A rare Iona silver letter opener, in the form of a sword, in the Celtic Arts and Crafts style, made by Alexander Ritchie of Iona. The letter opener is a substantial size and weight, a quality item, and is a pleasure to use. The sword is decorated with Celtic knotwork on the handle and blade. The hallmarks are very clear, "A.R." incuse makers mark, "IONA", and Glasgow hallmarks for 1929. Alex Ritchie's work was inspired by the ancient Celtic and Viking carvings on Iona. He is regarded as one of the most respected and sought after Scottish silver jewellers of the 20th century. (All information courtesy of Alexander Ritchie website, see link on our links page. An identical letter opener is shown on the website, http://www.alexander-ritchie.co.uk/other, it is described as "substantial, the design similar to one used on his much smaller sword brooches".)
A rare surviving set of 6 Georgian silver table knives, in the Fiddle Thread and Shell pattern, with silver as opposed to steel blades. The knives are in remarkable condition and are suitable for use. The knives have an engraved family crest, an eagle sable preying on a partridge, under an Earl's crown, with 5 pearls. This is the family crest of the Earls of Onslow, the first Earl George Onslow died in 1814 so we assume these knives were made for Thomas Onslow, when he became the 2nd Earl Onslow. Thomas Onslow was born in 1754, he was Member of Parliament for Rye and Guildford. He was an associate of the Prince of Wales (later King George IV), and guarded the door when the Prince secretly married Mrs Fitzherbert (source Wikipedia). The hallmarks are clear on all 6 knives, both on the silver blades and on the handles, including makers mark MB for Moses Brent. Moses Brent was freed in 1770 as a haft-maker, he worked until 1817. Grimwade, in his book London Goldsmiths 1697-1837, states "Brent had a virtual monop...
An interesting set of 6 Fiddle pattern tableforks, made in 1815, the year of the battle of Waterloo. The forks are a pleasing weight, and very good quality, they have a lovely feel. The forks are engraved with an interesting family crest, a leopards head with an arrow in its mouth, this is unusually engraved on the back of the forks. The hallmarks are excellent, including date letter U for 1815 and makers mark WE/WF for William Eley & William Fearn, who were leading makers of flatware. We welcome any assistance with identification of the family crest.
A rare Victorian silver Armorial butter spade, where the whole blade displays an engraved family armorial. The butter spade has a bone handle, the blade is shield shaped (as opposed to usual triangular shape,) The armorial (centre cross with 4 crosses) is topped with an engraved lion rampant where the blade joins the handle. The bone handle is connected with a silver ferrule. The hallmarks are well struck and clear. Martin Hall & Co was established by Richard Martin and Ebernezer Hall in 1863 in Sheffield, they produced good quality silver until 1911. Butter spades are described by Ian Pickford as "quite rare" (Silver Flatware pg 180), we have not seen another armorial example.
A Pair of lovely French silver 2 pronged forks, with beautiful ornate baluster handles in 800 grade silver. The forks are finely decorated with flowers, scrolls and acanthus leaves, on a matted hand engraved textured surface, the central portion have a diamond engraved pattern with grooves, to improve grip. The steel prongs are long and elegant, sharp and slightly splayed. Both forks have 2 small hallmarks, the French silver Boars Head used for 800 standard (2eme titre) on small items, this mark was in use between 1838 and 1961, and an additional 800 standard mark. We date these forks to mid 19th century, copies of an earlier style.
A delightful Cape silver konfyt fork, one of the most charming we have seen. The fork is in the Hanoverian pattern, with turn up end, it has a form of feather edge engraving at the top of the handle, a long elegant stem (much longer than usual), and 3 tines. It has a v shaped drop, so overall quite different from many Cape silver konfyt forks. The fork is struck with makers mark IVC, this has no dots, the mark is clearly visible but the punch appears a little worn (hence the G being seen as a C). We believe this to be one of the marks used by Johann Voight, it is depicted in David Heller's book "History of Cape Silver", page 163. We have now confirmed 3 different IVG marks on Cape silver, which clearly come from 3 different punches, but probably come from 1 silversmith, or family of silversmiths as sons often took over the business of the father, and used the same punches. The other two IVG marks have different configurations of dots present, see Welz mark 171 with 2 dots, Welz described this maker as "unknow...
A pair of Cape silver table forks, quite Colonial in character, with excellent Cape silver hallmarks. The forks are similar to Old English pattern with 4 tines, but have a wide flattened end and semi rounded stem, more continental in character than English. The forks have original engraved initials JR, this too is Colonial in style with bright cut flecks around the initials. The hallmarks on both forks are clear, crude anchor, makers mark IC, anchor, mark 22 in Cape Silver by Welz. One fork has 2 very old (and quite crude)repairs to both external tines, it looks like they were re-attached, now very secure. Despite the repair to one fork, we really like this pair, loads of character. We have dated these forks to early in Combrink's career, prior to the arrival of the English silversmiths in 1820.
