PAIR JAMES BRYDGES MARQUIS CAERNARVON (DUKE CHANDOS) Armorial Plates
A truly superb pair of English creamware armorial plates circa 1780. They bear the arms of JAMES BRYDGES MARQUIS OF CAERNARVON, later 3RD DUKE CHANDOS 1731-1789.
The story of James Brydges, first Duke of Chandos is an exceptional one. During the Spanish war, he was created Paymaster General to the armed forces. He amassed vast wealth. Some thought he was lining his own pockets, but there is little evidence and he may even have used his own funds to bridge shortfalls in troops wages, ensuring victory.
He built CANNONS, Stanmore, Middlesex, a baroque mansion where no expense was spared. He employed the finest craftsmen using the most expensive materials. Even HANDEL was installed as the house composer. It became a centre for arts and culture. " Princely Brydges" led the lifestyle of a German Prince. However, his fortune had been invested in South Sea Company stocks, with disasterous results. Within a few short years, his £58,000,000 fortune (equivalent today) had gone. He survived the share collapse of 1720 albeit in greatly reduced circumstances. The family finances were breifly revived after his third marriage brought a dowry of £40,000. Shortly after the death of the First Duke in 1744, the great house was sold and demolished for building materials to pay family debts.
In 1753 the 3rd Duke (then Marquis of Caernarvon) gained Minchington Hall, Southgate, by his marriage to Margaret Nicholl. The "Chandos Anthems" by Handel and the splendid interior of St Lawrences, the surviving estate church with the Chandos Mausoleum, give a tantalising glimpse of the splendours that once were "Cannons".
See V&A museum for a similar example.