A set of George III silver tea caddies – £8600 at Mallams.

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They included a set of three George III silver tea caddies in a splendid tortoiseshell and silver box.

Dating from 1770 and made by London-based silversmiths Daniel Smith and Robert Sharp, the rectangular bombe-form tea caddies are decorated with pinecone finials, and are accompanied by an outer box featuring a domed top, pierced silver mounts and engraved, crowned lions.

Estimated at £2000-£3000 at the auction on December 8-9, the set achieved almost three times its top estimate, selling for £8600.

Another tea caddy from the same period, this one featuring beaded borders, bright cut decoration and a green stained carved ivory pineapple finial by Henry Chawner in 1786, was estimated at £500-£700 but achieved £1300.

A George II lighthouse form coffee pot sold for £2600. It was of particular interest for its provincial marks. The maker’s punch (for Exeter 1759) was probably those of Sampson Bennett of Falmouth, the prolific West Country goldsmith whose will from 1766 is preserved in the National Archives in Kew.

Prick of the bunch


Queen Anne Scottish silver thistle cups – £10,000 at Mallams.

The top price was achieved by a pair of Queen Anne Scottish silver thistle cups.

Of typical form, with part lobed girdled bodies and beaded strap handles, they were each engraved with the initials W over IA, and bore the maker’s mark for Thomas Cleghorne, Edinburgh 1702, and the assay master’s mark for James Penman.

They achieved a hammer price of £10,000 (£5000-8000).