A fabulous Victorian Scottish silver Rams Head snuff mull cover, decorated with an impressive faceted semi precious stone and 6 hardstone cabochons. The cover is dome shaped with a circular base, and is embossed and engraved with Scottish thistles and Celtic knot designs. The central diamond shaped crystal has a diameter of 3.7 cm, this is a large stone. The six hardstone cabochons are 2.2 cm in diameter, colours range from green to red to brown, we imagine Scottish granite. The interior is gilded, and the hallmarks are perfectly preserved. This is the largest and most impressive Rams head snuff mull cover we have seen, we have seen similar smaller examples. The cover would have been mounted on a ceremonial Rams head, used to dispense snuff at a table - we prefer this cover without the original rams head! Mackay & Chisholm were a prestigious Scottish firm, the worked between 1834 and 1941 from Princes Street, Edinburgh.
A German silver cigarette case, with an engraved horseshoe and riding crop, with a ruby embedded in the horseshoe. The case is 800 grade silver, and has post 1888 German silver hallmarks (moon and crown, followed by 800). The horseshoe signifies good luck, the ruby passion, and the crop is a riding or hunting crop.
A Royal Navy Sterling silver matchbook case, designed to hold the cardboard folder containing 2 rows of matches. The case is engine turned, with an applied Royal Naval Crown on the lid, the interior is gilded and has 2 wings for holding the matchbook in place. It is great quality, and has a lovely feel in the hand, with the engine turning giving a pleasing grip. The hallmarks are clear, both on the lid and the base, and the base rim is also engraved "Gieves Ltd London" , for the London retailer. Gieves (now Gieves & Hawkes) is a prestigious Savile Row Tailor, established in 1771, they hold numerous Royal Warrants, including the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales. They have long served the British Army, Royal Navy and the Royal family, clients include Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Churchill and Charlie Chaplin. More recent clients include David Beckham, Bill Clinton and the Braun Formula 1 team (source wikipedia).
An interesting Needham's Patent mechanical silver calling card case, with a ribbed sliding mechanism to push out a calling card. The case is rectangular, with a hinged lid, the sliding mechanism is easy to control with the thumb. Both the case and lid are clearly hallmarked, the lid is also stamped PATENT. These have also been described as vesta cases for long vestas, the slide being the matchstrike, we think this attribution is incorrect. Henry Williamson worked between 1894 and 1914, so a career cut off by the advent of World War I. Note - we have 2 similar examples of this needhams patent card case.
A Victorian silver and enamel erotica cigarette case, with a semi nude lady of Middle Eastern origin, complete with arch, hookah pipe and palm leaves. She is wearing impressive jewellery, including a spectacular gold necklace, and a blue headdress and skirt. The case is rectagular but curved to easily fit a pocket, with rounded corners and gilded interior, and a thumbpull for easy opening. The original elastic is still present. The hallmarks are clear on both lid and base, including the Walker and Hall flag hallmark used between 1895 and 1912.
A lovely antique silver and enamel vesta case, with a circular dog enamel, we guess a border collie (assistance welcome, thanks!). The vesta is quite small, rectangular in shape, and is engraved with scrolling foliage, it also has a silver suspension ring, which is also hallmarked. The hallmarks are small but clear, in the usual position on the rim of the vesta case.
A fabulous silver and enamel advertising cigarette case, featuring the famous English cricketer W.G. Grace. The case is rectangular, and is beautifully engraved with scrolling foliage, the quality is excellent. The interior is gilded, and has 2 elaborately pierced and engraved arms, both with hinges. The oval enamel plaque features Grace walking down the pavilion steps out to bat, carrying his bat, in striped MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) hat, and the words "Like Grace" across his chest. Spectators can be seen in the background, the colours are superb. Both lid, base and 2 arms are clearly hallmarked, the makers mark A&J.Z is clear on both arms but worn on the case. The image is a very faithful copy of a Colman's Mustard advertising poster, which reads "Colman's Mustard, Like Grace, Heads the Field (see picture), circa 1895. This is a historic poster and image, as it represents the first time a sportsman had been used to advertise a general product. Colman's mustard was founded in 1814, and is one of the old...
