Sir Robert Walpole’s Silver

Christopher Hartop



How to order

Published by
The Silver Society
Distributed by John Adamson
March 2014

64 pp.
56 illustrations
mostly in colour
103/4 × 8 1/8 in.
(272 × 206 mm)


Obtainable from any good bookseller or from:

John Adamson:
90 Hertford Street, Cambridge CB4 3AQ, UK.
e-mail: Book orders
Free delivery in the UK

Distributed in the United States and Canada by:

Antique Collectors’ Club, New York
e-mail: Book orders


Sir Robert Walpole’s collection of Old Masters, and the building and furnishing of Houghton, the great Palladian house he built in Norfolk, have been the focus of extensive study in recent years, but his silver has not received the same attention. However, the discovery of inventories in the National Archives has allowed a picture to be built up of the sheer scale of Walpole’s silver holdings, which were, like everything else about the man, larger than life. What silver that survives includes some of the most celebrated pieces of Georgian silver, such as the square seal salver made by Paul de Lamerie and engraved by William Hogarth which is one of the highlights of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Walpole probably had more silver than any of his contemporaries with the exception of the king, and the scale of his entertaining—at court, in Downing Street and at Houghton—was gargantuan. The author explores how Walpole’s silver was used, and suggests a new hypothesis concerning the functions of the two alcoves in Houghton’s Marble Parlour.

Appendices include transcriptions of the inventories done after Walpole’s death as well as one which traces the provenance of much of the silver acquired by his youngest son Horace, the creator of Strawberry Hill, since its sale by auction in 1842.



Contact the publisher for further information:

e-mail: book enquiries,

letter: John Adamson, 90 Hertford Street, Cambridge
CB4 3AQ, England


How to order the book offline

Please print off the order form and send it by mail to John Adamson, 90 Hertford Street, Cambridge CB4 3AQ, England.