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George II Miniature Silver Coffee Pot - John Hugh Le Sage   
John Hugh le Sage, London C 1740

An extremely rare miniature silver coffee pot by the Huguenot John Hugh Le Sage, subordinate goldsmith to the King. The coffee pot is early Rococo style, with relief chasing of flowers and scrolls around the base and border below the cover. As is expected with early Rococo (1740 - 1750), large areas are left blank, only after 1750 did full Rococo develop which filled in the blanks. The swan neck spout is leaf wrapped, and the wooden handle has a typical double C scroll. The lid, which is richly decorated, has a stepped dome cover and acorn finial. The pot also has a tucked in base and stand-away hinge. The only hallmarks are the makers mark (script JS underneath crown) struck 3 times on the base (Grimwade 1680, Jacksons pg 192). As per the plate act of 1739, silver toys were exempted from assay, and only required the makers mark. A number of silver toys have been attributed to John Hugh Le Sage, many of which today reside in museums, including the Henry Ford Museum (USA) and the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&...

Irish Silver Freedom Box - Londonderry   
Benjamin Stokes, Dublin C 1760

A rare Irish silver Freedom Box, engraved with the coat of arms of the city of Londonderry, in Northern Ireland. Freedom boxes are typically Irish, and were used as presentation pieces to distinguished non- residents who received the honorary freedom of the city (Bennett, Collecting Irish Silver). Example from Dublin, Youghal, Limerick and Cork are known (Bennett), Londonderry is rare. The coat of arms includes a skeleton sitting on a hill, with a turreted castle, and the George Cross and dagger of London above. The skeleton is thought to represent starvation during the great siege. The city motto "Vita Veritas Victoria" (Life, Truth, Victory) is engraved below. The engraving quality is superb, with delicate flowers and chased C scrolls. The decorated lid is a separate panel that has been set into a presumably plain table snuff box. The box has a curved thumbpull for easy opening, and is gilded interior and exterior, with exception of the base. The only hallmarks present are the makers mark (struck twice, on ...

Victorian Silver and Enamel Malta Blue Stamp Vesta Case - Twopence Halfpenny
Usher Manufacturing Co (Charles Usher) - possibly, Birmingham 1890
$ 3 250.00

A rare and interesting Victorian silver vesta case, with an enamelled Malta Blue twopence halfpenny stamp, used between 1885 and 1890. The vesta itself is rectangular in shape, with striker in base, and silver ring attachment (for attachment to Albert chain). The vesta is hallmarked in the usual place, along the inside top rim, with Lion Passant, anchor, date letter P (only in use from May to July 1890, after the duty mark was retired), and partial makers mark C. in shield punch, possibly Charles Usher of Usher Manufacturing Company. This vesta previously sold at Sotheby's London in 1988, their description stated "very rare, the only example we have seen", they also described the "superb enamelled representation of the Malta 1885-90 2&half d blue".

Boer War Silver Salver - Relief of Mafeking   
Barker Brothers, Birmingham 1902

An important piece of Boer War memorabilia, celebrating the relief of Mafeking. A piecrust salver with beaded border and scrolled engraving. The hallmarks are clear, makers mark BB, for Barker Brothers. The salver has the crest of the Imperial Light Horse (ILH), which was raised in Johannesburg by English speaking South Africans to fight as part of the "Uitlander Army", on the side of the British during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). The crest has 2 crossed flags (Union Jack and Transvaal Republic). The inscription reads " Officers Patrol, who rode with Major Karri Davies into Mafeking on the night of May 16th 1900. J Dryden, AB Duirs, EW Warby, JE Merton, LM Harvey, G Seymour, HF Francis, EA Betton. Presented to J. Emerton by Major Karri Davies." Major Davies was 2IC of the ILH, and was quite a character. He was a key participant of the Jameson Raid, and spent time in prison after its disasterous end. This salver commemorates his leading the first English contingent into Mafeking, thus ending the siege afte...

Georgian Novelty Silver Articulated Fish Vinaigrette - Lea & Co   
William Lea & Co, Birmingham 1817
$ 3 100.00

A rare Georgian silver novelty articulated fish vinaigrette, made by William Lea & Co in Birmingham, 1817. The fish has 6 separate articulated sections, and a hinged lid (fish head) that opens to reveal an oval gilded vinaigrette, with scrolling grille which opens to reveal the gilded sponge compartment. The open mouth contains a suspensory silver ring, to allow the vinaigrette to be attached via a chain. The vinaigrette is beautifully engraved, with scales, fins and eyes, the tail and top fin are also realistically engraved. The hallmarks on the tail are very clear, the grille is also hallmarked. William Lea & Co worked between 1811 and 1825, they focused on small novelty items. A number of these fish vinaigrettes by Lea and Co are known, featuring 2 different engraving styles. An almost identical vinaigrette, also made by Lea & Co in 1817, is featured on the Bourdan Smith website (www.bourdansmith.co.uk), incorrectly described as reticulated, has very similar engraving to this one. Another example, made a y...

