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&...
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 ...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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 ...
An unusual Russian silver vodka jug in Trompe L'Oeil style ("deceive the eye"), which is a type of 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 (plaited stems of marsh plants). 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 unknown, his Cyrillic initials are AF, he worked from 1881 -1894 (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.
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.
A delightfully decorative chamberstick, realistically modelled as a flower bud, stem and leaves, one of the finest chambersticks we have seen. The flower stem forms the ring grip, and the bud holds the candle, and the pan is octagonal. It is beautifully made and decorated, and is very good quality - truly the work of master craftsmen. Chambersticks were traditionally used to light your way to bed at night. The Angell's are described by Pickford as "very fine 19th century family of goldsmiths" (Jackson's Hallmarks). The hallmarks are clear, and include the duty mark of William IV (even though Victoria was already on the throne), indicating this piece was made between 29 May and 20 June 1837. Both the pan and one of the leaves are hallmarked, even the silver wingnut underneath is hallmarked. The makers mark is poorly struck and only partially visible, but sufficient can be seen to leave no doubt as to the makers identification.
A magnificent Scottish kilt sash brooch, used to hold the shoulder plaid in place. The brooch has cast thistles and celtic "buttons" surrounding a spectacular cairngorm (commonly known as citrine, also called black quartz or smoky quartz). The gemstone is very impressive, amongst the largest we have seen. It has been estimated at over 100 carats, and is a round brilliant cut.
The hallmarks are clear, with retailers mark J.S.McL (McLeod we assume) overstriking the makers mark. Scottish citrine is called cairngorm after its place of origin in the Scottish Highlands, and is the November birthstone, also the symbol of brightness, life and hope.
A unique antique silver letter opener, with 3 gold sovereigns set in the handle, which has an attractive open scrollwork design, with a central silver ball. The handle fits well into the hand, it feels similar to holding a sword or dagger! The opener is good quality and is a good weight. Two sovereigns are Victorian (dated 1854 and 1879) and one is Edwardian (dated 1904). The sovereigns are aligned by the date letters, all at the base on the same side, indicating the date has significance. The dates are all 25 years apart, so we assume the opener was specially commissioned to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary, which is traditionally celebrated with gold. The couple would have married in 1854, celebrated their 25th anniversary in 1879, and their golden anniversary in 1904. We cannot imagine a nicer golden wedding anniversary present! The hallmarks are clear. Andrew Barrett & Sons worked at 63 Piccadilly between 1844 and 1970. The sovereigns are also in fine condition, they are 22 millimetres in diameter, an...
An extremely rare Cape Silver vinaigrette, with attractive engraving, a sunburst surrounding a wreath contained in a rectangle on the lid, the base and sides also decorated with naive but attractive zig-zag and dot engraving, typical of colonial Cape silversmiths. The grille is also decorated by hand, with a crude flower and foliage surrounded by hand punched holes in squares. The interior is gilt. Both the lid and base are struck with 3 poorly struck hallmarks, which appear to be the lion passant between 2 castles. However the grille is struck with a very clear LT makers mark, without doubt that of Lawrence Twentyman.
The only other known example of a Cape vinaigrette, by Martinus Lourens Smith, appeared at Sothebys Cape Town in February 2007 (Lot 428). None of the Cape silver reference books (Welz, Heller) mention vinaigrettes.
A lovely enamel silver cigarette case with a bespectacled golfer swinging a wood, with flag visible behind him. The enamel is very good quality, well painted with lots of detail. The interior is gilt, and both sides of the box are hallmarked with clear marks. Blanckensee & Son was established in 1826, and by the turn of the century they had a large export trade and London showrooms. In the Jewellers exhibition of 1913, Blanckensee had "two of the prettiest windows in the exhibition", which included enamel cigarette cases (Culme, Directory of Silversmiths 1838 - 1914).
Magnificent enamel silver cigarette case, depicting a Boston Terrier, (brindle with white muzzle) of very good quality. The detail of the enamel is extremely good. The box is engine turned, and has a gilt interior. Both sides of the box are hallmarked with clear marks. John Thompson & Sons, which was formed in the 1860's, still trades as a Jewellers at 20 Rosebury Ave, London.
An Arts and Crafts silvergilt medallion, mounted on ivory, by Omar Ramsden, who is regarded as the leading English Arts and Crafts silversmith. The medallion is in classic Arts and Crafts style, and depicts a printing press surrounded by "LMPA", and surrounding scroll with "The London Master Printers Association". The medallion still has its original blue ribbon, with clasp in full working order, in its original fitted Garrard case.The box reads " By Appointment to HM the Queen, Goldsmiths and Crown Jewellers, Garrard & Co Ltd, 112 Regent Street, W1".
The hallmarks are very clear, including OR makers mark, and the back is engraved "Omar Ramsden Me Fecit", translated Omar Ramsden made me, as is usual for his work.
A magnificent set of 13 gilded silver Italian apostle spoons, featuring the 12 apostles on the smaller spoons and the "Master" on the larger spoon - all in their original box. They are extremely good quality and well made, the cast finials have very fine detail. The stems are twisted with a beaded design, and a winged female angel joins the bowls to the stems. Each apostle is named on the back of the finial in Italian - (S. Pilip, Giag, Paol, Luca, Mat, Bart, Piet, And, Tom, Mar, Giov, Sim). The spoon bowls are all made of silver coins (Piastra's) from the Papal States (which included most of central Italy in the 18th century) dated between 1676 and 1802. The coins have the Papal Arms for the following Popes: Innocento XI (1676-1689), Alessandro XIII (1689-1691), Innocento XII (1691-1700), Clement XI (1700-1721), Clement XII (1730-1740), Clement XIV (1769-1774), Pius VI (1775-1799) and Pius VII (1800-1823). Two of the coins, dated 1691, are "Sede Vacante" - translated "The Seat is Empty", meaning they were m...
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.
An interesting Art Deco cigarette case by Louis Kuppenheim of Pforzheim, Germany, regarded as one of Germany's leading Art Deco silversmiths. The case has a lovely ribbed design, and the clasp is set with an attractive dark blue sapphire cabochon. The interior is gilt. The case is extremely good quality, and has a pleasing weight, and is in the higher grade 900 silver. The case is engraved with a fascinating World War 1 inscription "Major J.D.S. Lloyd, OBE, MC, etc. A reminder of pleasant and unpleasant days spent together and appreciation of many little acts of kindness and help during the advance from Ypres - Waterloo 1918, J.C.W." The hallmarks include makers mark LK (in fancy script), the crown and moon of Germany, and 900 fineness mark.