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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Fine Silver Reaches Fine Prices at Auction

Fine English, Continental and Chinese Export Silver was in high demand at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Fine Silver and Objects of Vertu, held yesterday Tuesday 26th February, with many pieces eclipsing their pre-sale estimates.

Qianlong filigree vases and covers
Qianlong filigree vases and covers
The closing section of Chinese Export Silver ended the sale on a high, with a pair of late 18th century Qianlong filigree vases and covers, attributed to the Canton silversmith Pao Ying, selling for £23,560. [Lot 801]

James Nicholson, Deputy Chairman of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions and International Head of Jewellery, Silver and Watches said: “We are absolutely delighted with the result from today’s auction, particularly in relation to the 13 Chinese export silver items. Chinese export silver has remained one of the most globally buoyant antique silver categories throughout the economic downturn, and Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are making bold in-roads in to the Chinese market, most recently through the addition of Adrien von Ferscht as Consultant in Chinese Export Silver to our already established Silver Department. Adrien has given us new expertise in this highly complex silver category.”

Other Chinese Export Silver that achieved top prices in the sale included a pair of late 18th century Qianlong gilt filigree pedestal cases and covers which sold to a Hong Kong buyer for £21,080 [Lot 800] and a silver tea pot by the Canton and Shanghai retail silversmith Wo Shing selling to a Chinese buyer in Australia for £4,960. [Lot 812]

Despite the impressive prices achieved for the Chinese Export Silver, it was an English William IV silver dinner service that achieved the top sale price, selling for £26,040. The dinner service, with the maker’s mark ‘RG’, possibly Robert Gainsford, Sheffield in 1832, was engraved ‘Presented to Peter Greenall Esquire by the Inhabitants of St Helens and Neighbourhood As a token of their Esteem for his private worth and of Gratitude for his public service.’ The service was impressive for two reasons: in that it had stayed together over so many generations and for its size, comprising a soup tureen and cover, a set of four entree dishes, covers and handles, a set of four sauce tureens and covers, a pair of shaped oval serving dishes and a pair of salvers, selling to the London trade for £26,040. [Lot 734]

Bidders online and on the phone competed to take home a very collectable Victorian ‘castle-top’ card case by Nathaniel Mills, decorated with the Dublin International Industrial Exhibition Building, it sold to an English buyer in the room for £10,540. [Lot 757]

Fashionable in the 19th century, castle-top card cases were stamped or engraved with local landmarks and sold to the thriving tourist market as souvenirs. The most collectible pieces in the current market are for unusual landmarks and destinations similar to the Dublin International Industrial Building, which although the most extravagate and expensive event of 19th century Ireland, was only open from May to October 1853.

Another fine British piece to achieve a top price in the sale was an extensive late Victorian electro-plated tea service by Barker Brothers which sold for £5,580 to a Middle East buyer. The finely decorated tea service was given by the King of Morocco, Hassan II to the Italian gynaecologist Professor Pietro Marziale, on the safe delivery of his son Crown Prince Sidi Mohammed born on 21st August 1963. It was sold along with a photograph of the Crown Prince aged 6 years old and a newspaper reporting the news of the royal birth. [Lot 701]

The carefully curated sale of Fine Silver and Objects of Vertu was held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions Donnington Priory saleroom, in Berkshire on Wednesday 26th February. Details of all the prices realised are available to view online at www.dreweatts .com