An interesting Scottish Provincial silver snuff box, presented in Wick in 1868. The box is rectangular, the construction is unusual with a solid wedge shaped lid, overall the box has a hand made feel, slightly crude in finish, the hinge is a little wonky. The box is quite heavy and solidat 82 grammes. The box is engraved with worn scrolls on the lid and front side, this contrasts with the clearer engraving, we assume the box was made earlier and the engraving added later in 1868. It reads "From LJB, Wm Bremner, New Harbour Works, Wick, 1868". No hallmarks are present. This box has an interesting history, Wick was once the world's largest herring fishery port. The harbour was improved and expanded in 1831, James Bremner (we assume father to William), the notable Scottish naval architect, completed the work using ingenious near vertical flagstones, still visible today. Between 1863 and 1868 the harbour was improved again (the New Harbour Works) by adding a breakwater comprised of stone Jennies, it was designed...
An antique silver cigar or cheroot case, with an interesting historical engraved inscription, presented to the Honourable Albert Thomas Oliff in 1910. This is a good quality case, a very pleasing weight, and is in excellent condition, it does not appear to have been used. The case is beautifully engraved, with a repeating leaf and scroll pattern. It is engraved "Presented by the Designated Officers of the Post & Telegraph Dept in Grateful Recognition of Valued Assistance which Righted an Injustice, Natal 1910". The front cartouche is engraved "A.T. Oliff" for Albert Thomas Oliff. The hallmarks are very clear, including makers mark HW&Co Ltd for Horace Woodward & Co, who worked between 1871 and 1921. Albert Thomas Oliff was born in 1855, he married Louise Florence Harper and died in 1924. He emigrated from England to South Africa in 1877, and obviously prospered, in 1986 a book entitled "The Honourable A.T. Oliff: A family history by E.M. Hood-Williams" was published in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal (previou...
An early antique silver vesta case, with an applied cast golfer in full swing. The vesta is rectangular, with applied strike plate on the bottom of the vesta, the hinge lid has a suspension loop for adding to a chain. Dated 1886 this is an early vesta case, most vestas date between 1890 and 1920. The hallmarks are clear, and include makers mark WG/JL (William Gibson & John Lawrence Langman) of Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co of Regent Street, a very prestigious firm founded in 1882, now the designated house of Crown Jewellers Garrards, following amalgamation in 1952 (both part of Sears via Mappin & Webb). John Langman was an interesting personality, he equipped and maintained the Langham Field Hospital during the Boer War (Culme, Directory of Gold and Silversmiths, page 184).
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.
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...
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 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...
An antique Dutch silver lodereindoosje, made in Amsterdam in 1809. The english translation would be vinaigrette, pomander of scent box. The box is in the form of an armoire (kabinet) in traditional shape, with domed lid and shaped doors, decorated with swags and urns, with drawers in the base. The sides and lid are decorated with traditional Dutch scenes, the lid a man with angel alongside tree and horse, the back with a couple in horse drawn cart, and the sides with women churning butter and carrying milk. The base has original owners engraved initials P.V.I., nicely engraved. The hallmarks on the base are clear, and include date letter b for 1809, Amsterdam town mark of 3 crosses without crown (only used between 1807 and 1812 during Kingdom of Holland period). The 3rd mark is 10, the 10 penningen silver standard mark (833/1000), see "Netherlands Responsibility Marks from 1797" page 37, and the 4th mark is makers mark of a heart under device, this mark is slightly worn. This is the mark of Dirk Goedhart, so ...
An Edwardian silver and enamel novelty vesta case, of circular form with hinged flip top lid and striker built into the base. The vesta has an applied enamel in silver rope border, featuring a pack of 8 English foxhounds, very attractively modelled with lovely colours. Vesta cases (also called matchsafes) were used to store vestas (early matches before safety matches were invested), they were very popular between 1890 and 1910.
An interesting silver gilt Georgian vinaigrette, in the shape of a purse or handbag, the body decorated with chased 3 leaf device, which has been described as a trefoil design in the literature. The shape is lovely, very pleasing to hold, and with the texture has good grip. The quality is excellent, certainly made by a master craftsman. The base has a leaf design around oval eye. The lid is also beautifully decorated, a central flower on finely engraved cross-hatch surrounded by pattern border, and the side of the lid has a fruiting vine border, very delicately chased. The vinaigrette has 2 eyelets which holds the original chain, each chain link is also decorated with a bar pattern. The pierced grille has a foliate design, also engraved, both hinges are perfect. The interior gilding is also perfect. The vinaigrette has clear hallmarks, the lid has Georgian duty mark, very clear makers mark L&Co which is struck upside-down, and lion passant. The base has anchor town mark, partially worn makers mark and a very ...
