A fabulous quality Cape silver snuff box, in excellent condition, it has not seen much use (many Cape silver snuff boxes are worn from regular use). The box is rectangular, it has a lovely thumbpiece, similar in shape to a Cape Dutch gable. The engraving is typically Cape, with foliate and wrigglework borders, and stippling on the sides and base. The central cartouche is vacant, it has never been engraved with initials, which might explain its well preserved condition. The interior is gilded, and the original gilding is also extremely well preserved. The interior lid corner has a scratch cross, probably a mark of ownership. The hallmarks are also excellent, Welz mark 116, makers initials MLS set between 3 crown devices. Smith was a Dane who arrived in the Cape in 1757 age 35, so we assume already trained as a silversmith (his work is always good quality). He lived a long live, married 4 times, and had 10 children, he died in 1806 age 84.
A Georgian silver wine label, with original engraving for Madeira, by the Phipps family of silversmiths, who have been described as one of the best known London firms producing labels (Wine Labels 1730-2003, page 168). The label is rectangular with fully rounded ends, and has a reeded border (note this is classified as a rectangular label rather than an oval label, which are more eye shaped (Wine labels page 51). The label has 2 holes for the suspensory rings connected to the original chain. The label is also engraved with original owners initials RB on the back just above the hallmarks. The hallmarks are very crisp and clear, they could not be better, the detail of hair on the duty mark and mane on the lion passant are clearly visible. The makers mark is interesting, TP over ER in quatrefoil punch, without pellets. This is an unregistered punch, not recorded in Grimwade (London Goldsmiths 1697-1837), Phipps and Robinson usual registered punch, similar but with clearly defined pellets, Grimwade 2891, used bet...
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 is decorated with an angel reaching up to pluck fruit, with trees in the background, the figure is quite crude, almost as if drawn by a young child. The base is engraved with original owners initials HDV. The hallmarks include Lion Passant 2nd Purity for 833 grade silver (inside main box), and the rim has makers mark AM over 3 dots in rectangular punch (or WV below 3 dots), we have not been able to identify this maker, all assistance welcome. The rim also has Minerva head duty mark (off...
An interesting Swiss Silver preserve set, consisting of a matching fork and slotted spoon in their original box. They are 800 grade silver, and both the spoon bowl and fork (excluding handle) are gilded, to protect the silver from corrosive salt. The matching handles are a beaded pattern, with the pattern on the back different from the pattern on the front. The spoon has seven slots in an attractive pattern, the fork has 4 tines. Both items are clearly hallmarked with the Jezler makers mark and 800 standard mark. The original box has a retailers label, which reads "Otto Leuenberger, Uhren & Bijoutier, Langnau (Bern) - Brugg (Aargau)".
A stylish set of six sterling silver coffee spoons, with an unusual but attractive shell design, we have not encountered this design before. The spoons are perfectly preserved in their original box, the box reads "James Dixon & Sons, Sheffield, Made in England", we assume the retailer. All 6 spoons are clearly hallmarked. Atkin Brothers was a well known firm founded by Henry Atkin in 1851, it survived over 100 years until it was acquired by C.J. Vander in 1958.
A British Bulldog Club antique sterling silver trophy spoon, which is in excellent condition. The spoon features a well modelled bulldog head, above legend "THE BRITISH BULLDOG CLUB". The spoon is based on a single struck Kings pattern, but was specially commissioned by the club who wanted to present a more useful trophy than a medal. The club was established in 1892, and still operates today (although I doubt they still have such beautiful silver spoon trophies!). The hallmarks are clear, this spoon was made in Birmingham in 1906 by J A Restall & Co, who worked between 1881 and 1934.
A rare and interesting 17th century silver spice box/ vinaigrette, with a polished oval agate panel set in the lid. The box is beautifully engraved, particularly the base which has 2 birds reaching for a hanging bundle of fruit. The box in rectangular with cut corners (so octagonal in shape), the raised lid is cushion shaped, with a mounted oval of polished orange agate. The box has a protruding thumb piece for easy opening, and stand-away (protruding). The engraving is mostly scrolling foliage, with a border of acanthus leaves, the base and hinge have a diaper border. The rim has 2 sets of engraving, the first reads "EF 1711" on the front side panel, the next reads "WC 1714" on the 2 side panels. These were engraved by different hands, the second WC 1714 is much cruder than the first, which is quite charming, with cross hatching inside the letters and "double engraved" numbers, the first could have been professionally engraved, the second probably done by the new owner. The interior of the box is interestin...
