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With representatives of specialist dealers St Giles Silver and Bourdon-Smith in the saleroom, along with leading collectors and members of the Silver Spoon Club, all 38 lots found buyers, with this remarkable set of 12 Elizabethan lion sejant affronte spoons with gilt terminals attracting the highest price.
Bearing the maker’s stamp C enclosing R, hallmarked London 1569 and weighing a total of 23oz, the spoons had been later engraved with the initials N.C., which the auctioneers ascribed to one of four members (Neil, Neil, Ninian or Niall) of the Campbell clan. They had last appeared at auction in 1954, when they sold for £2200 at Christie’s. Here they were contested by two private collectors, one in the room, the other on the telephone, the latter winning at £115,000 (plus 15/10 per cent buyer’s premium).