A silver-gilt tray supported by six couchant lions, the top engraved with the arms of William and Mary, supported by a lion and a winged dragon, with the monogram WM R above. At the top are two boxes, one longer than the other; the shorter one contains a hollowed dish for salt.
Caddinets were designed for the service of salt and spices, and for bread. Their use was reserved for royalty, and was introduced to Britain by Charles II, who had seen caddinets whilst in exile in France. Only three English caddinets remain in existence. This particular example was supplied to William III and Mary II by Anthony Nelme. The superb engraving, by the Huguenot Blaise Gentot, shows the coat of arms of 1688, before Scotland had accepted William and Mary as sovereigns. As a consequence the arms of Ireland is repeated in place of the arms of Scotland.
ProvenanceMade for William III and Mary II in 1688 for £64 11s. The caddinet was sold in 1808 from the Jewel House to Rundells to defray the debt of Caroline, Princess of Wales (consort of George IV). Rundells in turn sold it to William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale. It was reacquired for the Royal Collection by Her Majesty the Queen in 1975.
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