The arms on one side of the base are those of the Worshipful Company of Drapers of London, granted in 1613. Founded over 600 years ago, the Drapers’ Company is incorporated by Royal Charter and is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies in the City of London. Its activities range from the commercial management of its own substantial endowment, which includes a directly owned property portfolio in the City of London to being the corporate trustee of charities and participating in the life of the City. The Company’s membership fulfils a variety of corporate governance roles for the Company and certain external organisations, and directs its philanthropic initiatives.
The arms on the other side of the base and in the bowl of the basket are those of Wade impaling Randall, possibly for Charles Wade, widower, who on 12 October 1835, was married to Amelia Randall, spinster, at the church of St. Lawrence Jewry, City of London.
Both Bridge and Rundell were undoubtedly master craftsmen, but also clever and successful businessmen: among their staff they employed some of the most eminent silversmiths of the time. In 1807 they convinced Paul Storr, the most celebrated English silversmith of all time, to join the company. He withdraw in 1819 and established his own workshop,
The company saw its peak during the first decade of the 19th Century, after England’s naval victories against Napoleon. By that time Rundell and Bridge had built a proper silver empire, trading in South America, India, Europe and Middle East.
Paul Storr is the most celebrated English silversmith of the Regency period and one of England’s most famed of all times. Ranging from tableware to the most magnificent sculptural artworks, he made use of the most innovative technology to create extravagant and very sophisticated masterpieces.
After his apprenticeship with the Swedish-born silversmith Andrew Fogelberg, he later associated with the royal silversmiths Rundell & Bridge. Catherine the Great of Russia and Kings George III and George IV were unquestionably the most illustrious clients of the firm. The latter commissioned some of the most exquisite pieces for Carlton House and Windsor Castle, still part of the Royal Collection.
In 1819 he broke with the company and in 1822 joined a partnership with John Mortimer, until he retired in 1838.
Paul Storr designed some of the most exceptional silver pieces ever made, combining Neoclassical style and Rococo ornamental motifs. His most flamboyant and monumental creations are nowaday displayed in the most important international museums, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum in New York or the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston. However many of his artworks are still on the market, and they continue to increase in value.