Four tureens from the Grand Service

John Bridge1826 - 1827

Royal Collection Trust, UK

Royal Collection Trust, UK
London, United Kingdom

Four large silver-gilt scallop shell tureens, each surmounted by a triton blowing a conch shell horn. The rippled cover has a handle in the form of a coiling eel with a lobster and naturalistic vegetables. The tureen is supported on three hippocamps and a triform base cast with waves and mounted on three feet cast in the form of tortoises, shells and coral. These impressive tureens were supplied by Rundells for George IV's Grand Service in 1826/7 and described as '4 richly chased gilt shell pattern Soup Tureens supported by Sea Horses with Triton handle'. They were designed to match the superb Marine Service of rococo silver made for Frederick, Prince of Wales, in the 1740s. The extreme naturalism of their design parallels Nicholas Sprimont's crayfish and crab salts made in 1743. However the massive scale and weight of the tureens is quite unlike mid-18th century silver and reflects the increasingly opulent tastes of George IV. Rundells pioneered organic naturalism and the rococo revival style in silver in the early 19th century, largely by means of the plate that they supplied for George IV. They also drew inspiration from 16th and 17th century plate; the hippocamps or seahorses which support the tureens are derived from an early 17th century nautilus cup, considered by Flaxman to be by Cellini.


  • Title: Four tureens from the Grand Service
  • Creator: John Bridge
  • Creator Lifespan: c.1755 - 1834
  • Creator Nationality: British
  • Date Created: 1826 - 1827
  • Physical Dimensions: w410 x h420 x d385 mm
  • Type: Metalwork
  • Rights: Supplied by Royal Collection Trust / (c) HM Queen Elizabeth II 2012
  • External Link: http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/50279
  • Medium: Silver gilt
  • Provenance: Delivered, with a wainscot case, to George IV by Rundell and Bridge before 5 November 1829 (£2452 16s 9d).

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