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 has an oval panel with seated figure of justice holding sword and scales, surrounded by a wreath. The base is engraved with original owners initials T:V:V, the base also has a clear makers mark of AK under flower (Adrianus Kuijlenburg of Schoonhoven, 1812 -1816, see Nederlands Responsibility Marks since 1797 no 897). The lid has a Minerva head office mark (duty mark), and the box interior rim has the Lion Passant 2nd purity for 833 grade silver and date letter G for 1816. Loderein comes...
An Edwardian silver pocket stamp case, with a spring loaded interior for holding stamps in place. The case is rectangular, with an engine turned design with vacant circular cartouche for initials or family crest, and ring attachment for attachment to an Albert chain. The interior is gilded, the stamp compartment is also engine turned. The case, lid and stamp compartment are all hallmarked. Saunders & Shepherd are a well known firm, first established in 1869 by Cornelius Saunders and Frank Shepherd.
An antique Dutch silver 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 is rectangular in shape, with an engraved armoire, complete with drawers, it also has a pierced rim on the lid. The back is decorated with an engraved flower, while the base, sides and lid have engraved wrigglework decoration. The lid is clearly hallmarked with maker mark IS under star (makers mark 10121 in the book "Netherlands Responsibility Marks since 1797") for Johannes Jacobus Smits, who worked in Schoonhoven between 1823 and 1824. The lid also has a very clear date letter O for 1823. The rim of the box also has makers mark and Minerva head office mark (duty mark). Loderein comes from the French "l'eau de reine" translated "water of the king", as only the wealthy could afford the perfumed cologne.
An interesting and practical silver double stamp case, with a twin stamp compartment that swivels into a rectangular case, for easy access and carrying. The case has an engraved linear design, and ring attachment for attachment to a Albert chain. The interior compartment swivels on a pin, has a pin and hole clasp to hold it shut, and a thumbpiece for easy opening, an ingenious design. The box is clearly hallmarked, but the makers mark J&W is worn. The box is also stamped "PAT APPd FOR 18816", which indicates the makers had applied for a patent to protect their design. One of the most practical stamp cases we have seen, we really like this box.
A rare and interesting silver gaming vinaigrette, with a rotating disk with mounted gold arrow that points at a dial with numbers from 1 to 10. The vinaigrette is circular, with 5 sections between each numeral, the rotating disk is engraved with a radiating pattern, which adds grip to allow the disk to be rotated to the desired number. The base of the vinaigrette has an attractive engraved floral arrangement, the sides are decorated with further engraving and prick work bands. The interior grille is plain, but with a pattern of punched holes, as is common on earlier vinaigrettes. The interior is gilded, the base lemon yellow, the lid and grille a slightly darker gold colour, so possibly re-gilded. The hallmarks are clear, on both the base and the lid, the grille has no hallmarks. The hallmarks include makers mark IC in rectangular punch without dot, we have tentatively ascribed to John Caney (Grimwade 1218), as his mark has no dot and he was a small worker of the period (registered 1800). Unfortunately the ...
Two Victorian silver vinaigrettes, both very similar in shape and design, reflecting the style of the time. Both are oval in shape with a wavy rim, concave sides, both have engine turned engraving, and both have vacant cartouche (for initials or family crest). Both also have an ornate floral grille, and both are gilded. Both also have clear hallmarks on both base and lid, the grille on the Smith example is also hallmarked. The first, by Edward Smith 1845, has an attractive snake shaped thumb piece, the base design is distinctly different from the cover design. The second still has its original sponge. Edward Smith was a specialist boxmaker, he worked between 1827 and 1865. James Cronin and Sarah & George Wheeler worked between 1846 and 1852 from St Pauls Square, Birmingham.
