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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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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Youghal basting spoon draws interest in Salisbury

13 January 2020

Alongside pieces made in Kinsale, Galway and Waterford, silver from the small County Cork town of Youghal is among the scarcest of all Irish provincial silver. Only a handful of pieces survive that carry the punning town mark of a yawl.

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Versailles steps in for Sabine cast

13 January 2020

Palace uses power of pre-emption to buy cast of Giambologna’s seminal sculpture at auction.

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Cups from the Spetchley Park kunstkammer

13 January 2020

Sotheby’s (25% buyer’s premium) sale of art and antiques from the Regency manor house Spetchley Park in Wychavon, Worcestershire, held in London on December 11, included a range of ‘kunstkammer’ objects amassed by the Berkeley family in the 19th century.

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Pugin’s christening gift draws strong interest

13 January 2020

This small Gothic Revival beaker was made by ecclesiastical metal manufacturer John Hardman (Birmingham, 1848) at the height of the first partnership with AWN Pugin.

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Candlesticks light up Bruges sale

13 January 2020

This impressive and rare pair of silver table candlesticks with cluster columns, square bases and drip cups had no visible hallmarks but is probably Dutch and late 17th century in date.

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Silver coffee pots: a selection of hammer highlights

13 January 2020

The typical Georgian silver coffee pot is one of the great bargains of 21st century antiques collecting.

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Performing elephant silver novelty sells well above predictions

13 January 2020

Victorian silver novelties do not come much better than this claret jug, formed as a 9in (23cm) tall kneeling elephant by James Barclay Hennell, London 1881. The hinged head (currently lacking tusks) forms the cover.

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Prepare to be bowled over in Yorks

23 December 2019

The first event of the year for Galloway Antiques Fairs is its local event in Harrogate.

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Spaniel sniffs out snuff

23 December 2019

Matthew Barton (25% buyer’s premium) attracted international interest in this early-19th century German gold snuff box at his November 20 London sale.

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A tale of Hoffmann

23 December 2019

In 1906, three years after he had founded the Wiener Werkstätte with Koloman Moser, the multi-talented Austrian Josef Hoffmann designed a silver casket.

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Duchess of Modena service: 11 pieces sold

16 December 2019

The 11 pieces of early-18th century Régence silver gilt from a dressing service pictured below were billed by Christie’s as “the last remnants of France’s most glorified stylistic and historically important period”.

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The web shop window: Armoury of St James’s equestrian figure

16 December 2019

Thousands of items are available to buy from dealers online. Here we pick out one that caught our eye this week.

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Pick of the week: Corking silver piece of Irish rebel memorabilia

09 December 2019

This rare piece of Cork silver of Irish Republican interest sold for £4000 (plus 23% premium) at Sworders latest sale.

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Silver table toppers draw strong trade interest

02 December 2019

Exuding the exuberant confidence of pre-1914 Britain, this 21in (52cm) long silver table centrepiece, below, was a natural target for the London trade at the Anthemion (17.5% buyer’s premium) November 20 sale in Cardiff.

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Thieves steal precious baroque treasures from German museum

25 November 2019

Dresden’s Royal Palace has been targeted by thieves who cut the electricity supply to enter exhibition rooms at its museum containing thousands of valuable antiques.

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Philip Rundell silver dishes among sales at the west London winter staging of Olympia antiques fair

25 November 2019

A pair of George III covered serving dishes made in London 1819 by Philip Rundell sold from the stand of Mary Cooke Antiques during the latest edition of the Winter Art & Antiques Fair in Olympia.

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Cartier cigarette case and presentation trowels give echoes of the First World War at Cirencester auction

25 November 2019

Differing echoes of the First World War attracted bidders at Dominic Winter’s (20% buyer’s premium) Cirencester auction in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday.

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George III trophy heads to South Africa

25 November 2019

An impressive piece of neoclassical silver gilt with an impressive provenance, this George III trophy was consigned to Gerrards (18% buyer’s premium) by a vendor whose great-grandmother had apparently been given it ‘by royalty’.

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A price not to be sneezed at

18 November 2019

In the first decades of the 19th century, watchmakers in many parts of Europe made a living by producing highly ornate watches and gold boxes, many of them for Chinese buyers.

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