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 ...
A magnificent silver gilt snuffbox with a superb finely detailed battle scene. The gilding on the battle scene has different tones, the base has a deeper rich red tinge, this fades to a lighter yellow gold colour in the sky. The box is exceptional quality and a pleasing weight. The sides and rim are richly decorated with cast flowers and thistles, which leads us to believe it is possibly a Scottish battle scene (we welcome opinions!). The battle is being fought with swords, battleaxes, lances, shields, armour and horses, no sign of firearms. The detail includes a castle in the background, flags, finely detailed armour and armorials on the shield - the work of a master craftsman. The base is engine turned, and has a blank cartouche. The interior lid is engraved "Presented to Thomas Ogilvy Esqr, by the New Quay Company of Manchester, as a mark of their gratitude, for his great attention & trouble as arbiter, in the investigation of the disputed claim, made on them by Messrs Francis Philips & Sons, 1829". The en...
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...
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
A very fine silver samorodok cigarette case, of extremely good quality. Samorodok is a technique that produces a beautifully textured nugget like effect on the surface, that resembles tree bark. It is achieved by heating the silver to a temperature just below melting point, then cooling it abruptly in water. It is a very difficult technique to master, so samorodok is quite rare. Most examples extant today are of Russian origin, many by notable makers like Faberge. The case was produced in Turku, Finland, in 1955, by the makers M&N (we welcome assistance with identification of this makers mark). Turku is a medieval city, noted for its fine goldsmiths, and is Finland's oldest city. The hallmarks are clear, makers mark, Finland National mark, 813H purity mark, Turku town mark, and date letter B7 for 1955. We have been advised that makers mark M&N is for Miettinen & Nurmi, established 1945. They changed their name to Turun Hopea in the late 1960's.
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 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 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!
Lovely Nathaniel Mills cigar case with a beautifully engraved hunting scene, a dog chasing two grouse. The entire case is engraved with scrolls, and the cartouche is engraved "Carole". Hallmarks on the lid and base are very clear.
Gilt, engine turned vinaigrette with original sponge and very good hinge. Engraved "J Lang, 1835". Grille has flowers set amongst scrolling foliage.
A beautiful silvergilt engine turned snuffbox with a chocolate brown agate (mocha agate) set in a rim of chased flowers, by a silversmith well known for his boxes. This box has a lovely weight and a pleasing feel.
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".