Two Georgian silver vinaigrettes, both very small in size, and both by Joseph Willmore. They are very attractive and dainty, less than half the size of most vinaigrettes, we love these boxes. The first (1813) is lozenge shaped, the concave base fits beautifully around the thumb, it is a delight to hold. The cover is engraved with flowers and prick work surrounding initials THC, the base has a different floral engraving. The grille is plain, the interior gilding and hallmarks are excellent. including JW makers mark in circular serrated punch, his first mark used between 1797 and 1834. The second (1821) is rectangular with canted corners, the cover engraved with an attractive wavy pattern around a vacant cartouche, the base with an engraved flower. The grille is also plain, the hallmarks are good, on both lid, base and grille. The corners have some oxidation, but it does not detract. Joseph Willmore, who worked between 1797 and 1843, is described by Eric Delieb as "a superlative silversmith, who produced some o...
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 ...
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.
9 carat gold, beautifully cast and chased in the form of a clam shell. Beautiful hinge.
Delightful heart shaped vesta case in excellent condition, with engraved initials FVB. The hallmarks are very clear, the lid is also hallmarked. This case has a nice feel in the hand. Vesta cases (called matchsafes in USA) were used to carry wax vesta matches (predate safety matches), they were struck on the serrated edge of the case.
Engine turned vinaigrette with beautiful grille. The cartouche is initialled with initial T, the base has bright cut wrigglework with flowerhead. The interior is gilt. Joseph Willmore is described by Eric Delieb (Silver Boxes) as "a superlative silversmith, who worked in the trade for almost half a century".
Plain but pleasing Nathaniel Mills snuffbox, with gilt interior and an attractive crest. The crest, which is slightly worn, has a scalloped cartouche containing a griffin, encased by scrolling palms.
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 magnificent silver cigarette case, of exceptional quality, one of the finest we have seen. It is rectangular, and decorated with very finely engraved scrolling foliage on a stippled background, which is most attractive. The case has a gilt interior, and the original elastic bands. The case has a circular cartouche, decorated with the Hayes family crest, an attractive lion holding a standard with the motto "Renovate Animos", translated "Renew your Courage". The original owners name, "William Andrew Hayes" is engraved underneath the crest. The hallmarks are very clear, even the clasp knob is hallmarked, a sign of quality. Deakin & Francis, who still exist today after being founded in 1786, are known for their high quality small silverware.
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 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.
Design registered by the retailer Thornhill of New Bond Street on 21 June 1870. The bugle carries the registry mark, Thornhill engraving and full hallmarks for Sampson Mordan, London 1874. Has hanging chain and screw stopper on separate chain, both original. The perfume bottle cap is also hallmarked, and has the original cork stopper, in excellent condition. It is a screw cap which fits snugly and closes perfectly.
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.
Mordan perfume bottle in fabulous condition, which has probably never left its original box. Attractive chased decoration of scrolling foliage. Initials TL. Original glass stopper in perfect condition. Gilt lid interior and very clear hallmarks.
A lovely Scottish silver cigar or cheroot case, with motto "Should auld acquaintance be forgot", and the Carstairs family crest and motto "Te Splendente", translated "Whilst thou art shining". The case is beautifully engraved with a spectacular interlocking architectural pattern interspersed with different flowers, this is one of the nicest we have seen. The case has a pleasing shape and feel, easy to slide into a pocket given its curved shape. The front of the case has "Should auld acquaintance be forgot" in the top panel, and Carstairs family crest and motto in the bottom, along with "DC to FC", we assume members of the Carstairs family. The Carstairs armorial has a chevron between 3 primroses, with sun darting its rays on a primrose above. The back has 2 circular panels, with finely engraved flowers, we assume a primrose. The hallmarks are clear, but cleverly hidden in the engraving. George Cunningham only worked between 1855 and 1858, but given the quality of this case must have been a master craftsman.
A rare and unusual Victorian silver sovereign case, which holds 5 gold sovereigns. The case is circular and is beautifully designed, it opens on a central swivel, into a semi-circle, with slots for 5 sovereigns. The case has a loop, for attachment to a watch chain (Albert), it can also be worn as a pendant. Both sides of the case are decorated with scrolling foliage, and a tulip like flower. This case is good quality, we have not seen this design before. The hallmarks are clear. Edward and Noble Haseler were established in 1883, they had London premises at 94 Hatton Gardens (Culme, Gold & Silversmiths, pg 220).
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...
