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Silver Boxes and Vinaigrettes
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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...

Dutch Silver Lodereindoosje / Vinaigrette -Amsterdam 1809
Heart under device, Amsterdam 1809
$ 310.00

An antique Dutch silver lodereindoosje, made in Amsterdam in 1809. The english translation would be vinaigrette, pomander of scent box. The box is in the form of an armoire (kabinet) in traditional shape, with domed lid and shaped doors, decorated with swags and urns, with drawers in the base. The sides and lid are decorated with traditional Dutch scenes, the lid a man with angel alongside tree and horse, the back with a couple in horse drawn cart, and the sides with women churning butter and carrying milk. The base has original owners engraved initials P.V.I., nicely engraved. The hallmarks on the base are clear, and include date letter b for 1809, Amsterdam town mark of 3 crosses without crown (only used between 1807 and 1812 during Kingdom of Holland period). The 3rd mark is 10, the 10 penningen silver standard mark (833/1000), see "Netherlands Responsibility Marks from 1797" page 37, and the 4th mark is makers mark of a heart under device, this mark is slightly worn.

Cape Silver Convex Snuff Box - Johannes Combrink
Johannes Combrink, Cape 1814-1853
$ 1 500.00

An interesting Cape silver snuff box, an unusual convex shape which gives it a lovely feel in the hand and pocket. The box has a part hinged lid, as is usual with this form, with just a slight overlap creating the thumbpiece. The decoration is typically Cape, a 8 petalled flower with wrigglework border, which is extremely well preserved due to the shape of the lid. The box also has original owners engraved initials AWJP, also with wrigglework border. The hinge is also decorated with cross hatch engraving. The original gilt interior is a lemon yellow colour, and the IC makers mark struck in the lid is very clear and distinct ( Welz mark 32). Convex shaped snuff boxes, given the more challenging construction in relation to the rectangular boxes, are rare in the Cape, this demonstrates that Combrink was a master craftsman.

Antique Silver and Enamel Vesta Case - English Foxhounds
S. Blanckensee & Son, Birmingham 1909
$ 780.00

An Edwardian silver and enamel novelty vesta case, of circular form with hinged flip top lid and striker built into the base. The vesta has an applied enamel in silver rope border, featuring a pack of 8 English foxhounds, very attractively modelled with lovely colours. Vesta cases (also called matchsafes) were used to store vestas (early matches before safety matches were invested), they were very popular between 1890 and 1910.

Georgian Parcel Gilt Silver Purse/ Handbag Vinaigrette - Ledsam & Vale
Ledsam & Vale, Birmingham 1820
$ 1 550.00

An interesting silver gilt Georgian vinaigrette, in the shape of a purse or handbag, the body decorated with chased 3 leaf device, which has been described as a trefoil design in the literature. The shape is lovely, very pleasing to hold, and with the texture has good grip. The quality is excellent, certainly made by a master craftsman. The base has a leaf design around oval eye. The lid is also beautifully decorated, a central flower on finely engraved cross-hatch surrounded by pattern border, and the side of the lid has a fruiting vine border, very delicately chased. The vinaigrette has 2 eyelets which holds the original chain, each chain link is also decorated with a bar pattern. The pierced grille has a foliate design, also engraved, both hinges are perfect. The interior gilding is also perfect. The vinaigrette has clear hallmarks, the lid has Georgian duty mark, very clear makers mark L&Co which is struck upside-down, and lion passant. The base has anchor town mark, partially worn makers mark and a very ...

Dutch Silver Lodereindoosje / Vinaigrette - He. Dat Is Lief - Adrianus Kiujlenburg, Schoonhoven
Adrianus Kuijlenburg, Schoonhoven 1816
$ 940.00

An antique Dutch silver gilt vinaigrette (zilveren lodereindoosje) in the form of an armoire (kabinet). These have also been described as pomanders, scent boxes, and also incorrectly described as snuff boxes and peppermint boxes. The box has a curved shaped front, and the back panel has the impressed words "HE. DAT IS LIEF", translated He that is love", so probably presented as a love token. The armoire has frontal doors with floral decoration, and 3 drawers below, the back and side panels also have floral decoration. The lid has an oval panel with seated figure of justice holding sword and scales, surrounded by a wreath. The base is engraved with original owners initials T:V:V, the base also has a clear makers mark of AK under flower (Adrianus Kuijlenburg of Schoonhoven, 1812 -1816, see Nederlands Responsibility Marks since 1797 no 897). The lid has a Minerva head office mark (duty mark), and the box interior rim has the Lion Passant 2nd purity for 833 grade silver and date letter G for 1816. Loderein comes...

Edwardian Silver Spring Loaded Pocket Stamp Case
Saunders and Shepherd, Birmingham 1901
$ 390.00

An Edwardian silver pocket stamp case, with a spring loaded interior for holding stamps in place. The case is rectangular, with an engine turned design with vacant circular cartouche for initials or family crest, and ring attachment for attachment to an Albert chain. The interior is gilded, the stamp compartment is also engine turned. The case, lid and stamp compartment are all hallmarked. Saunders & Shepherd are a well known firm, first established in 1869 by Cornelius Saunders and Frank Shepherd.