A Scottish Provincial silver tablespoon, made in Aberdeen by Peter Ross between 1819 and 1822. The spoon is Fiddle pattern, and has original owners engraved initials AGC. The hallmarks are clear. The hallmarks include makers mark PR between two A hallmarks for Aberdeen. Ross was admitted as an Aberdeen hammerman in 1819, but only lived for 3 more years until 1822 (Aberdeen Silver by Michael Wilson). His legacy is Fiddle pattern flatware, he is not known to have produced other silver items. Note - We have a matching pair of tablespoons S 1891.
A collection of 10 sterling silver and enamel souvenir shooting trophy spoons, all with 2 rifles as the handles. Six spoons have crossed rifles, 4 spoons have enamel finials, and 7 are from Africa (Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia - now Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe), with one from South Africa. The spoons include:
1. Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve, RMSB 1952, bare chested labourer crest, London 1911, Wakely & Wheeler, gilded bowl, fabulous quality
2. Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve, bare chested labourer crest, London 1912, Wakely & Wheeler, gilded bowl, fabulous quality
3. Birmingham Forward, enamel city crest of mural crown and arm with hammer (industry), Birmingham 1902, Arthur Fenwick
4. NVR Blantyre Limbe, RMSB 1954, enamel crest of leopard, Birmingham 1952, James Fenton
5. NVR Blantyre Limbe, RMSB 1953, crest of leopard, Birmingham 1953, James Fenton
6. Northern Rhodesia Rifle Association, fish eagle holding fish, no hallmarks
7. Southern Rhodesia Defence Forces, Lion holding tusk, Sheffi...
A Cape silver konfyt fork in the Old English pattern, with 3 tines. The fork has engraved original owners initials MMR, quite quaintly engraved, possibly by an amateur. The makers mark is very well struck and very clear, makers initials ICL between 2 floral devices with 7 petals (Welz mark 78, page 150). Lotter worked at the Cape between 1811 and his death in 1823, he shared a name with his father Johannes Casparus Lotter, who was also a silversmith (12 members of the Lotter family practised as silversmiths).
An antique sterling silver bowl or ash tray, set in the centre with a copper 1 penny Zuid Afrik. Republiek coin dated 1898. The bowl is engraved "Kruger Coinage", still clearly visible but worn from polishing. This penny was part of the first Kruger coinage, initiated in 1892 by President Paul Kruger. The bowl is dated 1900, which co-incides with the Anglo Boer War, we are not sure of the significance. The hallmarks are visible but slightly worn from polishing. The coin is in good condition, it has been protected by the raised silver rim.
A pair of Arts & Crafts Danish silver tablespoons, in a modernist Georg Jensen style Martele pattern, with matching cheese knife. The pattern is planished, or hand hammered, (Martele is French for hammer, Gorham uses the Martele brand for its hand hammered range), this creates an uneven surface which reflects the light, so a very pleasing pattern. The pattern also has balls and scrolls. The spoons are hand hammered on the front side of the handle only, but the bowls are planished on both sides. The spoons have original owners initials CC engraved on the back, the knife has no engraving. All 3 items have 2 clear hallmarks, the Danish 3 tower silver guarantee mark for 826/1000 grade, with date letters (the spoons are 1925 and the knife is 1927). They also have assay masters mark CFH for Christian F. Heise, who worked between 1904 and 1932.
A set of 5 Fiddle pattern Cape silver tableforks, made by Willem Lotter. The forks are quite long and elegant, with bevelled edges, quite attractive and pleasing quality. All 5 forks are struck with makers mark WGL in irregular punch between 2 oval devices (Welz mark 88). Welz depicts this mark as a face, we are not convinced, this requires further research. Willem Gotfried Lotter worked between 1810 and 1835, his father (also Willem Gotfried) was also a silversmith, they shared the same punches. Lotter died in Richmond, which was established as a spa town for sufferers of tuberculosis.
A collection of 10 sterling silver rifle shooting trophy and Boer War souvenir spoons. Five spoons have enamel finials, 8 spoons are shooting trophies and 2 spoons are Boer War. The spoons include:
1. P.E.R.C. (Port Elizabeth Rifle Club), E.F. Wilson, 103, enamel shooting range (round medallion), Birmingham 1928, Birmingham Medallion Company, gilded
2. P.E.R.C. (Port Elizabeth Rifle Club), E.F. Wilson, 1927, 100, enamel bulls eye, gilded, crossed rifles, Birmingham 1925, Birmingham Medallion Company
3. & 4. - Toll Gate Miniature Rifle Club, enamel finials with twisted stems, Birmingham 1912, William James Dingley, both engraved "Won by"
5. Man at Arms Competition, Lovely shooting soldier handle, Birmingham 1912, William James Dingley, engraved "Won by EF WILSON PET GRC, score 98, 18 Jan 1913
6. & 7. - Rifle Club, crossed rifles, Birmingham 1909 and 1911, Elkington & Co, engraved "D Coy CP Rifles and A Coy PWCRCPR", nice quality
