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English Provincial
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17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
Thomas Dare II, Taunton C 1660-1680
$ 3 600.00

A very interesting West Country Provincial Apostle spoon, made by Thomas Dare II of Taunton. The Apostle has a circular nimbus with flying dove, the modelling is slightly crude (for example facial features not very distinct), his right hand is higher than his left, he appears to be holding something stretching between both hands, possibly the bat of St James, but this could also be a fold in his robe. He stands on the usual pedestal, and retains a pleasing amount of the original gilding. The join is flat (as opposed to London made V joint spoons), as is usual for provincial spoons, the stem is flat front and back but has rounded edges. It joins to the bowl with a small crude rat-tail, the bowl is the traditional fig shape, with deep bowl and strong curve from stem. This Apostle could also be St Matthew or St John, but safest to describe it as a generic Apostle spoon with no coherant emblem. The spoon is struck 4 times with makers mark TD in shaped shield over Fleur De Lys (M 38 in Tim Kent's book "West Count...

17th Century Provincial Seal Top Spoon - Taunton
Unknown, West Country, probably Taunton C 1640
$ 1 950.00

A provincial silver Seal Top spoon, with an acanthus baluster seal top, which is probably a Taunton casting. The seal top is well made, and has remnants of gilding throughout, especially in the recessed areas. The stem is flattened hexagonal, and the bowl is the traditional fig shape, and it has a small rat-tail . The seal top has remnants of prick engraving, some pricks clearly visible, but not enough to read what was engraved. The spoon bowl itself is the traditional shape, with deep bowl, curving down from the stem. The spoon is struck 3 times by the same makers mark, once in the bowl and twice on the stem. The marks are not very clear, either they are worn or more probably struck with a worn punch. The punch has a rough shield shape with irregular edge, with a trifid top edge (Poole, Identifying British Silver, punch shapes, pg 15). The figure in the punch has a smaller roughly circular shape on top of a larger circular shape, our imagination runs to a crown over rose, piece of fruit or even a bird (with ...

Plymouth Early Georgian Silver Brandy Saucepan - Richard Freeman, Exeter   
Richard Freeman, Exeter 1727

A rare early Georgian silver brandy saucepan or warmer, made in 1727 in Plymouth by Richard Freeman, and hallmarked in Exeter. The brandy saucepan is the traditional baluster shape, with a short beak shaped spout at right angles to the handle, with decorative silver ball underneath, and a concave base which has preserved the hallmarks. The turned wooden handle is securely fastened with a brass pin, the silver handle has a tear-drop shaped reinforcing plate where it connects to the pan. The handle has a thumb sized slice out of the wood on the side, we assume done by the original owner to improve the grip. The hallmarks are excellent, and include makers mark R.F in shaped shield (makers mark M50 in the book "West Country Silver Spoons and their makers 1550-1750", by Tim Kent, page 90, where he describes Freeman of Plymouth as "a prolific local goldsmith whose career extended over 50 years" (1701-1753). He was admitted to the Freedom of Plymouth in 1719, and entered this particular mark in Exeter in 1720 (the n...

Silver Fox Menu Holders (set of 4) - Sampson Mordan   
Sampson Mordan & Co, Chester 1912

Delightful set of 4 silver fox menu holders (or place holders), of extremely high quality, by a well regarded maker. The menu holders all have the letter B engraved on the base disk. All are fully hallmarked with clear marks, including the number 9 before the makers mark. Sampson Mordan & Co had a retail shop in Regent Street, London.

Rare Provincial Seal Top Spoon, Taunton - Salisbury Group A Finial   
John Smith II, Taunton 1661

A rare west country seal top silver spoon, with a Salisbury Group A finial. The seal top is prick engraved "E.B over T.B, 1661", indicating the celebration of a marriage. The bowl is fig shaped, and the stem is tapered and faceted. A small rat-tail connects the bowl to the stem. The seal top join is clearly visible at the back of the spoon, a horizontal join, as opposed to V joint seen on London spoons. The seal top is a decorative baluster casting, of substantial size, decorated with scrolls and gadrooning. This has been described by Tim Kent as a "Salisbury Group A" (Salisbury Silver and its Makers, 1550-1700, Silver Society Journal 3), where similar examples are illustrated on page 16. Kent has recognised that many West Country seal tops of the period were made by one silversmith who specialised in seal top castings, and who distributed them to the silversmiths of the area. Kent also identifies John Smith II as one of the silversmiths who used these (he cites an example of a Salisbury type B found on a sea...

