An early 18th century Dutch miniature silver tea kettle, made in Amsterdam in 1737 by Frederik van Strant II, son of Frederik van Strant, who also specialized in silver miniatures. The kettle is baluster shape, with S shaped spout, and original domed lid with baluster finial. The handle is twisted silver wire in a rope design. The hallmarks are very clear, and include Amsterdam town mark and date letter C for 1737, and makers mark F over FS within a circular punch, for Frederik van Strant the Younger. Both father and son specialised exclusively in silver toys, and are one of the 3 great families, alongside the van Geffens and van Somerwils, who characterised the "Golden Age" of Dutch silver miniature toys. Frederik van Strant II worked between 1727 and 1754.
A rare Chinese Export silver tablefork, in the Fiddle pattern, with excellent hallmarks, they could not be better. The hallmarks include pseudo sterling lion, pseudo crowned leopard's head, makers mark "YS" and pseudo Georgian duty mark. Yatshing silver is always "of a high standard" (www.chineseexportsilver.com), this fork is no exception.
A lovely 18th century Dutch silver miniature teapot, with an interesting inverted pear shape, scrolling handle, S shaped spout and baluster finial. The foot is banded, the base is concave so the hallmarks have been perfectly preserved. It is quite heavy and well made, a pleasure to hold. The hallmarks include makers mark of a hunting horn in a heart, under a crown, for Johannes van Geffen (1766-1798), grandson of Arnoldus van Geffen. The makers mark overstrikes the date letter, but sufficient can be seen to determine it is Y for 1783, given the shape it could not be any other date letter. The Amsterdam town mark is clearly visible. The van Geffens were one of the 3 great families of Dutch miniature silver makers (Houart, Miniature Silver Toys).
An early Cape silver tablespoon, in the Hanoverian pattern (with turned up end). The pip at the top of the stem is very pronounced, sufficient that the spoon can "hang" from a finger!. This spoon also has a very unusual "fat" drop, also with a pronounced pip, we have not seen this feature before. This probably indicates the spoon was made early on in Schmidt's career. The spoon has makers mark DHS for Daniel Heinrich Schmidt, described by Heller (History of Cape Silver) as the Cape's "Greatest Silversmith". This spoon is extremely good quality, it is pleasing to hold. The second mark is the bunch of grapes used by Schmidt.
Schmidt was originally a soldier and sword cutler from Germany, he arrived in the Cape in 1768 with the VOC (Dutch East India Company). He worked until 1811 (Welz, Cape Silver, pg 139).
A rare 18th century Dutch silver miniature kettle, by Arnoldus van Geffen, the most famous of all the Dutch silver miniature makers. The kettle is circular with an S shaped spout and baluster finial, and has a swing handle, with lovely detail. An almost identical kettle, with a slightly less detailed handle, is pictured in the book "Miniature Silver Toys, Victor Houart, pg 51". This kettle, which is in the V&A museum in London, was also made by Arnoldus van Geffen in 1748. The same kettle is also pictured in "Silver Toys and Miniatures" by Miranda Poliakoff, pg 23, a V&A museum publication. The hallmarks are very clear, and include makers mark for Arnoldus van Geffen, a hunting horn in a heart. The Amsterdam town mark (crown above 3 crosses)is also present, alongside date letter capital Y for either 1733 or 1758 - these marks are very clear. Arnoldus van Geffen, who worked between 1728 and 1769, has been described as "the undisputed world leader in the field of miniature silverware" by Victor Houart, "Miniatu...
A rare set of early Scottish Provincial tablespoons from Aberdeen, in the Old English pattern. The spoons all have engraved initial "P", which is contemporary. The spoons are early, and have a double drop. The spoons have pleasing dimensions, and are a good weight. The hallmarks include makers mark "AT" in script for Alexander Thompson, who worked between 1770 and 1779 in Aberdeen. The second mark is "ABD.n" in script, for Aberdeen (see Jackson pg 584). All 8 spoons are hallmarked, but some hallmarks have been slightly compressed during shaping of the spoons, and some are lightly struck or worn. Alexander Thompson was apprenticed to Coline Allan (one of Aberdeen's finest silversmiths), he was free in 1770, but unfortunately died young in 1779. He made very high quality spoons (Michael Wilson, Aberdeen Silver, A Collectors Guide, pg 32, which is a book we highly recommend).
