Ewbank’s, the leading Surrey antiques and fine art auction house, sold a single-owner collection of more than 600 lots of silver for over £62,000 recently.
Billed as “The Silver Collectors’ Dream” sale it was extremely popular with many bidders travelling to buy in person in the saleroom just outside Guildford, as well as many international buyers from Russia, India, USA, Hong Kong, China and Europe on the phone and online.
The collection featured silver from 18th to 20th centuries from many different parts of the world, including Imperial Russia, China, Colonial India, England, Continental Europe and America. It was consigned for sale by the executors of a deceased gentleman, who started buying about 45 years ago, in the late 1970s. It was carefully lotted to offer collectors the opportunity of buying small items for relatively modest prices.
Chris Ewbank, senior partner at Ewbank’s, said: “We are thrilled with the response to this unique and expansive collection of silverware. The final hammer price was £62,156, against the low-end of sale estimate of just under £39,000. It was an extraordinary collection put together by one man over almost 50 years, and proved very popular with 95 per cent of the lots, 603 out of 632, selling.”
Highlights of the collection were works by well-known silver and goldsmiths and retailers including Karl Fabergé, Paul Storr, Omar Ramsden, Liberty & Co., Tiffany & Co., and Georg Jensen.
The highest hammer price of the sale was for a pair of George IV English silver salts with gadrooned borders by celebrated London-based silversmith Paul Storr. The low-end estimate was £600, and they sold for £1,100. Each are on four moulded foliate and paw feet, weighing 7.9oz (245g).
Over 100 lots of Russian silver were particularly popular at the sale, with a silver and champleve enamelled goblet with floral decoration, assayed in St Petersburg (3.9ox, 123g), going for £800. An early 20th century Russian triptych travel icon, modelled as an orthodox church which opened to reveal three hand-painted panels featuring saints, reached £800 under the hammer.
Other Russian lots of note included a silver and mauve guilloche enamelled circular pill box, decorated with white enamel and gilt, and set with a diamond which sold for £700, and a late 19th century Russian silver gilt and enamelled kovsh, a traditional drinking vessel or ladle, with the maker’s mark for Gustav Klinger, assayed in Moscow, 1896, made £600.
A striking gold and turquoise hat-pin by famous Russian jeweller Karl Fabergé (1846-1920) hit the high-end of the estimate, £500, given by the experts at Ewbank’s. It has Fabergé markings and is 56 standard. Fabergé was, and still is, best-known for his highly decorated eggs made of precious metals and gems.
Chinese silverware also garnered much interest from buyers at the sale, with a silver snuff box 2.9oz (92g) decorated with figures in a landscape with bamboo selling for £550, and a late 19th / early 20th century Chinese silver mug with bamboo decoration by Wang Hing reaching £500 in the saleroom.
Pieces made by British silversmiths received an excellent response too, according to the team at Ewbank’s. A George I silver mug with ’S’ scroll handle on a round foot, by renowned London silversmith William Packman, c1722, sold for £380, and a pair of Queen Anne Britannia standard silver spoons by Henry Greene of London (171g) reached £360 at the sale.
Ewbank commented: “This was a fantastic start to our three-day Summer Fine Art sale. This three-day sale is the biggest in our history with more than 2,200 lots, valued at over £500,000.
“We have been delighted with the high quality of lots consigned. There is a truly diverse selection on sale, including four impressive single-owner collections, the first of which was this fascinating silverware, but also of antique glass, masonic medals, and coins.”