Antique York Silver Tableforks (set of 12) - Hampston & Prince   
Hampston & Prince, York 1789-1794

An interesting and rare set of 11 York Georgian silver Old English pattern tableforks, by the York makers Hampston & Prince, with a matching London tablefork. All 12 forks have the same engraved monogram HWT which is original. The forks consist of 4 dated 1789 (date letter C), 4 dated 1793 (date letter g), 3 dated 1794 (date letter h), and the London example dated 1809 by Robert Rutland, a spoonmaker. The forks have lovely balance and shape, very elegant, with long tines and a strong turn-ups at the end of the forks. The London fork matches well but has shorter tines, possibly from wear, what is interesting is that the 11 York forks are noticeably better quality (and weight) than the London example, which has an old repair on one tine (this goes against conventional wisdom that London made flatware is better quality than provincial - we feel this proves the opposite). The hallmarks are excellent, and demonstrate that many different punches were in operation at the York office at the same time, and that stand...

Victorian Silver Double Lidded Twin Stamp Box   
Cohen & Charles, Chester 1900

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).

Sampson Mordan Antique Silver Owl Menu Holders (set of 4)   
Sampson Mordan & Co, Chester 1906

A lovely set of 4 Sampson Mordan menu holders (or place holders), modelled as owls, with original glass eyes. The owls are delightful, with lovely detail, and are set on circular silver bases. All 4 owls are fully hallmarked, with very clear hallmarks, including makers mark SM&Co. The owls also have an original design registration number, RD433091, and are also stamped with the number 14. Sampson Mordan produced a vast range of good quality personal and novelty trinkets, very innovative at the time, including pencils, bottles and cases (Bexfield, Millers Guide to Silver and Plate, pg 286). Owls were a favourite theme, they appear as bookmarks, scent bottles, vesta cases and of course menu holders.

Victorian Silver & Enamel Vesta Case - Beefeater, Tower of London   
Charles Lyster & Son, Chester 1900

A lovely antique silver and enamel vesta case, with an oval enamel plaque depicting a Beefeater (Yeoman Warder) of the Tower of London. The Beefeater is wearing Tudor State Dress, the colours are vibrant and the detail is good. The vesta case is rectangular, decorated with scrolling foliage, it has a safety suspension loop attached to the lid. The interior is gilded, this is a good quality case. The hallmarks are clear, including sword and wheatsheaves town mark for Chester. Charles Lyster & Son used the Chester assay office between 1899 and 1902, then switched to Spencer Street, Birmingham between 1903 and 1911 (perhaps linked to a change in location). The Yeoman Warders, commonly called Beefeaters, are the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London. They were established in 1485 as Royal Guards, the Beefeater name is thought to derive from the large ration of beef they were issued daily in court. They only wear the Tudor State Dress depicted on Royal occasions.

George II Provincial silver Waiter - John Kirkup, Newcastle   
John Kirkup, Newcastle 1756

Early provincial waiter of good gauge and in outstanding condition. The waiter has a shell and scroll rim, lion paw feet and an interesting Stag crest. The hallmarks are exceptionally clear, even the castle windows are clear in the town mark! The base is also scratch engraved with the weight, being 7.2 oz pnt. John Kirkup assumed control of the family business in 1753 when his father dies, he retired in 1774.

Antique Sterling Silver Shoe Sugar Bowl - Miniature?, Cutler of Jersey
Nathan & Hayes, Chester 1902
$ 450.00

An antique sterling silver shoe, we hesitate to call it miniature as it is almost real size, perhaps a child's size, we assume originally intended as a sugar bowl. It is in the traditional form as silver miniature shoes, a replica of a 16th century court shoe, profusely decorated with flowers, leaves and scrolls, with a bow on the front, and shaped heel at the back. it has been well preserved in its original box (silk and velvet, a good quality box), the box reads "Cutler Jeweller Jersey". The shoe is clearly hallmarked, the hallmarks hidden in the decoration but clearly legible, the base of the heel is also hallmarked. JF Cutler was a prestigious Jeweller who operated from 2 Queen's Street (still a jeweller today trading as Goldsmiths), he is known to have been there between 1900 and 1920.

