Silver & Silver-plated items

Barkentin and Krall chalice

Barkentin and Krall chalice - £27,500 at JS Auctions.

When it comes to antique silverware, the size and weight of objects does not always determine value. Grand works by the likes of London-based Huguenot Paul de Lamerie or the Germain family in Paris have acquired huge status and value, while small objects such as nutmeg graters, early spoons or vesta cases can command high sums as they have a strong specialist collecting base.

The system of silver hallmarks serves as a quality control, giving an official stamp from showing the metal is of requisite purity, but the marks (or punches) also reveal the year, the place of origin and the identity of the maker, providing pieces of silverware with their own stamped passport of information.


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5 Questions: Mark Goodger

16 March 2020

Mark Goodger specialises in antique tea caddies, boxes and other accessories and works of art.

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Le Goût Rothschild for sale in Salisbury

16 March 2020

This pair of 19th century continental silver-gilt figure groups is among the objects from a Rothschild collection to be sold by Woolley & Wallis later this year.

Elizabeth I cup

Elizabethan silver makes rare appearance in German auction

12 March 2020

Elizabethan silver rarely appears at auctions in continental Europe, so an upcoming collection being offered for sale at Koller in Zurich is something of a special occasion.

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Belfast fair back again

02 March 2020

Irish provincial silver is always sought after. The c.1790 silver sauceboat pictured below by John Nicholson of Cork is a rare example.

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Frankfurt silver cup survivor draws bidders' attention

24 February 2020

German silver Kiddush cups survived the Second World War in only relatively small numbers but there were some treasured heirlooms, part of Jewish family festivals for generations, that were kept safe throughout the religion’s darkest times.

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From a Mission Impossible-style jewellery break-in to a missing silver sculpture – the latest round up of thefts across the art and antiques sector

17 February 2020

The art and antiques trade have been called upon to help locate missing items after a series of incidents.

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Pre-revolutionary provincial French silver offered in the Biron collection shine at auction

10 February 2020

Rare 18th century French silver from the golden age of production was a feature of the collection of Renée and Louis Biron offered by Ader (28% buyer’s premium) at Drouot in Paris.

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Simple but sophisticated chest boasts ingenious woodworking technique.

03 February 2020

Although outwardly simple objects, cedar ‘bent corner’ chests, still made today by the indigenous people of the Pacific North West, employ a number of sophisticated woodworking techniques.

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Modified Irish seal salver brings £9200 in Exeter sale

27 January 2020

On the death of the monarch, or when a statesman left office, it was required by law that any seals of royal authority be broken and defaced.

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Sauce tureens serve up early highlight at The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair

13 January 2020

A pair of George III sauce tureens by Daniel Smith and Robert Sharp was among the early sales on the opening day of The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair.

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Electroplated cups marked for Evan Jones of Sydney turn up in Hampshire

13 January 2020

This pair of 19th century electroplated cups, offered by Andrew Smith & Son (21% buyer’s premium) in Alresford on December 11, is stamped for the noted Sydney silversmith Evan Jones (1846-1917).

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Christie’s sells David Little's pre-civil war silver collection

13 January 2020

It took just one sale to disperse a collection of pre-civil war silver painstakingly amassed in just over a quarter of a century at the rate of one piece a year.

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The bell tolls for two prize silver porkers

13 January 2020

Edwardian silver table bells modelled as tortoises are not too hard to find but silver pigs are a much rarer beast. Accordingly, it was surprising to see two appear on two successive days at winter sales.

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Medieval drinking vessel takes £4400 at Mitchells

13 January 2020

Originally medieval drinking vessels, wassail bowls became highly decorative status symbols by the 19th century as this large silver-mounted walnut example shows.

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Hastings silver leaves its native Norfolk

13 January 2020

The sale at Cheffins (22.5% buyer’s premium) in Cambridge on December 12 included a cache of Victorian and earlier silver from the collection of Delaval Astley, 23rd Baron Hastings (b.1960).

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Dresser’s genius brings happy returns

13 January 2020

The Design sale at Christie’s New York (25/20% buyer’s premium) on December 13 included the return to the auction room of one of the famous series of electroplated teapots made by James Dixon & Sons, Sheffield, c.1879, to designs by Christopher Dresser.

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Remarkable mustard pots from Shennan collection turn heads at Evesham sale

13 January 2020

The sale at Kingham & Orme (20% buyer’s premium) in Evesham on December 6-7 included the second instalment of the remarkable Shennan collection of silver mustard pots, this time featuring examples made in the reigns of George IV to Victoria (1821-1901).

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Novelty silver pin cushions take flight

13 January 2020

Pin cushions have their own niche market in the novelty silver field. Nineteen Edwardian examples were offered at a sale at Woolley & Wallis (25% buyer’s premium) in Salisbury last year.

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The tale of the Warwick vase told in many sizes

13 January 2020

Although turned down at the time by the British Museum, a 2nd century vase with Bacchic ornament found by Gavin Hamilton near Hadrian’s villa in Tivoli c.1771 proved a sensation with 18th century connoisseurs.

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Norwegian silver brudekrone pays a visit to Canterbury

13 January 2020

An atypical visitor to a recent sale at Canterbury Auction Galleries (24% buyer’s premium) was a Norwegian silver gilt brudekrone dating from the late 18th or early 19th century.

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