Perhaps the most famous of the early nineteenth century English silversmiths was Paul Storr of London . Like Paul de Lamerie, his work was much sought after during his lifetime and today is displayed in many prominent museums.
Paul Storr registered his mark for the first time in 1793 and retired in 1838. His 45-year career was an artistic success, but was not a financial success. He was close to bankruptcy on several occasions and left a very modest estate.
Storr’s early work was in the neo-classical style; his later work was among the best of the revival rococo style. In 1807, Storr was the head of the manufacturing works for the retailing firm of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell. This branch of the firm was called “Storr and Co.” All items produced under his supervision bore his mark; many also bore the mark of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, an unofficial mark never entered at Goldsmith’s Hall.
Storr later went into business for himself and then took as his partner John Mortimer, doing business as “Storr and Mortimer.” Storr produced the silver products and Mortimer ran the retail shop.
The Committee of Lloyd’s, wishing to offer Lord Horatio Nelson a personal tribute of gratitude after one of his many victories, voted the sum of 500 pounds for the purchase of a service of silver. The order was placed with Rundell, Bridge and Rundell and was made by Paul Storr.
On July 5, 1814, the Duke of Wellington was appointed Ambassador to France. Because entertaining on a grand scale was part of the responsibilities of such an appointment, it was necessary for Wellington to have an enormous silver service. The work of producing this silver service was given to Rundell, Bridge and Rundell and Paul Storr was personally responsible for over 100 pieces.
The first Hanoverian collector of silver was King George IV. In 1817, while Prince Regent, he got rid of quantities of “old fashioned” silver; he repeated this in 1823 after becoming king. The Royal Silversmiths, Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, supplied the great majority of the new silver and, as was to be expected, Storr’s work excelled all others in both quantity and quality. In 1911, E. Alfred Jones published his fine work, The Gold and Silver of Windsor Castle. Among the book’s 103 illustrations are many pieces by Paul Storr; however, because Jones selected only the most elaborate pieces for illustration, the book gives a somewhat distorted view of Storr’s contribution. In reality, Storr’s contribution to the Royal silver includes every type of object required by the Royal household. Never before has the work of a single craftsman - from massive center pieces to a salt spoon - been so completely represented in any collection and that this is the collection of Queen Elizabeth II adds new glory to the name of Storr.