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
W. Spurrier & Co, Birmingham 1926
$ 3 100.00

A rare and unusual silver gilt stirrup cup, a later replica of one of the earliest forms of stirrup cups, prior to the rise in popularity of the better known fox and animal head stirrup cups. It consists of a small banded beaker shaped cup (3.5 cm height), suitable for sherry, on top of a long, tapered silver handle, with wonderful textured patterns for improved grip. The cup is engraved "THE DURBAN STIRRUP CUP - PRESENTED BY THE EARL OF LONSDALE IN COMMEMORATION OF THE KINDNESS RECEIVED FROM ALL DURING HIS VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA". The shield is engraved "REPLICA OF THE EARL OF LONSDALE'S STIRRUP CUP AD 1788" The handle is divided into 4 sections, separated by a protruding ring, the 3 rings are not gilded, which provides a nice contrast. The top section has alternating floral bands, the second barley-twist ribbing, the 3rd is similar to the first but with flowers reversed, the 4th a thicker barley-twist with additional texture to alternating band. The end is capped with a suspension ring, with original hallmar...

Sterling Silver Dragon Mustard Pots (Pair) - C.J. Vander
C.J. Vander, London 1996
$ 2 450.00

A fabulous pair of cast silver mustard pots, realistically modelled as dragons, with the head resting on the lid, and coiled body forming the pot, with barbed tail forming the handle. The back of the dragon's head acts as a thumb piece, the hinged lids open to reveal clear glass liners for holding the mustard (or other condiments). These are substantial items, they weigh over 350 grammes each without the liners, the quality is superb. The bodies were cast in 2 separate sections, the solder join is visible on the interior. The hallmarks are excellent on both pieces, the lids are hallmarked as well. We have not encountered this model before, it is possible they were specially commissioned and as such are unique. C.J. Vander was established in 1886 by Cornelius Joshua VanderPump, the firm became "the last of England's preeminent silver firms, creating exceptional silver masterpieces using the time-honored traditions of the silversmith's art. It was this firm's steadfast commitment to quality that made them the ...

Rare Silver Sketch Girl Novelty Bell - The Sketch Magazine
Mappin and Webb, London 1923
$ 2 100.00

A rare and interesting cast silver novelty bell, featuring "the Sketch Girl', who was the cover girl for "The Sketch" magazine. The figurine is a lady in Victorian costume, with a feather plumed bonnet tied with a bow around her neck, wide full skirt and cross pattern. She has a tray suspended from her neck, which holds a horse with jockey, and a marching soldier playing a drum, complete with bearskin hat. She has her arms outstretched, holding something in the palm of her hands. She has 2 clappers, modeled as legs complete with shoes, the bell works well, it has a lovely ring. The bell also has its original wooden stand, with a silver plaque on one side, attached by 4 silver pins, for engraving as a presentation (this one is original and has never been engraved). The hallmarks are clear, with exception of makers mark on bell, which is readable but not well struck. Both legs are also hallmarked, as is the silver plaque, which is also stamped MAPPIN & WEBB LTD. The Sketch was a British illustrated newspaper we...

Scottish Silver Box - Archers Hall.   
Brook & Son, Edinburgh 1902

A lovely commemorative Scottish silver box, beautifully engraved on the lid with 3 different armorials. The sides of the box are decorated with an attractive flower, leaf and bow design, and the interior is silver gilt. The inscription reads "From Friends at Archers Hall to Charles Stewart, Match Secretary, 1891-1901, 22nd October 1901." Archers Hall was built in 1777 for the Royal Company of Archers, the oldest surviving company of longbowmen in Britain. Today a private club, they provide the bodyguard for the sovereign in Scotland (ceremonial today). Members must be Scottish, and are drawn from politicians, military officers and nobility. They compete annually for the "Edinburgh Arrow". The central coat of arms, with motto "Nobilis Ira" (Noble Wrath), has the shield topped with Peers helmet and demi lion rampant. This is the coat of arms of the Stewarts. The armorial to the left is the Royal coat of arms as used in Scotland, but unusually with the English motto "Dieu et Mon Droit" (God and my Right). The 3...