An Austrian silver cigarette case, with an interesting commemorative double sided medallion by Lauer of Nuremberg, celebrating a 400 year jubilee (1488-1888), set in the lid. The case is ribbed, and has a gilded interior, and gold thumb piece. The case is fabulous quality, very heavy and beautifully made, the hinge is almost invisible, clearly the work of a master craftsman. The medallion is double sided, it was struck to commemorate Kaiser Frederick III, King of Prussia and German Emperor, who came to the throne in 1888, who is on the back of the medallion, in full armour wearing a crown. Unfortunately he died 99 days later of throat cancer, so it was a short reign. He was a liberal and was married to Princess Victoria, eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, historians have speculated that had he remained on the throne longer the Great War might never had happened.The front of the medallion depicts the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III (same name) Archduke of Austria and King of Germany, in crown and armour, with...
A regimental silver match box cover (large size matchbox), with gold crest of the 21st Empress of India Lancers. The box is engraved "Presented by MJ Stapylton Late 21st Hussars", and stands on 4 bun feet. The box is hallmarked, but these are now worn due to over zealous polishing in the mess. The box is also engraved "Asprey London". Major Miles John Stapylton of the Yorkshire Hussars and 21st Lancers was Lord of the Manor of Eston in Myton, York. He was born in 1869 and married in 1900, he had 3 children. The regimental history is interesting. The were designated 21st Hussars in India in 1861, and in 1897 they were re-designated and equipped as 21st Lancers in Cairo. In 1898 they were the only regular cavalry to serve with the army sent to re-conquer Sudan to end Dervish rule. In the now famous Charge at Omdurman, they lost 21 men and won 3 Victoria Crosses. Winston Churchill participatedin this action as a lieutenant. As a result of the charge, they were awarded the title "21st Empress of India Lancers" by...
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 beautiful French Niello snuffbox with a huntsman in 17th century period dress with his dogs. Gilt interior with inscription - From William Yates to John Rutherford, Sept 16th 1888. The box is fully hallmarked on the lid rim with the Paris standard mark for 1819-1838, the middle guarantee mark, and a makers mark, which appears to be W&W (or M&W or V&W) below a head, above a wagon wheel, set in a diamond (very small so difficult to see).
A Cape silver snuff box, with an intriguing later inscription with both Bedfordshire and Boer War connections. The snuff box is rectangular with a shell thumb piece, and has typically Cape wriggle work engraving around the sides, which is worn from use. The interior is gilded, and has a later engraved inscription "Frank Pym from Frank Shuttleworth Xmas 1911". The box has a very clear JML makers mark on the lid. The box is well made, has very pleasing snug closure, very suitable for use. Frank Shuttleworth (of Old Warden, Biggleswade) was High Sherriff of Bedfordshire in 1891, he was followed by Francis Pym (of Hassells Hall, Sandy) in 1903. Shuttleworth (Colonel) raised the Bedfordshire Imperial Yeomanry in 1901 for service in the Boer War, we assume he acquired this Cape Silver snuffbox during his service in South Africa, answering the question why a Cape silver snuffbox has a Bedfordshire inscription. The Bedfordshire Yeomanry also served later in both World Wars. The Shuttleworth name today is known due ...
A Cape silver snuff box by Daniel Beets, oval in shape with a three quarter hinged lid, which is well made as it is perfectly flush with the lid, and a small but practical thumbpiece. It is a pleasing design for a snuff box, has a very nice feel in the hand, easy to take in and out of a pocket. This is a fairly rare design for Cape silver snuff boxes, most were rectangular, or had a protruding hinge. This box has been well used, as can be seen from the considerable wear to the engraving, and has been repaired more than once in its lifetime. The lid has remnants of engraved wreath surrounding owners initials and date, no longer legible. The box also has 3 worn engraved stars, typically Cape in style, one either side and on the fixed portion of the lid. The interior has original gilding, a lovely golden yellow colour, quite well preserved on lid and hinge, but only some still present in base and sides, the rest has been lost during repairs. The base shows signs of repairs and splits, so has been re-attached at ...
