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.
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.
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!
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).
A delightful Hanau silver box, the lid and sides decorated with embossed panels, including bowl of flowers, musical instruments, laurel wreath and claret jug, complete with goblet and grapes. The panels are bordered with a floral leaf design. The interior of the box is gilt. The box has a very clear set of Hanau pseudo hallmarks, which have been described as amongst the "most difficult and confusing area of silver hallmark study", as the marks were never registered and no records exist. The marks include pseudo crowned leopards head (Scheffler 538), pseudo lion passant (Scheffler 540) and pseudo dolphin (Scheffler 534). The small mark is genuine, being the Austro-Hungarian mark for imported articles between 1901 and 1921 (Tardy, pg 75). The mark, which also appears on the lid, has a capital B, indicating the city of Lienz. The Hanau silversmiths specialised in antique reproductions, generally of very good quality, so much so they often exhibited at international expositions. Gebruder Dingeldein was founded i...
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).
Interesting double lidded snuffbox with trellis and diaper engraving and a crest, by well known silversmiths. Both the box and both lids are clearly hallmarked.
A beautiful barley twist perfume bottle with gilt interior. The original glass stopper is in perfect condition. This bottle has a lovely feel in one's hand.
Gilt, engine turned vinaigrette with original sponge and very good hinge. Engraved "J Lang, 1835". Grille has flowers set amongst scrolling foliage.
A magnificent silver gilt snuffbox, with a cast panel of a scene from Greek mythology, showing Hebe, Goddess of Youth, feeding Jupiter (disguised as an eagle) with Ambrosia, the nectar of eternal youth. Hebe, or Juventas in Latin, was the cup bearer to the Gods, responsible for feeding them "Heavens Wine" to provide immortality. The box is engine turned, and has a flower head thumb pull. This box is of outstanding quality, and is heavy and has a pleasing feel. Hallmarks are very clear.
A very typical Cape snuff box, relatively crude in comparison to its English counterparts. Rectangular, rounded corners, bright cut wrigglework enclosing initials ECP, gadrooned thumbpiece. Interior has gilt remnants. Very clear makers mark.
Beautiful, solid, engine turned box with vacant cartouche. Excellent hinge and very snug closure. This box is a very good weight and slightly larger than other snuffboxes. Attractive thumbpiece and gilt interior.
A collectable castle-top vinaigrette depicting Kenilworth castle, by the famous maker Nathaniel Mills. The pierced grill has scrolling foliage, the base is engine turned and engraved "Ernest". The hallmarks are clear, on both lid and base. We previously incorrectly identified this castle as Warwick castle.
A silver "two-cigar" case, with Boer War inscription "Dr Kellner, from a Grateful "Australian" Patient, Bloemfontein, 1900". The Australian is in inverted comma's. The case is well made, good quality and gauge, and quite solid. The interior is gilded, and the hallmarks are clear on both sides of the case. H. Matthews was a large and well known Birmingham firm. Bloemfontein was the capital of the Orange Free State, and was surrendered to the British on 13 March 1900. Thirty thousand British troops entered Bloemfontein, and thanks to poor sanitation a typhoid epidemic broke out, which caused hundreds if not thousands of deaths. Doctors (who included Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) were in short supply, with 3 doctors per 350 patients (Pakenham, The Boer War, pg 382) - which no doubt led to the generosity of our unnamed "Australian". Today Bloemfontein hospital is on Kellner Street, we are not sure if there is a connection.
A truly stunning Nathaniel Mills gilt vinaigrette, slightly larger than average. The box is gilt with scrolling foliate decoration, and has the initials JL engraved on the lid. The grille is beautiful, with intricate flowers and scrolling vegetation. The inscription is engraved on an inserted plate (which covers the date stamp) and reads "Presented to Dr Lamprey as a token of gratitude for his kind and unremitting attention to the Rev.d Dr Fraill during his last illness 21 April 1847".
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 collectable silver Castle-Top card case, depicting the Royal Exchange in high relief, by the famous Nathaniel Mills. This castle-top is very fine quality, the relief design stands out 1 cm from the case, and the detail is superb.The case is finely chased with flowers, leaves and C scrolls, and the rear cartouche is monogrammed MRI. The cartouche is a old replacement - a new cartouche has been cut out and added, to accommodate the initials of a new owner. This has been well done and does not detract.
The Royal Exchange is situated in London next to the Bank of England. It was opened for trading by Queen Victoria in 1845, this case was probably made to commemorate the opening. The Royal Exchange still exists today, but is now a luxury shopping centre. The hallmarks and makers marks are clear
A large size enamel silver engine turned cigarette case, depicting a scantily clad 1940's pin-up girl. The interior is gilt, and is engraved "Brian from Mamie 19th December 1950". Hallmarks are clear, including "Made in England", both sides are hallmarked, even the clasp has a .925 hallmark. W.T. Toghill & Co worked between 1927 and 1951.
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.
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 ...