An incredibly important and impressively large shaped cornered rectangular inkstand lovingly designed and decorated with elegant central strap work bands. The plain formed gallery edged tray has a wonderful engraved coat-of-arms, motto, motto of the Order of the Garter, supporters and marquess’s coronet.
The inkstand is fitted with three rings complete with three cylindrical pots (two for ink, the third for wafers) with a detachable cover, each engraved twice with the motto of the Order of the Garter, crest and marquess’s coronet, scratch weight: ’55=5″
The arms are those of Thynne, Marquesses of Bath for Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath (1734-1796), who was so created on 18 August 1789.
‘Whitehall, August 18 .
‘The King has . . . been pleased to grant the Dignity of a Marquess of the Kingdom of Great Britain to the Right Honourable Thomas Viscount Weymouth, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and the Heirs Male of his Body lawfully begotten, by the Name, Stile and Title of Marquess of Bath, in the County of Somerset.’ (The London Gazette, London, Saturday to Tuesday, 15-18 August 1789, p. 550)
As Viscount Weymouth, his lordship was married on 22 May 1759 at St. Margaret, Westminster to Lady Elizabeth Cavendish Bentinck, first daughter of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland by his wife, Margaret Cavendish (1735-1825), daughter and heir of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Mortimer.
In 1792, when this inkstand was purchased, the Marquess of Bath was Groom of the Stole, a royal appointment which he held in 1775 and again from 1782 until his death.
The entry for this inkstand in John Wakelin and William Tayler’s Gentleman’s Ledger, 1789-1801, fol. 273 (Victoria and Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design. MS SD.95.0050), is as follows:
‘The Marquis of Bath
‘To a large plain Inkstand like [Lord] Chesterfields 55oz 5dwt 2/1/gr. £22 6s 8d
‘To engraving a Coat Supps & Cort 6s 6 Crests Garters and Corts 2s ea. 16s.’
John Touliet was baptised at St. Giles in the Fields, Westminster on 14 October 1750, the son of John Touliet (d. 1765/66), a haberdasher, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Chauvine) who were married at the Mayfair Chapel, near Hyde Park Corner on 17 February 1747. The younger John Touliet entered his first mark as a smallworker (as struck on this inkstand) at Goldsmiths’ Hall on 26 April 1784, giving his address as Whitcomb Street, Leicester Fields. He entered a second mark o 9 February 1792. The address is significant; Panton Street, where Wakelin & Tayler had their shop, and Whitcomb Street are only yards apart.
Touliet was married to Rosetta (otherwise Rose) Watson at St. James, Piccadilly on 21 November 1775. The couple either moved or retired to Hampstead where he died and was buried there at St. John, Church Row on 11 May 1800. His will, signed on 6 February 1800, describes him as of 46 Whitcomb Street, St. Martin in the Fields, silversmith. Because there were no witnesses to this document Samuel Whitford of Smithfield Bars, St. Sepulchre, City of London, silversmith (Grimwade, p. 699) and Thomas Brind of Dolphin Court, Noble Street, St. Ann, Aldersgate, City of London, silver turner, appeared personally on 13 May 1800 to attest to its authenticity. The will was proved on 16 May following. (National Archives, Kew, PROB 11/1343). Mrs. Touliet died in Hampstead in March 1818.
Weight: 53.9 troy ounces/1679 grams
Length: 14 inches/35.5cm
Width: 10 inches/25.5cm
Condition: Excellent throughout