Arts & Crafts Silver Lidded Sugar or Christening Bowl - Hand Hammered   
S. Blanckensee & Son, Chester 1932

An Arts and Crafts silver sugar bowl with fitted lid, the lid has a foot and can also be used as a dish. It is a copy of an early Georgian design, circa 1735 (Miller's Silver and Plate Buyers Guide, pg 27). This is a lovely bowl, hand hammered in typical arts and crafts fashion leaving a planished finish, it is also very good quality and a pleasing weight. This would make an ideal Christening present. The Chester hallmarks are clear, the lid is also hallmarked.

Sampson Mordan Silver Thermometer Case for Chatelaine
Sampson Mordan & Co, Chester 1910
$ 420.00

A rare Sampson Mordan sterling silver thermometer case, made to be attached to a chatelaine. The case is tubular, the sliding lid also attached to the chain so it can never be lost. This is a quality item, extremely well made. The original chain is connected to the lid and body with 6 silver eyes, it also has suspension link for attachment to chatelaine. The body is plain apart from incised circles, the base and lid have a raised circular end. The base of the tube is stamped with number 13. The tube is clearly hallmarked with Chester marks for 1910, alongside worn but legible makers mark, all underneath a clear "S. MORDAN & Co". The lid is not hallmarked. The thermometer (which is not working) is marked "SM Made in China" with centigrade symbol, we assume it is not original, but are not sure if the SM could be Sampson Mordan?

Sampson Mordan Silver Hatching Chick Sugar Spoon/ Baby Feeding Spoon
Sampson Mordan & Co, Chester 1906
$ 400.00

A rare Sampson Mordan silver hatching chick spoon, it has previously been described as a baby feeding spoon, but could also be a castor sugar spoon. The hatching chick will be familiar to Sampson Mordan collectors, it is often seen as a pincushion. The detail and quality are excellent, the chick has open mouth and open eyes, and a gilded interior. The chick has an Albany pattern handle, which was a popular pattern at the turn of the 20th century (also called Queen Anne pattern by Francis Higgins). We believe this is a rare item, we have not seen it described before in the literature. We have noted another similar example that appeared on auction, this one had greenstone eyes, and was described as a baby feeding spoon - but given the gilded interior, it could have been designed for spreading castor sugar - all thoughts welcome. The spoon has clear SM&Co makers mark (this mark used between 1903-1914 by Mordan), and worn but legible hallmarks for Chester 1906 (date letter clear). The spoon also has a clear desig...

Provincial Brittania Silver Trefid Spoon - Exeter   
John Manley I, Exeter 1714

A provincial silver trefid spoon, made in Exeter in 1714. The spoon has an oval bowl, rat-tail with ribs, a flat stem and the traditionally shaped end with 2 clefts, with a slight upturn. The spoon is engraved "MH 1707" on the back of the spoon, the MH are co-joined, and the engraving is contemporary. During this period spoons were placed on the table bowl down, hence the engraving on the back. The spoon is quite light, as is often the case with provincial spoons, but in very good condition, given its age. The spoon has 5 hallmarks, makers mark MA co-joined, 3 turreted castle (Exeter town mark), Brittania (very worn), lions head erased (used in Exeter between 1701 and 1720 to denote Britannia silver, which is higher grade than Sterling), and date letter O in shield for 1714. The makers mark appears to be MA co-joined, but could also be read the other way around (?W). We now believe this to be the mark of John Manley I of Dartmouth, who entered his mark in Exeter in 1705 (See mark 86, West Country Spoons and t...