Gordon Highlanders Gold and Diamond Sweetheart Brooch - Bydand, Stand and Fight - John Barrett   
John William Barrett, Birmingham 1941

A fabulous quality gold and Diamond World War II Sweetheart brooch, for the Gordon Highlanders Regiment. The brooch has a textured 9 carat gold stags head with impressive antlers, green cabochon eyes (we assume emerald) and two red faceted stone nostrils (we assume ruby). The stags head is surrounded in a wreath of 18 leaves (white 9 carat gold), each leaf contains a diamond, and sits above a crown (which also contains 5 diamonds, so 23 diamonds in total, all are present). The regimental motto "BYDAND", translated as "Stand and Fight", in gold letters set in blue enamel sits in a gold scroll at the base. The hallmarks are clear, and include makers mark J.W.B, 9 and .375 indicating 9 carat gold, anchor town mark for Birmingham and date letter R for 1941. The pin is also hallmarked 9 .375 indicating it is also 9 carat gold. John William Barrett was a manufacturing jeweller who worked between 1903 and 1953, a number of other high quality sweetheart brooches are known by him, so we assume this was an area of spec...

Silver Fox Menu Holders (set of 4) - Sampson Mordan
Sampson Mordan & Co, Chester 1912
$ 1 800.00

Delightful set of 4 silver fox menu holders (or place holders), of extremely high quality, by a well regarded maker. The menu holders all have the letter B engraved on the base disk. All are fully hallmarked with clear marks, including the number 9 before the makers mark. Sampson Mordan & Co had a retail shop in Regent Street, London.

Charles Ashbee Silver Napkin ring - Arts and Crafts   
C. R. Ashbee, London 1900

An Arts and Crafts napkin ring set with 4 silver coins, by Charles Robert Ashbee, who was a major force behind the British Arts and Crafts movement. The napkin ring is hand beaten, and the rim has an attractive punched dot pattern. The 4 coins include: 1. Roman Denarius, 46BC, produced by the military mint travelling with Caesar in North Africa. Venus head on obverse, CAESAR, reverse has Aeneas holding his father Anchises on his shoulder, holding palladium in other hand. 2. Danish Krone (Christian IV), dated 1643 3. Danish Krone (Frederik III, brother of Christian IV), dated 1667 4. English shilling (George III), issued in 1787, with kings head in roman attire on obverse, 4 angular shields surrounding garter star, with crowns in angles of shields The hallmarks are very clear, including makers mark CRA in shaped shield. The napkin ring is in excellent condition, thanks to it being preserved in its original box (box is intact but in poor condition). We can only guess as to the origin of the napkin ring, p...

Portuguese Antique Silver Toothpick Holder - Porto, Chinese Figure   
MJG, Porto 1853-1862

An interesting and decorative Portuguese silver toothpick holder, made in Porto between 1853 and 1862 by the unidentified maker MJG. The holder consists of a well dressed Chinese figure holding the vase shaped toothpick holder, standing on a ornamental pedestal, with 4 applied silver plaques, the pedestal standing on 4 cast silver scrolling feet. The Chinese figure wears an 8 sided conical hat, a flowing robe with engraved leaf decoration, baggy pants and pointed heeled shoes. The pedestal has a crenulated top, the sides with oval piercings and pierced dots nearer the base. The four plaques (attached with silver nut) consist of 2 Chinese pagodas, a bearded Chinese figue sitting crossed legged, and a European figure holding a conical object with a plume, we guess a fire plume (all assistance welcome!). The square cast base also has a patterned rim. This is a very well made cast item, pleasing gauge, and clearly made by a master silversmith. The hallmarks include makers mark MJG with beaded border, this maker i...

Antique Silver Commemorative Ceremonial Trowel - UCT (University of Cape Town) Foundation Stone
Atkin Brothers, Sheffield 1896
$ 1 650.00

A Victorian silver commemorative trowel with ivory handle, of very good quality, with presentation inscription surrounded by scrolling foliage and flowers. The inscription reads "To commemorate the laying of the first stone of the New University of Cape Town by Mrs William Hawke, 28th February 1925". William Hawke of Hawke and McKinley was the architect responsible for the Groote Schuur campus of UCT, a magnificent set of buildings still in use today. UCT is ranked today as one of South Africa's leading universities. The hallmarks are very clear. Atkin Brothers was in business from 1853 to 1958, when they were taken over by CJ Vander Ltd. William Hawke and his partner W McKinley were trained and worked in the UK, Hawke worked in the London Admirality Office of Works, where he assisted with the design of the Simonstown sanatorium (now Naval Signal School). They had a flair for prize winning designs, and in 1905 they won first premium for the Cape of Good Hope University buildings (later UCT). They moved to Ca...

Castle-Top Card Case - Windsor Castle, Kenilworth Castle   
John Tongue, Birmingham 1839

A double sided Castle-Top card case, depicting Windsor Castle on one side, and Kenilworth Castle on the other. Both views have very fine detail, and are set on an attractive engine turned background. The Windsor Castle view is of the East Terrace, showing the new garden created for King George IV. The Kenilworth Castle view has a right facing heraldic bear in the left hand foreground, which signify ownership by the Dudley family (Cameron, The First Castle Tops, Silver Society Journal 12, pg 65). The hallmarks are very clear. John Tongue, an established maker of boxes including Castle-Tops, worked between 1831 and 1865.

