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Rare Discovery Heads Up Silver & Vertu Sale...

16th January 2020

A huge selection of 660 lots of silver and vertu commenced Lawrences’ week of Winter Fine Art sales on January 14th. The sale began with John P. Crabb’s collection of silver, sent from Canada for sale. Of the 206 lots on offer, 200 found buyers for a total of £84,700, the top price being £3750 paid for a Russian gold snuff box from St Petersburg, circa 1840.

Later highlights included a collection of caddy spoons that totalled £30,000 with only one lot failing to sell. The top price was the £3500 paid for a 1932 spoon by the celebrated silversmith and designer Omar Ramsden.

The front cover of the catalogue showed a Continental table decoration of a squirrel, realistically modelled as it eats a nut. The 25cm high animal attracted lots of bids to take £5000 against hopes of £800. A set of five sauce tureens  by Wakelin and Taylor of London, 1789, were made for the Earl and Countess Poulett of Hinton St George, near Crewkerne. These made £5000 and a rare `Castletop` vinaigrette of York by Nathaniel Mills exceeded hopes to take £5500. It had been found in a drawer during a routine valuation in Taunton.

The day’s top price was saved for the day’s last lot. A very rare Medieval draughtsman, made of walrus ivory and illustrating one of Aesop’s fables, was made in Northern France in the late 12th Century. Despite being recorded in reference books, its whereabouts were unknown until it surfaced in a Somerset Collection.  Guided at £15000-20000, this exquisite little item (5.75cm) made £50,000 to take the day’s total to over £340,000.

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