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The Warwick Urns

The English people gave Queen Maud a magnificent table service in honour of her coronation in 1906. The set is still used for banquets at the Royal Palace.

Four identical urns were part of the gift; presented to the Queen by “her Father’s Subjects in her Native Country”, as inscribed on the oak chests the items arrived in. She also received a pair of candelabra, cutlery, plates, saltcellars and trays. Often referred to as “the English service”, the set consists of more than 500 pieces, all of which are in either silver or silver gilt and bear Queen Maud’s crowned monogram.

Roman originals

The urn is a copy of the Warwick urn, which dates back to Roman times (around 200 CE). Fragments of the original were found in 1770 at the Pantanello, Hadrian’s villa, Tivoli, Italy, and the urn was painstakingly reconstructed.

In the 1800s the classical form of the Warwick urn was reproduced in countless versions, which were used as champagne coolers, tureens and vases. The Palace’s urns were made in 1812-13 and bear a coat of arms with the motto: Honi soit qui mal y pense (“Shamed be he who thinks evil of it”). This is the motto of the Order of the Garter, the most prestigious British order of chivalry, and it also appears on the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.

The urns were purchased for Queen Maud’s coronation and had previously been part of the estate of the late Duke of Cambridge, a cousin of King Edward VII. Although originally designed as champagne coolers, the urns are now used as vases for floral arrangements at royal banquets.

The artist

The urns were fashioned by the English silversmith Paul Storr (1771-1844), who was highly renowned during his lifetime. He produced a wide variety of pieces, ranging from teaspoons to statuettes and church silver.

Silver gilt


Height: 24 cm

Inventory number



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