A rare and possibly unique variant of the Fiddle pattern, with a "fish tail" insertion in the handle of a Georgian silver butter knife, made by Thomas James. The blade of the butter knife is nicely shaped and has attractive engraving, but it is the handle that stands out. The knife also has original owners engraved initials IH, in a floral font. The hallmarks including makers mark T.J are well struck and very clear, note the lack of a town mark. Ian Pickford, in his book Silver Flatware, shows a picture of a different but similar Fiddle Pattern variant (Fig 139 page 109), which he describes as "odd and quite possibly unique", made in 1826. Thomas James was freed in 1789, he worked until 1827, he was a small worker. He was a noted maker of caddy spoons, many of which also included this "fish tail" design, but found near the spoon bowl, not up the handle as per this example.
An interesting Swiss Silver preserve set, consisting of a matching fork and slotted spoon in their original box. They are 800 grade silver, and both the spoon bowl and fork (excluding handle) are gilded, to protect the silver from corrosive salt. The matching handles are a beaded pattern, with the pattern on the back different from the pattern on the front. The spoon has seven slots in an attractive pattern, the fork has 4 tines. Both items are clearly hallmarked with the Jezler makers mark and 800 standard mark. The original box has a retailers label, which reads "Otto Leuenberger, Uhren & Bijoutier, Langnau (Bern) - Brugg (Aargau)".
A Cape silver konfyt fork in the Old English pattern, with 3 tines. The fork has engraved original owners initials MMR, quite quaintly engraved, possibly by an amateur. The makers mark is very well struck and very clear, makers initials ICL between 2 floral devices with 7 petals (Welz mark 78, page 150). Lotter worked at the Cape between 1811 and his death in 1823, he shared a name with his father Johannes Casparus Lotter, who was also a silversmith (12 members of the Lotter family practised as silversmiths).
A pair of Arts & Crafts Danish silver tablespoons, in a modernist Georg Jensen style Martele pattern, with matching cheese knife. The pattern is planished, or hand hammered, (Martele is French for hammer, Gorham uses the Martele brand for its hand hammered range), this creates an uneven surface which reflects the light, so a very pleasing pattern. The pattern also has balls and scrolls. The spoons are hand hammered on the front side of the handle only, but the bowls are planished on both sides. The spoons have original owners initials CC engraved on the back, the knife has no engraving. All 3 items have 2 clear hallmarks, the Danish 3 tower silver guarantee mark for 826/1000 grade, with date letters (the spoons are 1925 and the knife is 1927). They also have assay masters mark CFH for Christian F. Heise, who worked between 1904 and 1932.
A set of 5 Fiddle pattern Cape silver tableforks, made by Willem Lotter. The forks are quite long and elegant, with bevelled edges, quite attractive and pleasing quality. All 5 forks are struck with makers mark WGL in irregular punch between 2 oval devices (Welz mark 88). Welz depicts this mark as a face, we are not convinced, this requires further research. Willem Gotfried Lotter worked between 1810 and 1835, his father (also Willem Gotfried) was also a silversmith, they shared the same punches. Lotter died in Richmond, which was established as a spa town for sufferers of tuberculosis.
A pair of Victorian silver grape scissors, with attractive handle design of symmetrical scrolls and loops. The set is very finely engraved (on the front side only) with a foliage pattern, very intricate, in typical Victorian fashion. The blades are the traditional grape scissor design, with one blade thicker with right angle to accommodate the other blade. The hinge has a silver cover, also engraved, the pin is silver as well. The hallmarks are clear but hidden by the engraving, both arms are hallmarked, including makers mark A&S for Aston and Son of Regent place, Birmingham, Thomas and William Aston ran the business between 1856 and 1861. Henry Aston (we assume another son) took over the business in 1862, it was still operating in 1930 as wedding ring manufacturers (Culme, Gold and Silversmiths, page 18).
A Cape silver konfyt fork in the Old English pattern, with 3 tines. The fork is hallmarked with makers mark OA in oval punch, this is faintly struck but still visible, between two square devices with 4 dots, these are both clearly struck ( Welz mark 2). Ahlers worked as a silversmith between 1810 and his death in 1827. He married the widow of silversmith Jan Brevis, which may have facilitated his entry into the trade. He was the son of Oltman Alders of Germany, his mother was Dorothea of Bengal, who presumably arrived in the Cape as a slave. His silver is quite scarce.
