A c.1910 Isfahan silver photo frame – £2200 at Chiswick Auctions.

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It is an area of collecting that is a particular interest of John Rogers, head of silver at the west London saleroom.

Leading the section was a c.1910 photograph frame by the Isfahan silversmith Ja’far, the most sought-after name in 19th and 20th century Persian silver.

Consigned from France and bearing the French swan guarantee mark, the 9¾in (25cm) tall, easel-backed frame was profusely chased and engraved with scenes of King Darius’ court and, to the base, a scene from the medieval poem of the legendary tragic romance of Queen Shirin and her lover King Khosrow.

The sadness of the story reflects that the frame, probably a single commission, is a mourning item. The turquoise-inset heart-shaped central aperture is chased with a poem in Perso-Arabic Nast’aliq script beginning ‘Since the departure of my beloved, all manner of joy and comfort have been denied me’.

It found a more cheerful reaction at the June 22-23 sale, selling to a private UK buyer at £2200 against a £1000-1500 estimate.

In the mix


A c.1940 Teheran cocktail shaker – £1900 at Chiswick Auctions.

Rogers is gaining a useful following in this area. His reputation built across recent sales resulted in a request for help in identifying a cocktail shaker bought recently in the US for $950 (about £790).

The 9¾in (25cm) tall cylindrical shaker was a c.1940 work stamped in Farsi for retailer Martins of Teheran and the fine engraving was attributed to two of the leading craftsmen of the Pahlavi era, the brothers Abdollah and Ebrahim Dayizadeh.

The subject matter helped: engraved cartouches of women seated or kneeling, interspersed with arabesques and with a lift-off cover decorated with nightingales.

Consigned for sale and estimated at £1200-1600, it sold to a UK private buyer at £1900.

King addition


London 1664 sweetmeat dish or wine taster – £3000 at Chiswick Auctions.

On more familiar territory, best of the English silver was a London 1664 sweetmeat dish or wine taster, a new addition to the known works of Thomas King (free 1657, d.1680), brother of the more noted spoon maker John King.

Sold in the West Country earlier this year as an unidentified ‘18th century porringer, maker TK, London’ at a 12-times estimate £1850, it went to a private buyer at Chiswick at a lower-estimate £3000.