Dutch Silver Lodereindoosje / Vinaigrette - Schoonhoven, Johannes Smits
Johannes Jacobus Smits, Schoonhoven 1823
$ 390.00

An antique Dutch silver vinaigrette (zilveren lodereindoosje) in the form of an armoire (kabinet). These have also been described as pomanders, scent boxes, and also incorrectly described as snuff boxes and peppermint boxes. The box is rectangular in shape, with an engraved armoire, complete with drawers, it also has a pierced rim on the lid. The back is decorated with an engraved flower, while the base, sides and lid have engraved wrigglework decoration. The lid is clearly hallmarked with maker mark IS under star (makers mark 10121 in the book "Netherlands Responsibility Marks since 1797") for Johannes Jacobus Smits, who worked in Schoonhoven between 1823 and 1824. The lid also has a very clear date letter O for 1823. The rim of the box also has makers mark and Minerva head office mark (duty mark). Loderein comes from the French "l'eau de reine" translated "water of the king", as only the wealthy could afford the perfumed cologne.

Sterling Silver Double Swivel Stamp Case - Patent Applied For
Jacobs & Whitta, Birmingham 1920
$ 420.00

An interesting and practical silver double stamp case, with a twin stamp compartment that swivels into a rectangular case, for easy access and carrying. The case has an engraved linear design, and ring attachment for attachment to a Albert chain. The interior compartment swivels on a pin, has a pin and hole clasp to hold it shut, and a thumbpiece for easy opening, an ingenious design. The box is clearly hallmarked, but the makers mark J&W is worn. The box is also stamped "PAT APPd FOR 18816", which indicates the makers had applied for a patent to protect their design. One of the most practical stamp cases we have seen, we really like this box.

Georgian Silver Snuff Box - Finlayson Family
John Douglas, London 1804
$ 490.00

An interesting Georgian silver snuffbox, with Finlayson family interest. The snuff box has an engraved cross hatch design, with 2 intersecting straps, copying an early suitcase or trunk. The snuff box is curved, so would fit snugly in a pocket. The interior is gilded. The straps are very suitable for engraving, and the names of 4 different generations of Finlaysons have been engraved on this one. The 4 names include "John Finlayson Merchant, Canongate 1760, John Finlayson S.S.C. Edinburgh 1824, Thomas B. Finlayson 1862, Mary H. Finlayson 1874". The base is also engraved with owners initials AF 1833, we assume another Finlayson. The script engraving of all 4 names is different, so was engraved at different times as ownership of the box transferred. The first date precedes the age of the box, so we assume the 2nd Finlayson started the tradition. The hallmarks are clear, and include makers mark ID without pellet (Grimwade 1250), this could be John Douglas or John Death, we assume Douglas as he was a known snuf...

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".

Georgian Silver Gaming Vinaigrette
John Caney, London 1802
$ 1 250.00

A rare and interesting silver gaming vinaigrette, with a rotating disk with mounted gold arrow that points at a dial with numbers from 1 to 10. The vinaigrette is circular, with 5 sections between each numeral, the rotating disk is engraved with a radiating pattern, which adds grip to allow the disk to be rotated to the desired number. The base of the vinaigrette has an attractive engraved floral arrangement, the sides are decorated with further engraving and prick work bands. The interior grille is plain, but with a pattern of punched holes, as is common on earlier vinaigrettes. The interior is gilded, the base lemon yellow, the lid and grille a slightly darker gold colour, so possibly re-gilded. The hallmarks are clear, on both the base and the lid, the grille has no hallmarks. The hallmarks include makers mark IC in rectangular punch without dot, we have tentatively ascribed to John Caney (Grimwade 1218), as his mark has no dot and he was a small worker of the period (registered 1800). Unfortunately the ...

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).

Two Victorian Silver Vinaigrettes - Edward Smith, Cronin & Wheeler
Edward Smith, Cronin & Wheeler, Birmingham 1845 and 1846
$ 820.00

Two Victorian silver vinaigrettes, both very similar in shape and design, reflecting the style of the time. Both are oval in shape with a wavy rim, concave sides, both have engine turned engraving, and both have vacant cartouche (for initials or family crest). Both also have an ornate floral grille, and both are gilded. Both also have clear hallmarks on both base and lid, the grille on the Smith example is also hallmarked. The first, by Edward Smith 1845, has an attractive snake shaped thumb piece, the base design is distinctly different from the cover design. The second still has its original sponge. Edward Smith was a specialist boxmaker, he worked between 1827 and 1865. James Cronin and Sarah & George Wheeler worked between 1846 and 1852 from St Pauls Square, Birmingham.

