This large and impressive armorial and crested George III silver tea urn was made in London in 1800 by John Robins and measures 19.5 inches tall by approx 9.5 inches lions mask to lions mask and is 6.25 inches square across the base. It stands on four large ball feet and has a gadrooned border to the pedestal base of the urn, a further band of gadrooning at the base of the body, the body itself being fluted two thirds of the way up – above this is a coat of arms with crest above and there is a large lions mask and ring handle either side and it finishes with another gadrooned border to the top of the body. The lid sits above with the crest to the front leading into further fluting with a vase and flute finial atop. The spout is faceted with a tap and the spigot is stained green. It is fully and clearly hallmarked under the base and to the lid rim and is in excellent condition weighing 104.60 ounces or 3252 grams, a very striking piece of silver.
The Arms of the Family of Wright
The armorial bearings as engraved upon this George III English Sterling Silver Tea or Wine Urn by John Robins hallmarked London 1800 are those of the family of Wright. They may be blazoned as follows:
Arms: Azure two bars argent in chief three leopards’ faces1 or
Crest: Out of a ducal coronet or a dragon’s head proper
Given the date of hallmarking of this urn it was undoubtedly in the possession of a gentleman of the Wright family who descended from that family (or a cousin thereof) who were confirmed their armorial bearings by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms on the 20th June 1590. This family was resident at Wrightsbridge, Hornchurch and Dagenham all in the County of Essex. These arms were recorded with a cadency mark of a crescent to denote a second son of the family in the Herald’s Visitation of the City of London which took place in the years 1633, 1634 and 1635.2 Here there is some ambiguity in that the Herald’s Visitation of the County of Essex that took place in the year 16343 also mentioned another version of these arms with one leopards’
1 Sometimes blazoned as ‘leopards’ heads’. 2 This visitation was made by Sir Henry St George, Richmond Herald of Arms. 3 This visitation was made by George Owen, York Herald of Arms and Henry Lilly, Rouge Rose Pursuivant Extraordinary of Arms.
face in the chief as a quartering. The pedigree recorded in this visitation is headed up by John Wright, of Kelvedon in the same county whose grandson, John Wright, of Wrightsbridge was in receipt of the confirmation of armorial bearings of 1590.4 Given the ambiguity of the use of one leopards’ face or three as charged in the chief of the arms there is a distinct possibility that this urn was commissioned by the Wrights, of Kelvedon who were distant cousins of the Wrightsbridge Wrights and who were still in possession of their family seat of Kelvedon Hall, near Brentwood until the late 19th Century. Therefore, the leading candidate would be John Wright (born 4th August 1763 died 13th February 1826), of Kelvedon Hall. John was the eldest son of John Wright, of Kelvedon Hall (died 12th November 1792) and his first wife, Winifred Silvertop (died 12th Sugust 1780).