Cast of the Warwick vase by John Samuel Hunt, London 1845 – £32,000 at Chiswick Auctions.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It was given by Queen Victoria to Sir John Barker-Mill, 1st Baronet (1803-60), owner of Giantess, the winner of Her Majesty’s Vase at Plymouth, Devonport and Cornwall Races in 1845. At the time the prize, weighing 138oz, was valued at 100 guineas. Victoria supported many similar events at considerable cost.

The item came to Chiswick Auctions’ (25% buyer’s premium) silver sale on March 3 by descent and was reunited for sale with its ebonised wooden plinth applied with two rectangular plaques; one finely engraved with the Royal Coat of Arms, the other with a presentation inscription.

Although the two elements had become separated, the stand was recently discovered in an outbuilding and reunited for sale.

Source of inspiration

The Warwick vase, engraved by Piranesi in 1778, provided the inspiration for many versions of the vase in silver and silver-gilt during the Regency period.

The royal goldsmith Rundell, Bridge and Rundell supplied most casts, the most notable being a set of 12 commissioned by the Prince Regent and struck with the mark for Paul Storr, now at Windsor Castle.