DescriptionTwelve George Wickes George II Silver Chargers from the Table Service of Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon and 1st Baron Hyde, London, England, circa 1737
Marks: (lion passant), (leopard's head), b, GW
9-5/8 inches diameter (24.4 cm)
225.68 troy ounces
The Rt Hon 1st Earl of Clarendon, PC (1709 - 1786), was a British politician and diplomat from the storied Villiers family. Born Thomas Villiers, he was the second son of William Villiers, the 2nd Earl of Jersey.
His education started at Eton followed by Queen's College Cambridge. After graduation, Villiers became a diplomat serving as the British envoy to both the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Electorate of Saxony. He also served as British envoy to the courts of Maria Theresa of Austria and Frederick II of Prussia.
Villiers was a Member of Parliament and a Lord Commissioner of the Board of Admiralty. In 1763 he was named to the Privy Council by King George III. Additionally, he served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
In 1756, the barony of Hyde, held by his wife's ancestors, was revived. Villiers was raised to the peerage as Baron Hyde of Hindon. In 1776, the earldom of Clarendon, which had become extinct in 1753, was revived and Villiers, as Baron Hyde of Hindon, was made Earl of Clarendon.
The engraved arms are those of Thomas Villiers as the second son of Earl of Jersey: argent, on a cross, gules, five escallop shells, or, a crescent on the dexter chief and the motto Fidei Coticula Crux [The cross is the touchstone of faith]. The engraving dates to 1737, before Villiers' ennoblement.
George Wickes (1698 - 1761) was one of the leading English goldsmiths and silversmiths of the second quarter of the 18th Century. Wickes gained the Freedom of The Goldsmiths Company in 1720 and registered his first marks a year later. In 1735 Wickes was appointed as Goldsmith to Frederick, Prince of Wales. The business flourished as he gained members of the royal family and the aristocracy among his clients. In 1748, Wickes' business was taken over by Edward Wakelin. The firm became Wakelin and Parker in 1758. In 1792, the partnership again changed when Robert Garrard became a partner. Robert Garrard took sole control of the company in 1802. The Garrard firm continued to serve six British monarchs as Crown Jewelers and remains in business in London.
Scratching to plate planes indicative of use, some plates with light pin dents and shallow crease(s), light nicking to edges, otherwise presenting well with surface scratches commensurate with age, polishing, and use.
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