Metalware

This sector comprises artefacts made from both base and precious metals. Many antique items were originally used for domestic purposes but are now collected on account of their craftsmanship, decorative quality and social interest.

Items can range from include pewter jugs, tin pots, brass bells, copper weathervanes and cast iron benches.

While this area offers plenty of affordable material, rare historical survivors can command high prices.


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Seventeenth-century Hôtel Lambert furnishes enough lots for a six-sale series

03 October 2022

Sotheby’s Paris is selling the contents from the Hôtel Lambert, a 17th century Parisian Hôtel Particulier on the Ile de La Cité.

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It’s a burner bonus

03 October 2022

Although catalogued as a lantern, this Russian silver, gilt and enamel object is more probably an incense burner, used in the Eastern Orthodox tradition.

Russian incense burner

Russian incense burner stars in our latest pick of five auction highlights

09 September 2022

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes includes a 19th century Russian silver, gilt and enamel incense burner that made over 30-times estimate in Bedford.

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Obituary: Metalware dealer Christopher Bangs

05 September 2022

Christopher Bangs, who is probably best known for his reference book on candlesticks, 'The Lear Collection', was a man of many talents.

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Chinese items stand out in dealer selection

08 August 2022

Items collected and meticulously recorded from the 1970s onwards by a trade couple had the attractions of ‘dealer’s choice’ provenances when offered at Hanson Holloway’s Ross (25% buyer’s premium).

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Delft and metal stand out in antiques dealer duo's collection

08 August 2022

Both categories are particularly notable as Mark and Marjorie Allen lots sell in Pennsylvania

Silver tankard

Pick of the week: High demand for rare Hull silver

04 July 2022

Abraham Barachin became the last silversmith to use the Hull town mark of three ducal coronets.

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‘Victoria’s gift’ to faithful retainer

30 May 2022

By repute this 15oz silver chamber stick and snuffer with glass hurricane shade was a gift from Queen Victoria to her personal attendant and favourite John Brown (1826-83).

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Cataloguing the best in London and beyond

21 March 2022

A round-up of current catalogues from folk-art at the rescheduled Winter Show to the Mellor-Cobham collection of English porcelain at Albert Amor

Brass and enamel garter stall plaques

Pick of the week: Heraldic plaques found in a wardrobe take £10,000 bid

07 March 2022

Found in a wardrobe during the clearance of a deceased estate in Spalding, ‘a group of four early 19th century French heraldic plaques’ sold way over hopes at Stamford Auction Rooms in Lincolnshire on February 26.

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Tsar's gift to Philadelphia doctor to be sold at Freeman’s

14 February 2022

This cloisonné and plique à jour enamel silver presentation tankard will be one of the highlights of the Gilded Age auction at Freeman’s in Philadelphia on February 24.

Pillar box

Post box alert as thieves strike in Suffolk and Norfolk

26 January 2022

Royal Mail is on alert after a number of post boxes were stolen in Suffolk and Norfolk in recent weeks with a fear they are being sold online.

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Plentiful plaquettes dispersed in single-owner sale

13 December 2021

London auction offers fascinating bronzes from a little-appreciated collecting field.

Ilkhanid gold and silver-inlaid brass candlestick

Candlestick becomes most expensive Islamic metalwork

01 November 2021

This exceptional Ilkhanid gold and silver-inlaid brass candlestick has become the most expensive Islamic metalwork sold at auction.

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Christopher Dresser finds his time and place

27 October 2021

Christopher Dresser (1834-1904) designed two electroplated claret or water jugs for Elkington & Co of Birmingham in 1885 – both of them daring designs inspired by vessels from antiquity.

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Crawforth collection shows its metal

27 October 2021

Aided by strong American bidding action, the collection of Andrew Crawforth, the late Portobello Road trader and leading authority on early metalware, turned base metal into gold when all 431 lots – offered wihtout reserve – sold at Bonhams’ (27.5% buyer’s premium) Edinburgh sale.

Silver tankard

Pick of the week: Putting China on course for golf

13 September 2021

Estimated at £400-600, this 7in (17cm) high Chinese export silver dragon handled tankard sold for a much higher sum.

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Not bad for a sewer find – 400-year-old candlestick proves 'where there’s muck there’s brass'

06 September 2021

With the unusual provenance of having been dug out of a London sewer during excavations in 1930, the 15th or early 16th century copper alloy candlestick shown here underlined the truth of the maxim that where there’s muck there’s brass.

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Belgian buyers out in force as dealer's collection comes up for sale

09 August 2021

Despite a disappointing selling rate, dealer’s collection included notable results

Horn beakers

Saleroom pulls ‘looted artefacts from Maqdala’ after Ethiopian appeal

21 June 2021

A group of Ethiopian works of art believed to have been taken during the Battle of Maqdala in 1868 has been withdrawn from a Dorset auction after the Embassy of Ethiopia intervened.

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