Spanish Silver Porringer / Wine Taster - "Pieces of Eight"
Unknown, Segovia? C 1618?
$ 1 550.00

A Spanish silver porringer, inset with a Spanish eight reale coin (one of the famous "pieces of eight") dated 1618, the reign of Philip III (1578-1621). The porringer is hand beaten, with the individual hammer marks clearly visible, creating an attractive pattern. The rim is folded over, and the cast flat handle has a scrolling design. The handle is quite crudely cast, we believe a sign of age. We have dated the porringer 17th century to co-incide with the date of the coin, but it could be later, with an old coin inset. The coin is well preserved on both sides. The reverse reads "Hispania RVM REX 1618" (King of the Spanish), with 2 castles and lion rampants in quatrefoil design (Arms of Castile & Leon). The obverse has the crowned Hapsburg shield, with the Segovia aqueduct mint mark and assayer initial A to the left, and VIII (8 reales) demarcation to the right. It reads "Philippus III DG". The porringer has 4 hallmarks, but given their proximity to the rim are only partially struck, so they are not clearly ...

Russian Silver Trompe L'Oeil Kvass Jug
Vasily Ivanov, St. Petersburg 1888
$ 1 550.00

An unusual Russian silver kvass jug in Trompe L'Oeil style ("deceive the eye"), which is a type of chased decoration designed to imitate a surface or texture, to create a 3D impression. The jug is typically Russian in style, and the texturing imitates rush work or raffia (woven birch wood strips). The detail is amongst the best we have seen, the silversmith was definitely a true artist. The interior of the jug is gilded, and the hallmarks on the base are clear, although part of the makers mark is worn. The handle also has the St Petersburg hallmark. The assay master is Aleksandr Frans Fan der Flit (or van der Vliet), who worked in St Petersburg 1882 to 1894, his Cyrillic initials are AF, source www.925-1000.com. This assay master is described as unknown by Watts (Russian Silversmiths Hallmarks 1700-1917, Geoffrey Watts, pg 73). We are not experts on cyrillic makers marks, so are not certain we have correctly identified the maker - all opinions welcome. Kvass is a traditional Russian and Ukrainian fermented b...

20th Lancers Gold and Diamond Sweetheart Brooch
C 1921
$ 1 350.00

A 20th Lancers Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Enamel sweetheart brooch. The brooch features the traditional crossed lances with flying pennons, with Royal crown above, LANCERS scroll below and XX in the centre, denoting the regiment as 20th Lancers. The brooch is 15 carat gold, the 2 X's are platinum set with 18 diamonds, all are present. The crown has red enamel, the pennons red and white enamel, and LANCERS blue enamel, all enamel is perfect. The brooch is hallmarked "15 ct & PT.", indicating 15 carat gold and platinum, which was often used in English jewellery from circa 1890 until 1932. Platinum use in jewellery became popular in Edwardian times, 15 carat gold was used between 1854 and 1932, when it was replaced by 14 carat gold. The 20th Lancers was a regiment of the British Indian Army, which saw service between 1921 and 1937. Today both India and Pakistan have a 20th Lancers regiment. This brooch is accompanied by a valuation certificate from Gemlab confirming authenticity of diamonds and that the brooch ...

Victorian Silver Double Lidded Twin Stamp Box
Cohen & Charles, Chester 1900
$ 1 250.00

A rare and unusual Victorian silver double lidded twin stamp box, one of the most practical designs we have seen on a stamp box. The box is rectangular, and is good quality, a pleasing weight, with gilded interior with 2 sloped compartments, and twin lids on separate hinges. The lids have separate silver frames which hold the glass in place covering the representative stamp. The box is clearly hallmarked, both lids and both frames are hallmarked as well. Cohen & Charles worked between 1890 and 1974, founded by Albert Cohen and Charles Solomon. They were the sole English agents for the leading French firm of Baudet Freres & Cie, so were a prestigious firm (Culme, Gold & Silversmiths, pg 88).

Omar Ramsden & Alwyn Carr Arts & Crafts Silver and Enamel Dish
Ramsden & Carr, London 1913
$ 1 250.00

An Arts & Crafts hand made silver dish, with a green enamel silver "button" with celtic design, surrounded by a rope border. The dish is hand hammered, with each hammer mark visible, this is a lovely little dish. It is embossed "A.E.S., 20th Dec 1913", so possibly made as a Christening present. Ramsden & Carr specialised in unique hand made and individually designed presentation pieces (Judith Miller, Arts & Crafts Collectors Guide, pg 171), this dish is a good example. They have been described as "the most important exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement in English silver" - Art Nouveau &Art Deco Silver, Annelise Krekel-Aalberse, pg 27). The hallmarks are clear, and include makers mark Rn&Cr, struck twice on the base of the dish. One mark is very clear, the other is only partially visible.

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