Robert Garrard II
'The Queen's Cup Ascot 1865'
Silver & wood Victorian London, 1864 Maker's mark of Robert Garrard II
Height of cup: 58.4cm, 22.9in Weight: 6,640g, 213oz 10dwt
Bearing the retailers incuse stamp of R & S Garrard, Panton Street
Robert Garrard II was apprenticed in 1809 to his father, Robert Garrard I, a partner of Wakelin and Company, and gained his freedom of the Grocers' Company by patrimony in 1816. After the death of his father in 1818, Garrard entered his mark and, with his brothers James and Sebastian, took over the management of the workshop. During the early nineteenth century, the firm's business expanded at a tremendous rate, especially after the decline of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell in the 1820s. In 1830, the Garrards were appointed goldsmiths and jewellers to the king and in 1843 official crown jewellers. A large design studio was set up by them, which was modelled on that developed by Rundel, Bridge and Rundell and employed several well-known painters and sculptors, including Edmund Cotterill. During the mid-nineteenth century, Garrard's was one of the leading producers of elaborate presentation silver.
An impressive Victorian silver hand-wrought and cast presentation Royal Ascot,"Elizabethan" or" Francois Premier" (1)Historismus tankard. The tankard finely chased with large bosses and geometric strap-work on a frosted ground, the front boss engraved "The Gift of Her Majesty The Queen, Ascot 1865", the finely detailed cast finial formed as St Thomas of Aquitaine with his page attendants either side, with his gauntlet on the floor.
The cornucopia handle issuing out of lion's mouth, the whole raised on four cast bulbous cartouche ball feet. The tankard resting on an octagonal plinth applied with two open-work Royal ciphers, and two cartouches - engraved as follows - "The Queen's vase 1865" the other "Won by Eltham",
An illustration for this prize cup appears in the "The London Illustrated News -" June 1865, Vol XLVI.
There were four runners, with betting about even on Mr Robinson's Eltham, the favourite, ridden by S.Adams. The Times reported on the race as follows, "Breeze, owned by Baron Rothschild, was first out: Eltham rushed past him and carried on running round the top turn, when Adams indulged him with a pull, and Breeze was, in consequence, left in the lead, which carried on into the Swinley Mile Bottom. On reaching the mile post, the pair closed and raced together to the road, where the Baron's filly drew slightly away, and came into the straight half a length in advance of the favourite, the pair having the race to themselves at the distance... within a stride or two of the chair (Eltham) came with a rush, and finished a splendid race with a dead heat".
1- This mode of decoration was chiefly characterised by its use of heavy strapwork around cartouches in the 19th century, and was favoured in racing cups.