Victorian Silver Fish Servers - Sea Horses, John Stone, Exeter   
John Stone, Exeter with London hallmarks 1850

A lovely pair of Victorian silver fish servers, beautifully decorated with an unusual sea horse design (actual horses with mermaid tails). The decoration is pierced and very finely engraved. The servers consist of a fish slice and serving fork in the Fiddle, Thread and Shell pattern. The set is good quality, and has a substantial feel when used. They have been beautifully preserved in their original felt and silk lined box, we get the impression they have never been used. The box itself is intact, with hinge and clasp in full working order, but the box is a little battered and worn, with remnants of an old label on the lid - acceptable given its 160 year age. The hallmarks are well struck and very clear on both items. John Stone was a well regarded Exeter silversmith who worked between 1825 and 1867, from 30 Bridge Street, Exeter, he produced many items of flatware. He registered his mark in London in 1844 (Culme, Directory of Gold and Silversmiths, pg 436), perhaps he wanted his finer items to have London ra...

Tudor Cup (Holms Cup) Antique Silver Replica
Nathan & Hayes, Chester 1902
$ 350.00

A good quality antique silver replica of what is commonly referred to as "The Tudor Cup", which became famous when it was sold (as part of the Dunn-Gardner collection) at Christies auction in 1901 for GBP 4100, the highest price ever paid for a piece of silver at that time. John Dunn-Gardner, of Soham Manor, had a legendary collection of silver, the sale covered 6 volumes. The original cup of 1521, with scallop shell makers mark, is also known as the Holms cup, named after a previous owner. The original cup is now part of the collection of the Royal Scottish Museum, who purchased it in 1958 for GBP 9500. The museum's resources were augmented by the National Art Collection's fund, the Pilgrim Trust, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, H.M. Treasury and 2 private donors, enabling the cup to be kept in Great Britian (Ian Finlay, Silver in the Royal Scottish Museum, Connoisseur June 1959), where the original cup is pictured. The original cup is also pictured in the book "Old London Silver" by Howard (pg 100). ...

Sampson Mordan Silver Owl Menu Holders (pair)   
Sampson Mordan & Co, Chester 1905

A lovely pair of collectable Sampson Mordan silver owls, for use as place or menu holders. The owls have lovely detail, and the hallmarks are very clear on both. Each owl is lovely quality, as is usual for Mordan items. Each owl has 2 original amber glass eyes, each with a small and large pupil. Sampson Mordan became famous for producing high quality, innovative novelty items, which enjoyed wide appeal. The firm existed between 1823 and 1941.

18 Carat Gold Essex Crystal Brooch - Royal London Yacht Club   
Richard Nevill, Chester 1881

An antique Essex crystal brooch, set in an attractive 18 carat gold setting with rope border. The brooch contains the burgee (yacht club pennant) of the Royal London Yacht Club, with the London crest under a crown. The brooch is of extremely good quality, and is in immaculate condition. The crystal is convex, polished into a cabochon, the image itself is carved and hand painted, and the viewer is given a 3 dimensional view. The Royal London Yacht Club was founded in 1838, and is now based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The hallmarks are very clear, and include the crown and "18" indicating 18 carat gold, Chester wheatsheaf town mark, date letter gothic "S" for 1881, and makers mark R.N. for Richard Nevill, who was a manufacturing jeweller based in Birmingham (Chester Gold and Silver Marks, Ridgway and Priestley, pg 360), they worked between 1880 and 1917. The rim has additional 18 ct hallmarks, and the gold pin is also hallmarked.

Keswick School of Industrial Art Sterling Silver Caddy Spoon   
Keswick School of Industrial Art , Chester 1906

An early Keswick School of Industrial Arts silver caddy spoon, instantly recognisable as Keswick from its distinctive arts and crafts design and finish, with planished bowl, fish tail handle and mock rivet punches. The Keswick silver hallmark was only registered in 1905, so this is one of their earliest silver spoons. Close inspection shows the rivets are not evenly spaced, so clearly struck by hand. The hallmarks are very clear, including makers mark KSIA in oval punch. The Keswick School of Industrial Arts was established in Keswick, Cumberland in 1884 by Canon Rawnsley, Vicar of Crosthwaite and Canon of Carlisle, and his wife Edith, as a metalwork class following the teachings of John Ruskin and William Morris. Many famous artists, including Harold Stabler and Leslie Durbin, were part of the faculty. Hand finished metal work proved a difficult competitor to machine finished work and the School closed in its centenary year, 1984. Although they produced furniture and furnishings, it is for their metalwork t...

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