Victorian Silver Triple Stamp Box
George Unite & Sons, Birmingham 1900
$ 840.00

A rare Victorian silver triple stamp box, one of the nicer ones we have see. The box is rectangular with concave sides, and is on four ball feet, the hinged lid has a sliding insert with glass top, to enable stamps to be placed in the lid. The interior is gilded, and has 3 compartments for 3 different denomination stamps, with 2 original wooden curved inserts, to easily slide a stamp out. It is quite a substantial, well made box, it would have been an expensive item when new. The box is clearly hallmarked, the lid and sliding insert are hallmarked as well. George Unite was established in 1825, Unite apprenticed with Joseph Willmore, he died in 1896, the business was continued by his sons.

Two Georgian Silver Miniature Vinaigrettes - Joseph Willmore
Joseph Willmore, Birmingham 1813 and 1821
$ 980.00

Two Georgian silver vinaigrettes, both very small in size, and both by Joseph Willmore. They are very attractive and dainty, less than half the size of most vinaigrettes, we love these boxes. The first (1813) is lozenge shaped, the concave base fits beautifully around the thumb, it is a delight to hold. The cover is engraved with flowers and prick work surrounding initials THC, the base has a different floral engraving. The grille is plain, the interior gilding and hallmarks are excellent. including JW makers mark in circular serrated punch, his first mark used between 1797 and 1834. The second (1821) is rectangular with canted corners, the cover engraved with an attractive wavy pattern around a vacant cartouche, the base with an engraved flower. The grille is also plain, the hallmarks are good, on both lid, base and grille. The corners have some oxidation, but it does not detract. Joseph Willmore, who worked between 1797 and 1843, is described by Eric Delieb as "a superlative silversmith, who produced some o...

Antique Silver Vinaigrette
Ledsam & Vale, Birmingham 1821
$ 270.00

A delightful silver vinaigrette, one of the smaller ones we have seen. The vinaigrette is decorated with an attractive, irregular pattern, and has a vacant cartouche. The grill is plain, with a light yellow gilding, the interior of the box has a lovely reddy gold gilding. The hallmarks are clear, and include Georgian duty mark, makers mark L&Co (Jackson pg 355), sterling lion, anchor town mark for Birmingham, and date letter X for 1821.The grill is also hallmarked with a lion, before the holes were stamped. The vinaigrette was an essential fashion accessory at the beginning of the 19th century, it contained scented vinegar on a sponge, used "to restore the sickly back to vigorous health" (Helliwell, Collecting small silverware, pg 148). Ledsam and Vale (1818-1826) are highly regarded makers, they were joined by Wheeler in 1826.

Georgian Silver Vinaigrette
John Bettridge, Birmingham 1837
$ 280.00

An attractive and dainty Georgian silver vinaigrette of very small dimensions, definitely made for a lady. It is engraved with a Scottish thistle on the base, and has a plain but decorative grill. The lid has a tiny cartouche surrounded by leaves in an oval design, the engraving is pretty but a bit chunky. The gilded grill has an unusual pierced pattern, done by hand, and the original sponge is still present. The hallmarks are very clear on both the lid and base, the grill is also hallmarked. Poole (Identifying Antique British Silver) identifies Bettridge working between 1817 and 1834, as this box is 1837 those dates must be considered erroneous. Bettridge is known for his fine quality silver boxes.

Tiffany Sterling Silver Card Case - Italy
Tiffany & Co, Italy C 1930
$ 780.00

A gorgeous Tiffany silver card case, with a very attractive and unusual fan shaped textured pattern, with dark and light bands radiating from the clasp. The surface is also textured, with lines and tiny hand hammered bumps radiating out in the same pattern. The hinge is spring loaded, and the clasp is a joy, superbly crafted with a satisfying click on closure. The interior is highly polished, giving a mirror like effect. The case is exceptional quality, clearly the work of a master craftsman. The original purpose of the case is unclear, it is too small for cigarettes (although it could hold the smaller hand made variety), it could also have been a compact. It is ideal for business cards, and could also accommodate photographs. The hallmarks are clear, "Tiffany & Co, 925 Sterling Italy", made during a time when Tiffany employed Italian craftsmen. With its wonderful quality, texture and pattern, this case is a joy to handle, you become reluctant to put it down!

Cape Silver Snuffbox
Jacobus Johannes Vos, Cape C 1851
$ 1 050.00

A charming Cape silver snuffbox, retangular in form, and quite small in size. It is decorated with typically Cape engraving, generally a crude series of lines and dots. The cover is quite unusual, having a central shield cartouche (engraved "MMM Le R 1851") surrounded by 2 Scottish thistles - this design is very rare on Cape silver. The surname "Le R" (possibly Le Roux?) is probably French Huguenot in origin, the Scottish thistles are a mystery. The sides of the box have a zig-zag design, the base a blank rectangular design. The interior is gilded, and the base of the interior has an engraved sunburst design. The hallmarks are on the rim of the lid, and consist of makers initials JJV surrounded by 2 acorn devices (Welz mark 159). They are quite small but clear and well struck, but given the location difficult to see. JJ Vos was one of the last 2 surviving Cape Silversmiths, he worked between 1841 and 1882 (Welz).

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