Cumberland where this new position included an income of £12,000 a year and an apartment in St. James' Palace. The initials EDC, for Ernest Duke [of] Cumberland, appear on much of his early plate. The initials EAFs, standing for Ernest Augustus Feideikommiss, were added to items forming part of the entailed estate after he succeeded as King of Hanover in 1838. The silver collection went with the exiled Kings to Vienna in 1866, and part was sold through Crichton Brothers, London, in 1924.


Further high quality images supplied on request.

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