A delightful antique silver chamber candlestick, used for lighting one to bed. The chamberstick has a circular drip tray, and an attractive handle with reeded decoration. It has an original conical snuffer, which slots into the sconce, and removable nozzle, which made it easier to clean melted wax. Both the chamberstick and snuffer have a matching family crest of a stags head. The chamber candlestick was made by the important makers Wakelin & Taylor, Royal Goldsmiths who made a great deal of silver for the Prince of Wales, they also produced for the King. The snuffer and removable nozzle were made in 1799 ad 1801 by Joseph Taconet and William Stroud respectively, it was not unusual for the smaller items to be made by other makers. Given the matching crest on snuffer and chamberstick, we believe these to be original. The hallmarks are clear on all 3 pieces. The Wakelin and Taylor makers mark, complete with Fleur de Lys (Grimwade 1764) is excellent, this piece also has the rare incuse duty mark, only used in 17...
A Chinese Export (or China Trade silver) silver tablespoon, with excellent pseudo hallmarks. The spoon is Fiddle pattern, and has an attractive and well engraved family crest, a Lion's head erased, which is contemporary. The hallmarks include pseudo sterling lion, pseudo crowned leopard's head, date letter "C', and pseudo Georgian duty mark. We have tentatively ascribed these marks to Cutshing, we would welcome other opinions. These marks are typical of the pseudo English marks deliberately created by Chinese silversmiths, for the export market. Cutshing are "widely recognised as producing some of the finest silver from the early China Trade period (1785-1840)" - www.chinese-export-silver.com, article on Cutshing.
A rare Scottish Provincial silver soup ladle, made in Banff by John Keith. This is a beautiful ladle, long and elegant, it is also very substantial, a pleasure to use. The ladle is Old English, and has a contemporary engraved initial "M". The ladle also has an unusual drop, bowl shaped with a ridge. The hallmarks include makers mark "IK" for John Keith, capital letter "B" (thought to represent Banff), and capital letter "M" (used by Keith , possibly to represent a date letter). The hallmarks are clearly legible, but the bottom left of both the "B" and "M" mark is not visible, probably as a result of not being well struck. We have dated this ladle to circa 1790, so early on in Keiths career.
A delightful 18th century Dutch silver miniature chocolate pot, by Hendrik Duller. The pot is pear shaped, sits on 3 feet, and has a turned wooden handle at right angles to the pouring spout. The removable lid fits snugly, the stirrer is missing. An identical chocolate pot, also by Hendrik Duller, is pictured on pg 67 of "Miniature Silver Toys" by Victor Houart, which is described as "a wonderful pear shaped chocolate pot on 3 feet in the form of volutes, with wooden handle at right angles to spout" (pg 76). This pot is in the V&A museum, and is also depicted on pg 27 of "Silver Toys and Miniatures" by Miranda Poliakoff, a V&A museum publication. Houart also describes Hendrik Duller as "the last great specialist in the field", pg 76. The hallmarks include makers mark HD, Amsterdam town mark and a date letter that is only partially visible. The date letter could be C, G, O or Q, so either 1787, 1791, 1797 or 1799. Hendrik Duller worked between 1776 and 1811. An almost identical miniature chocolate pot, Hendrik...
An interesting antique silver wine label, marked "Curacao". The label is triangular in shape, with wavy top, and a zig-zag engraved border. 'Curacao" is hand engraved, indicating the label's age, it adds considerable charm to the label. Curacao is a bitter orange flavoured liqueur from the Caribbean island of Curacao, still produced today (Grand Marnier is an example). It was popular in the 19th century, Curacao silver wine labels have been recorded between 1804 and 1892 (Wine Labels, 1730 - 2003, John Salter). The label is unmarked, but we believe it to be Swedish, or possibly French, due to its shape and style. A series of 4 very similar Swedish labels, by Hans Lyberg of Borus (1806 - 1848), is depicted in the book "Wine Labels, 1730-2003, John Salter, pg 370-371, number 1411-1413 ad 1426. Swedish labels were generally unmarked before 1900. 3 Similar French labels, pg 354 (1347-1349) are also shown in the book above, but our preference is Swedish origin (comments welcome, thanks). The Wine label book we des...
A rare Cape silver Basting (or serving) spoon, by the Cape's "Greatest Silversmith" Daniel Heinrich Schmidt, as described by Heller in History of Cape Silver. The spoon is Hanoverian in style, with a very pronounced "turn up" end, almost 90 degrees to the spoon handle, a strong pip and a rib on the front of the handle. The spoon also has a double drop, and the stem changes from rounded to flattened. The spoon is a very good guage, with solid bowl and strong tip, very suitable for use. The hallmarks include makers mark HNS (mark 174 and 175 in Welz, Cape Silver) and a bunch of grapes. This was described as an unknown maker by Welz, but it is now accepted that this is the mark of Daniel Schmidt, with some wear and damage to the punch so the D looks more like an H (see Welz marks 108 and 109). The presence of the bunch of grapes, identical to that used by Schmidt, confirms this. The only other Cape silversmith to use a bunch of grapes was Jan Lotter, his bunch is quite distinctly different. Further confirmation ...