A rare set of Old English Military Thread and Shell pattern (also called Military Shell) tableforks and dessertspoons (3 of each). These are good quality, the forks around 90 grammes each and the spoons over 60. All 6 have an engraved family crest, a raised lion facing right between 2 horns. The pattern has the regular Thread and Shell pattern, double struck (on both sides), but with scrolls instead of shoulders, as with all Military variants (Pickford, Silver Flatware, page 117). Pickford describes this pattern as "a rare pattern illustrated in the Chawner & Co Pattern book, Appendix page 218", where the Chawner book shows this pattern, termed as "Military Shell". Pickford did not illustrate a photographic example of this pattern , a further indication of its rarity. The hallmarks on all 6 items are very clear, makers mark GA for George Adams of Chawner & Co, and London date letter P for 1870. In addition, all pieces carry additional journeyman's marks (Y, K, 3 petal flower, O), so the particular silversmit...
A Cape silver konfyt fork in the Fiddle pattern, with 3 tines. The fork has the original owners initials PJS, quite quaintly engraved in Colonial style.The fork has excellent hallmarks, they could not be better. They include makers mark MLS and the leaf device, with the veins clearly visible (Welz mark 117). Smith was a Dane who arrived in the Cape as a VOC employee in 1757 aged 35, he died in 1806. He led an interesting life, he married 4 times, and had 10 children.
A private die silver Victorian dessert fork, made by Elkington & Co in 1898. The fork is an excellent gauge, over 60 grammes, a good quality fork. It is double struck with a variant of Kings pattern, but with an ornate scrolling design below the raised family crest. The crest is a griffin holding a branch with leaves in its beak, described as "Griffin's head erased argent holding in the baek a sprig or rose branch proper", this is the Watson family crest. This branch of the Watson family came from Silsden, Yorkshire, descendants of Rowland Watson, Silsden Moor late 16th century. The hallmarks are very clear. Private die flatware was individually commissioned with the family crest die-stamped rather than engraved on a stock pattern (Pickford, Silver Flatware, page 173. Most 19th century private die patterns were supplied through Hunt & Roskell to members of the peerage and other wealthy clients. Pickford describes these as "fascinating, but obviously impossible to build into services". Note - this fork is acco...
A pair of Canadian silver tableforks in the Fiddle pattern, with original owners script initials EB engraved on the back of the forks. The hallmarks on both forks are clear, and include pseudo lion passant (with a very thin body), pseudo oval Georgian duty mark, and makers mark PB for Peter Bohle. The lion passant is struck upside down on both forks, indicating the striking of marks was rather haphazard. Peter Bohle (1786 -1865) was the son of silversmith David Bohle, both his brothers (David & Francis) were also silversmiths. Peter was apprenticed to leading Canadian silversmith Robert Cruikshank for 7 years between 1800 and 1807, but spent his career working in Montreal, Quebec. He is known to have manufactured for the trade (sold to Savage & Lyman), he also partnered with Robert Hendery between 1853 and 1856 (Canadian Silversmiths 1700-1900, John Langdon, page 50). The family were German immigrants from Hanau (known for its silver industry).
A lovely set of 5 18th century Dutch silver Hanoverian pattern 3 pronged forks, with a matching 6th fork made slightly later by another maker, we assume to replace a loss shortly after they were made. The forks are quite plain and elegant, with turn down ends, and a prominent drop and pip, the "Amsterdam Lofje", characteristic of spoons and forks from Amsterdam. The forks have no engraving or monograms. All the forks have makers mark HK in script for Hendrik Kamerlingh II, who worked between 1730 and 1776, and Amsterdam town mark (crown above 3 crosses). The 6th fork has makers mark HO for Hendrik Overhulsman, who worked between 1790 and 1811, also with Amsterdam town mark. All 6 makers and town marks are slightly squashed, this is usual on 18th century bottom marked flatware as the spoon maker would have re-hammered the stems after return from the assay office, as the stem would bulge when the marks were struck. All 6 forks have an additional hallmark, V in shield under a crown, this is a Dutch tax mark used...
An interesting 17th century style silver notched 2 pronged fork, a replica of the earliest known English table fork. The fork has 3 notches at the top of the stem, a rare feature seen occasionally on puritan spoons. The original, made in 1632, is known as the Manners Fork, and is in the V&A museum in London. The original belonged to the Rutland family of Haddon Hall, and has the crest of John Manners, 8th Earl of Rutland. This fork is a good gauge, very pleasing to use, we tested it on cold meats and olives! The hallmarks are excellent, and include makers mark FH for Francis Howard, the firm worked between 1900 and 1986. The fork comes in it's original box, with label "V.K. Chapman, Jeweller & Silversmith, 104 South St, St. Andrews", A real talking point for your dinner table. This fork is identical to S 1568 which we have already sold, made 2 years later.