George III Silver Tray for Lt. Robert Chester

  • This George III silver tray is intricately chased and engraved and represents a prestigious gift
  • It is distinguished by a spectacular engraved inscription
  • The recipient of the tray was Sir Robert Chester Esq. Lt. Colonel
  • He received the approbation of the Royal Princes and Lord FItzroy, as inscribed on the tray
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 30-0203

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This fascinating George III silver tray is a work of skillful English artistry. Intricately chased and engraved, it represents a prestigious commemorative gift for service. The tray rests on four bracket feet with oval handles and a delightful gadrooned border, and it is distinguished by a spectacular engraved presentation inscription. The inscription is surrounded by a laurel wreath border with two coats of arms and flags, which bear the monograms for King George III and George Spencer, 2nd Earl of Spencer.

The recipient of the tray was Sir Robert Chester Esq. The lineal representative of the Chesters of Royston and Cokenhatch, Hertfordshire, he was the son of the elder Sir Robert Chester Esq., who served as a Deputy Colonel of the Hertfordshire Militia before his death in 1790. Chester, the son, entered the service of the Hertfordshire Militia as Ensign in 1793 and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, which he held until 1804. In 1794 he was appointed Gentleman Usher Quarterly Waiter to King George III, and he then filled subsequent roles in the King's court. In 1796, he was promoted to Gentleman Usher of the Privy Chamber and Assistant Master and Master of Ceremonies to King George III. In 1797, he was Groom of the Privy Chamber and in 1798 Gentleman Usher of the Privy Chamber. He was later promoted to the Office of Master of Ceremonies and received the honor of knighthood. The tray was presented to Chester by James Cecil, the 6th Earl and 1st Marquess of Salisbury.

The Hertfordshire Militia was formed in 1688 in response to the threat posed to the throne of King James II by Prince William of Orange. In 1751, a royal warrant declared that the regiments should no longer be known by the name of their colonel, but instead by their number in order of precedence. The Regiment then became known as the 16th Regiment of Foot. By 1881, the militia amalgamated with the Bedfordshire Militia, and the Bedfordshire Regiment of Foot and the Regiment became the 16th Bedfordshire Regiment of Foot. During Chester’s service as Lieutenant Colonel of the Militia, they were more commonly known as the "16th Foot."

As inscribed on the tray, Chester received the approbation of the Royal Princes and Lord Fitzroy. At the time of the ceremony, the Duke of York was Prince Frederick, the second son of George III, and the Duke of Cambridge was Prince Adolphus, the seventh son of King George III. Lord Charles Fitzroy was an equerry to the Duke of Cambridge and served him during his time in Flanders.

This exquisitely carved tray is not only a masterpiece of English silverwork but also an important historical document and is sure to be an important addition to any collection of important silver.

The tray is engraved with the following inscription: "Presented on the 7th of March 1807, by James Marquess of Salisbury COLONEL OF THE HARTFORDSIRE REGIMENT OF MILITIA, To Robert Chester Esquire LATE LIEUTENANT COLONEL, as a mark of his personal Esteem and Regard for the uniform Conduct and unremitting Attention shewn by him while Lt. Col. in having brought the Regiment to that high state of Discipline which received the Approbation of His Royal Highness The Duke of York COMMANDER IN CHIEF, His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge Lord Charles Fitzroy &c. &c.at Ipswich in the Years 1805 & 1806"

Bears the makers mark for Hannam & Crouch and hallmarked London, 1806

Dated 1806

21" wide x 29" length

Literature:
Vanessa Brett, The Sotheby's Directory of Silver: 1600-1940, item 1092, page 243

Reference:
The Gentleman's Magazine, (Volume XXX 184)(July - December, 1848) London: John Bowyer Nichols and Son
This George III silver tray is intricately chased and engraved and represents a prestigious gift
Maker: Hannam & Crouch
Period: 19th Century
Origin: England
Type: Trophies/Presentation Pieces
Depth: 1.0
Length: 29
Width: 21.0
Height: 29.1
Style: Victorian

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