A fine example of a piece of Arts and Crafts silver from the workshop of Omar Ramsden and Alwyn Carr was hotly contested in a recent inaugural Silver & Objects of Vertu Sale at Kinghams Auctioneers in Gloucestershire.
An inkwell, inset with a natural turquoise cabochon finial and fully hallmarked to both the base and cover, rose to hammer of £2,400
According to Kinghams Associate Director, Matthew Lafite: “Seventeenth-century, Arts and Crafts and novelty silver items were amongst the most sought-after lots. We were so pleased with the amount of pre-sale interest and competitive bidding on sale day.”
Novelty silver also proved popular with a menagerie of zoomorphic pin cushions performing well. A standing bull made £500, and an emu pulling a mother-of-pearl cart sold for £520. However, the star lot was an Edwardian silver pin cushion modelled in the form of a crouching cat, which was contested by two telephone bidders, and finally landed on its feet at £1,200.
Two seventeenth-century silver counters, after Simon van de Passe, ensuite with a counter box, sold well by doubling the top estimate, going to an online bidder for £2,000. Matthew remarked: “The counters, in particular, were remarkable works of art in miniature, and were sourced from a Cotswolds private collection.”
He continued: “One of my favourite lots from the sale was a Victorian novelty silver scent bottle, modelled in the form of a swan’s head, by Sampson Mordan. It is a beautiful thing.” The swan was chased by bidders on the telephone, in the room and online; after a protracted contest, it was finally hammered down at £2,600.
A Maltese sugar bowl, of conventional form, dating from the de Rohan period, c.1785, marked AT for Aloisio Troisi, sold to an online buyer for £2,600. The piece was found languishing at the back of a cupboard and is now being repatriated back home to Malta.