Two very small Victorian silver vinaigrettes, both very dainty, very similar to S 1697, these are delightful boxes given their detail and size (half the size of usual vinaigrettes). The first is 1842 by Francis Clark, it is rectangular with tartan engraving, and a vacant cartouche for crest or initials. the grille has an attractive floral pattern, the interior gilding is good with some mild oxidation. The hallmarks are good on both base and lid, the grille is hallmarked as well. The second is 1866 by Frederick Marson, rectangular with engine turned engraving and vacant cartouche, this also has a silver ring attachment. The grille has a a floral engraved design, the piercing is random. The gilding is excellent, the hallmarks on lid, base and grille also very clear. Francis Clark was a specialist Birmingham toy maker who worked between 1827 and 1849, his boxes are well regarded, he also served as magistrate. He emigrated to Australia (Adelaide) with his family in 1850 for family health reasons, and established ...
A Military Victorian silver presentation snuff box, with an erotic engraving of an amorous couple hidden away from view on the base. This is a pleasing quality, substantial in size and weight, more of a table snuff box intended for a desk than the portable versions intended for a pocket. The box is rectangular, with raised lid and base, and is casket shaped with engine turned sides. It also has applied cast foliate rims (base, lid and around the presentation panel), these have exquisite detail, overall a very attractive box. The engraved inscription reads "PRESENTED TO GEORGE BOYD ESQr. by the 20th R.R.V. 1863", and is supported by scrolls (note engraving is 18 years later than box was made). The base is engraved with a erotic scene, very finely engraved with loads of detail, this is protected by the base rim, so perfectly preserved. The interior is gilded with a beautiful lemon gold original gilding, it does not appear this box has seen much use. The hallmarks on both lid and base are very clear, maker mark ...
An interesting Cape silver snuff box, an unusual convex shape which gives it a lovely feel in the hand and pocket. The box has a part hinged lid, as is usual with this form, with just a slight overlap creating the thumbpiece. The decoration is typically Cape, a 8 petalled flower with wrigglework border, which is extremely well preserved due to the shape of the lid. The box also has original owners engraved initials AWJP, also with wrigglework border. The hinge is also decorated with cross hatch engraving. The original gilt interior is a lemon yellow colour, and the IC makers mark struck in the lid is very clear and distinct ( Welz mark 32). Convex shaped snuff boxes, given the more challenging construction in relation to the rectangular boxes, are rare in the Cape, this demonstrates that Combrink was a master craftsman.
A rare Victorian silver triple stamp box, one of the nicer ones we have see. The box is rectangular with concave sides, and is on four ball feet, the hinged lid has a sliding insert with glass top, to enable stamps to be placed in the lid. The interior is gilded, and has 3 compartments for 3 different denomination stamps, with 2 original wooden curved inserts, to easily slide a stamp out. It is quite a substantial, well made box, it would have been an expensive item when new. The box is clearly hallmarked, the lid and sliding insert are hallmarked as well. George Unite was established in 1825, Unite apprenticed with Joseph Willmore, he died in 1896, the business was continued by his sons.
An interesting Georgian silver snuffbox, with Finlayson family interest. The snuff box has an engraved cross hatch design, with 2 intersecting straps, copying an early suitcase or trunk. The snuff box is curved, so would fit snugly in a pocket. The interior is gilded. The straps are very suitable for engraving, and the names of 4 different generations of Finlaysons have been engraved on this one. The 4 names include "John Finlayson Merchant, Canongate 1760, John Finlayson S.S.C. Edinburgh 1824, Thomas B. Finlayson 1862, Mary H. Finlayson 1874". The base is also engraved with owners initials AF 1833, we assume another Finlayson. The script engraving of all 4 names is different, so was engraved at different times as ownership of the box transferred. The first date precedes the age of the box, so we assume the 2nd Finlayson started the tradition. The hallmarks are clear, and include makers mark ID without pellet (Grimwade 1250), this could be John Douglas or John Death, we assume Douglas as he was a known snuf...
A rare and interesting Victorian silver vesta case, with an enamelled Malta Blue twopence halfpenny stamp, used between 1885 and 1890. The vesta itself is rectangular in shape, with striker in base, and silver ring attachment (for attachment to Albert chain). The vesta is hallmarked in the usual place, along the inside top rim, with Lion Passant, anchor, date letter P (only in use from May to July 1890, after the duty mark was retired), and partial makers mark C. in shield punch, possibly Charles Usher of Usher Manufacturing Company. This vesta previously sold at Sotheby's London in 1988, their description stated "very rare, the only example we have seen", they also described the "superb enamelled representation of the Malta 1885-90 2&half d blue".
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).