A Scottish provincial toddy ladle in the Old English pattern, with circular bowl and a long, elegant, curving handle. The ladle is engraved with script initials AP, which are contemporary. The hallmarks include makers mark DM struck twice, either side of the Dundee town mark, a "Pot of Lilies". The pot of lilies is the arms of the burgh of Dundee (Jackson pg 598), the pot has 2 handles, clearly visible here. The hallmarks are clear, with slight wear to the lilies at the top of the mark. David Manson worked between 1809 and 1818, his work is quite rare.
A beautiful Irish Georgian silver sugar tongs, with bright cut engraving, Irish "Star" and shell style bowl. The tongs also have a well engraved Lions head family crest in one of the cartouches on the side. No initials are engraved on the bow. The tongs are very good quality, as you would expect from Irish Georgian silver. The tongs have 3 hallmarks, crowned harp for Dublin in rectangular punch with cut corners (used 1793-1809), makers mark JD in script in oval punch, and Hibernian duty mark. No date letter is present, as is usual on Georgian silver tongs (Hodges, Georgian Silver Sugar Tongs, pg 198). John Daly worked between 1786 and 1809, from the style of the tongs we place them circa 1795. Irish tongs by Daly are probably rare, as they were not recorded by Hodges in the book described above.
An interesting set of 4 Scottish silver dessert spoons in the Old English pattern, made by a highly regarded silversmith, Patrick Robertson. The spoons are bottom marked, and are engraved with a floral device. The hallmarks are excellent, including makers mark "PR" for Patrick Robertson, which is well struck. Robertson had a long and distinguished career, he worked between 1751 and 1790. He was born in 1729, and was apprenticed to Edward Lothian in 1743. He was Deacon in 1755 and 1765, and was a member of the Royal Company of Archers. He was related to the architect Robert Adam ("Silver Made in Scotland", Dalgleish and Fothringham).
An extremely rare early Georgian silver teapot, made in 1737 by Richard Zouch, who was clearly a master craftsman. The teapot is fluted, made with 64 individual strips of silver, which gives the teapot a very attractive look and feel. The 64 strips alternate between rounded and flat, giving the teapot a lovely look and feel. The teapot is quite small, as is usual for this period, when tea was still an expensive commodity. The spout is straight, as is usual for teapots between 1725 and 1740, when they became curved. The finial is an ivory disk, the lid has the same fluted pattern as the body, but is made from a single piece of silver. The handle is turned fruitwood, C shaped with a thumb piece for easy pouring. The teapot has a circular raised foot, which has protected the hallmarks, which are excellent. The makers mark RZ under acorn is very clear (Grimwade 2464), which was used by Zouch between 1734 and 1739. The lid is unmarked. Richard Zouch was freed in 1737, he worked from Chequer Court in Charing Cross...
A very pleasing pair of Scottish Provincial silver sugar tongs, by David Gray of Dumfries. The tongs are plain but have lovely proportions, which are noticeably different from English made tongs. The hallmarks are excellent, unicorn, makers mark DG, and fouled anchor. This combination of marks is unusual and is not recorded by either Jackson (pg 597) or by Turner (Directory of Scottish Provincial Silversmiths). The tongs are engraved with script initials EB, which is original.
A Cape silver basting (or serving) spoon in the Fiddle pattern, by Willem Godfried Lotter, one of the members of the famous Lotter family of Cape silversmiths. The spoon is engraved with initials CIT in fancy script, this is original. This is a good solid spoon, very suitable for use, the bowl is a good gauge and the tip is excellent. The hallmarks are clear, and consist of makers mark WGL between 2 diamond devices (actually square with a cross in the middle), mark 89 in Cape Silver by Stephan Welz. Willem Lotter worked between 1810 and 1835, his work is represented in the Paarl musuem. David Heller (History of Cape Silver) regarded Lotter as one of the top Cape silversmiths.
A set of 4 Scottish Provincial silver teaspoons in the Celtic pointed pattern, by James Douglas of Dundee. The spoons have original script initials BS. The hallmarks include makers mark ID for James Douglas, followed by a crowned shield and topped heart, used by Douglas (Turner, Directory of Scottish Provincial Silver, pg 62). The hallmarks are clear, especially the topped heart mark, which is in an unusually shaped punch, almost heart shaped. James Douglas worked in Dundee between 1796 and 1820.
A Georgian Scottish silver Kings pattern basting spoon, with matching tablespoon. Both spoons are single struck, as is usual with Scottish flatware, and are engraved with initials H in fancy script, on the back of the spoons. These are lovely, substantial spoons, very suitable for use as serving spoons. The basting spoon is by Alexander Wotherspoon (1834), the tablespoon is by unknown maker WS, 1830. Both have excellent hallmarks.