It has been a fantastic year for the Silver & Objects of Vertu Department with Head of Department John Rogers, producing his strongest sales to date featuring items of considerable rarity with exceptional research, while still offering items to all levels of the market. We take a look at his 2020’s highlights.
11/12/2020 Silver & Objects of Vertu
Lot 313. A rare American mid-18th century silver pepper caster, Philadelphia circa 1740-50 by Phillip Syng Jr (1703-1789), 25 March 2020. Sold for £2,000 incl. Buyer's Premium.
This pepper pot represents the earliest piece of American silver offered to date by the department. It was discovered in a box of silver plated articles and bears only one mark 'PS'. The mark was confidently identified as that of prominent colonial-era Philadelphia silversmith Phillip Syng, perhaps most well known for producing the inkstand later used to sign the American Declaration of Independence.
Lot 481. An important and unrecorded Charles II provincial silver beaker, Great Yarmouth circa 1675-80 by Thomas Hutchinson (active 1675-1699), 30 October 2020. Sold for £7,500 incl. Buyer's Premium.
The rarest item offered this year was also a significant addition to our knowledge of the silver produced in small towns in the 17th century. Now the third known piece of holloware to be discovered from Great Yarmouth, this beaker exemplifies the simple restrained forms used in late 17th century English silver, it now forms part of an East Anglican collection.
Lot 473. Welsh Interest - A set of four George I Britannia standard silver candlesticks, London 1725 by Arthur Dicken (reg. 18th June 1720), 30 October 2020. Sold for £18,750 incl. Buyer's Premium.
Heraldry has always been a significant aspect of silver, used to decoratively distinguish ownership and lineage and in today’s world it extends the interest of a piece of silver beyond its physical characteristics to the social history of the patrons who owned the pieces. This set of four candlesticks are an excellent examples of Baroque style casting but also have important heraldry for the Baron’s Mansel of South Wales and has contributed a significant amount to the silver we now know was owned by Welsh patrons. How the Mansel’s silver was dispersed is still unknown but these pieces have now returned to descendants of the family.
Lot 172. A large late 19th / early 20th century Chinese Export silver twin handled tray, Canton circa 1900, retailed by Wang Hing, 30 October 2020. Sold for £5,250 incl. Buyer's Premium.
Lot 297. A large early to mid-20th century Iranian (Persian) unmarked silver samovar on stand, Isfahan circa 1920-40, 25 March 2020. Sold for £3,250 incl. Buyer's Premium.
Silver from outside of Europe has seen significant growth this year, noticeably in Indian and Persian silver. The desirability of the various fields encompassed in this sector, which also includes Burmese, Thai, Malay and Iraqi, continue to show room for growth; whereas Chinese export silver consistently proves itself to be one of the most sought after categories in the entirety of the silver trade. Offered in our October sale was a tray retailed by the famous Wang Hing store, originally crafted in the Canton workshop of Sui Chang, this in combination with identifiable Scottish heraldry lead to the strong price achieved.
The next Silver & Objects of Vertu sale will be held on 23 March 2021. Entries are invited now, please contact John Rogers, Head of Silver & Objects of Vertu, for a free and confidential valuation.