Tall, elegant silver centerpiece resting on a flat, triangular base with concave sides and guilloche border, mounted on three delicately chased shell feet, the lower body of the centerpiece likewise of triangular form with two bands of guilloche molding and the cast and applied arms of the Earls of Coventry on all three long sides separated by individual molded scroll motifs on the short sides, supported by three dolphins with looped tails between heavy swags of fruit and flowers; on each angle of the lower body stands a female figure of caryatid type sculptured in the round and clad in a classically draped gown and sandals, facing outward, the figures hold in each hand the wand, or scepter, of Dionysus, one surmounted by a pine cone and the other by ivy leaves and berries, so that they form a criss-cross pattern with the wands, which are crossed and tied near the middle with large bows, in the center of the figures is a large round medallion, and resting lightly on the heads of the figures is a circular stand decorated with a frieze of scrolling foliage and flowers below a large bowl of open basketwork rising to a double-plaited edge with a band of guilloche. A glass liner (now missing) originally fit into the bowl.

Centerpiece

Paul Storr

1810-1811

Paul Storr was a master silversmith during the Regency period in England. The English Regency, or simply the Regency, is the name given to the period from 1811 to 1820 in which the Prince of Wales, later King George IV, ruled Great Britain as regent while his father, King George III, was incapacitated. In the decorative arts, the term Regency provides a useful label for the predominant style in England from the 1790s until the early Victorian 1840s. During this period much silver was made in a severe classical style characterized by the use of ancient Greek elements. But a Rococo revival began around 1804, based on the popular eighteenth-century style, and is evident in Storr’s work through his use of scroll-like forms and naturalistic details.