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Charles I Spoon Serves Up a Big Price...

8th October 2019

An enormous selection of silver and vertu started Lawrences’ week of Autumn Fine Art sales. Over 800 lots were on offer in the seven hour auction and there was an eager enthusiasm from bidders from the very start.

Indeed, there were strong prices across four centuries.

A Queen Anne tankard by Jonathan Madden (1707) made £3750 and a complementary tazza from the same year, also by Madden, made £3,000. It is remarkable to think that these two lots, by the same maker, same date, have remained together for over 300-years.

A fine set of four salts by the eminent silversmith Paul Storr (1805) made £3125; a silvergilt `castletop` vinaigrette by Washington and Deakin from 1853 showed Windsor Castle and made £2250; a Russian enamelled dish  from about 1896-1908 soared above its £250-300 estimate to make £4250 and a fan decorated with a selection of Shakespearian themes made £1250.

An early 20th Century reproduction of the Ardagh Chalice, made in Dublin in 1923, made £3750. The “Ardagh” chalice was found in 1868 by a young man in Reerasta, close to the village of Ardagh in County Limerick. He happened upon it & other treasures whilst digging potatoes. Miraculously the chalice was undamaged and is the finest example of medieval Irish goldsmith’s work. It dates from the 8th / 9th centuries and currently resides in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin.

Another big surprise was a `blockbuster` price for a 1940 inkstand, unusually modelled as Kodak film canisters (for ink) and a perpetual calendar in the form of a clapperboard. Specifically made as a presentation piece, it was bid to £2875.

Two very different spoons deserve a mention: a William IV caddy spoon in the form of an eagle’s wing, made by Joseph Wilmore in 1833, weighed just 0.3oz and flew to £1625 A very much plainer seal top spoon by Robert Robinson of Hull, c.1630, just scooped above its top estimate to make £6875.

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