Height: 33.000 cm
Width: 42.000 cm (total)
Weight: 11.000 kg
Purchased with the aid of a grant from the
Room 47: Europe 1800-1900
The Portland Font
London, England, AD 1797-98
Made for the baptism of the Duke of Portland's grandson
This superb gold
The detachable bowl, with its bold neo-classical decoration, rests on four winged cherub feet, surrounded by three free-standing sculptural figures representing the Cardinal Virtues. These are: Faith (standing with a cross and her hand held over the bowl in the act of benediction), Hope (seated, holding a symbolic anchor) and Charity (seated and shown comforting children).
This is the
first use in English goldsmith's work of free-standing
figural sculpture, and heralds the nineteenth-century tradition of
magnificent sculptural presentation plate. The contrast between
Paul Storr was one of the most outstanding and well known of London goldsmiths. He operated an independent firm before joining the Royal Goldsmiths, Rundell, Bridge and Rundell in 1811.
S. Gough (ed.), Treasures for the Nation, exh. cat. (London, Published by The British Museum Press for the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 1988)