Gambling, COVENT GARDEN, [Henry] Jernegan’s Lottery, 1736, a silver medal by J.S. Tanner after H.F. Gravelot, Minerva standing between trophies and emblems, rev. Queen Caroline waters a grove of palm trees, 39mm, 20.50g (W 1714, this piece illustrated; MI II, 517/72; E 537). Excess of metal on reverse rim, otherwise very fine and toned £60-£80
Provenance: Tim Millett FPL 2002 (291); bt May 2002.
Henry Jernegan (†1761), a London goldsmith based in Russell street, commissioned a cistern from the Flemish sculptor John Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770) in 1734-5 for his client, Littleton Poyntz Meynell (1699-1751), a member of the Derbyshire landed gentry, who wanted to own the largest wine cooler ever made. The cooler was to weigh 8,000 ounces and be decorated with Bacchanalian scenes. Meynell welched on his deal to pay for it and so Jernegan offered it as the prize in a lottery, funds from the sale of tickets for which would go towards the rebuilding of Westminster Bridge. Each ticket holder was given a silver medal, valued at about three shillings. About 30,000 tickets were sold, raising a sum in excess of £9,000. The winner of the cooler, Major William Battine of East Marden, Sussex, appears to have sold it to the regent Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna of Russia in 1738, and it is now in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg