SIXTEENTH CENTURY BOX OF TRICKS FETCHES £10K

Excitement surrounds the discovery and sale of a tiny iron casket that sold for a jaw dropping £10K at a local auction.

The 8cm wide iron casket was discovered by Chief Valuer Adrian Rathbone of Richard Winterton Auctioneers in Lichfield in a box of junk. The box of ‘junk’ had been consigned from a local estate clearance amongst usual household effects to be sold at auction. All items consigned to the auction house are scrutinised and checked by the team and Mr Rathbone recalls finding the tiny iron casket:

Toledo iron casket‘I spotted something glistening at the bottom of a box of general pewter wares and could not believe what I pulled out. It caught my eye because it was covered in gilt decoration and appeared to be very early in date. I knew immediately that we had something rare and special’.

The casket turned out to be an example of rare Toledo (Spanish) metalwork dating from the sixteenth century. Meticulously constructed. It was an ingenious ‘box of tricks’ as the lock cover is released by pulling the front left foot, and furthermore the mechanism still worked.

The casket was put up for auction in the Fine Art Sale held by Richard Winterton last Thursday (22nd October) at the Lichfield Auction Centre. Photographed in the glossy sale catalogue, the casket attracted interest from UK and European buyers. Five phone bidders were lined up to bid on it and it eventually sold to a delighted UK bidder on the phone for £9,500, beating of competition from the continent.

Elsewhere in the same auction, Lot 156 a Lalique ‘Inseperables’ timepiece brought £2,600, Lot 199 a 1750’s Derby basket sold for £4,600 and Lot 240 a Victorian Minton majolica platter brought £2,100. Lot 250, a pair of mid nineteenth century European ivory figures representing autumn and winter consigned by a Lichfield client sold in the room for £5,500.

The next Fine Art Sale will be held on 9th December and will include Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson furniture from a local Convent. Contact Adrian Rathbone on 01543 251081 for further information or email [email protected]

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