8. Bloemfontein Rifle Club (English and Afrikaans), City armorial, gilded, B...
An early Cape silver Fiddle pattern dessert spoon, by one of the most highly renowned Cape Silversmiths, Johannes Casparus Lotter (I). The spoon has an engraved family crest of a bird (possibly a dove), this is well engraved. The hallmarks are excellent, and include makers mark .JCL struck twice in between 3 floral devices with 7 petals. This particular combination of marks is not illustrated by Welz in his book Cape Silver and Silversmiths, it is a combination of marks 76 (a distinctive .JCL maker mark), only used by Johannes Casparus Lotter (I), and mark 78, where the 7 petal floral device is used by his son Johannes Casparus Lotter (II). These hallmarks are particularly well struck, so much so that damage to the bottom left corner of the makers mark punch .JCL can clearly be seen. This leads us to believe the punch was well worn, and given this is a Fiddle pattern spoon we can assume this spoon was made towards the end of his career. Given the floral device has only been recorded in work by his son Johanne...
A pair of Georgian Irish silver serving spoons, made by William Ward of Dublin. The spoons are Fiddle pattern, we have described them as serving spoons as they are noticeably larger than tablespoons, very suitable for use as serving spoons. The spoons both have an interesting engraved family crest, a hand above heart, this is well engraved. The hallmarks are clear on both spoons, makers mark W.W (mark 580 in Irish Silver by Douglas Bennett, page 180), date letter I for 1805, and Hibernia and Harp Crowned in rectangular punches with canted corners. Note the absence of a duty mark, which only came into use in 1807 in Ireland. William Ward was a noted spoonmaker, he was freed in 1774 and died in 1822.
An interesting coin silver American Fiddle pattern tablespoon, made by Samuel Kirk in 1822. The spoon has original owners script initials JMC. The spoon has 4 hallmarks, makers mark S.Kirk in script in rectangular punch for Samuel Kirk, Baltimore Coat of Arms shield mark in clipped corner rectangle (quality mark), date letter F for 1822 and Head of Liberty mark. This dates to a very interesting period in US silver history, Baltimore between 1814 and 1830 was the only place and date where hallmarks were required on silver in the USA. The State Legislature of Maryland passed the Assay Act of 1814, which set the quality standard at 917, the Act was repealed in 1830 due to opposition by the affected silversmiths, including Kirk, who petitioned for its repeal. Thomas Warner was the Baltimore Assayer between 1814 and 1823, so he would have struck these marks. Samuel Kirk began working as a silversmith 1815, he founded the very successful firm of S. Kirk & Sons in 1846, it became the oldest surviving silversmithing ...
A classic Kupittaan Kulta Sterling silver and moss agate ring, designed by Elis Kauppi of Turku, Finland. The ring is beautifully designed, it features 2 segments, with a stunning etched texture on both sides, around a central semi precious stone ball (we believe moss agate), orange and white in colour with black strands, with 4 sterling silver balls on the end of each segment. The ring itself is plain, adjustable for sizing, it is clearly hallmarked with Kupittaan Kulta makers mark and 925S sterling guarantee. The ring resembles an opening seed pod to us, one of the more innovative of the Kauppi designs. Elis Kauppi (1921 - 2004) established Kupittaan Kulta in Turku, Finland, in 1945 at the end of the Second World War, at age 24. His use of local semi-precious stones and innovative design resulted in increased attention, and by 1958 he was an award winning regular exhibitor at international shows. Today he is remembered as a foremost figure in modernist jewellery, who put Finnish design on the world stage. W...
A rare antique sterling silver 1/3 gill tot measure, in the traditional shape of a tankard. The tankard is baluster in shape, the handle just large enough for a finger. The tankard rim is raised, we assume the base indicates the measure point. The base has a design number 74642, the London hallmarks on the side are very clear. The tankard measures 42 millilitres, so a generous double tot, this is 1/3 of a gill using the traditional measures. Tot measures such as this are commonly found in brass, copper, pewter and other base metals, occasionally found in silver plate, solid silver versions such as this one are rare. The gill measure dates back to the 14 Century in Great Britain, 1 gill is a quarter of a pint, 1/6 gill was the traditional single shot whisky measure. Horace Woodward & Co operated between 1875 and 1916.
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...