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Spoons serve up a taste of history...

18th January 2023

Lawrences commenced their first Fine Art sale of the year with 480 lots of silver and vertu. As usual, the variety on offer was considerable and prices reflected keen bidding from Britain and abroad.

Early highlights included a Victorian part-canteen of Onslow Pattern flatware and a George V part-canteen of Hanoverian Pattern flatware and cutlery that made £9,000.

There are many collectors in this vast field and competition can be intense for rare examples or spoons in really fine condition.  The sale included a number of early spoons from a private collection of silver to include a trio of spoons comprising a Charles I Silvergilt Apostle spoon, an early Charles II Puritan spoon and a James I Apostle spoon that made a combined total of £5,900.  Three other spoons from 1597-1797 in date realised a total of £9,750 to include an Elizabeth I Wessex Area Seal Top spoon, scratched on the top with the initials and date "MB. 27 OCT. 1597" that made £3000; a James I Silvergilt Lion Sejant spoon, engraved with a coat of arms below two crests and motto "QUA POTE LUCET" (`By Which Power It Shines`), by William Cawdell, London 1603, made £3000; and a George III fiddle pattern dessert spoon engraved with the crest of Nelson, the stern of the St. Joseph, by Messrs Eley and Fearn  (London 1797) that made £3,750.

Other highlights included a William & Mary mug by Benjamin Pyne, London 1693 that made £2,200; a 19th Century Fob Seal, the intaglio possibly the arms of Le Marchant, 1.75" high, £2,500; a modern two-colour sculpture of a dragon, ‘Pegasus II’ by Georges Weil,  1970 with a textured body, flashes of 18ct gold decoration and set with ruby eyes, raised on a white marble base that made £4375; and a George III two-handled bowl and cover by Digby Scott & Benjamin Smith, London 1803, £3,375.

Some of the day’s top prices came from a collection of superb boxes.  A gold and ,other-of-pearl snuff box, decorated with gold overlay with a fox amongst foliage chasing a dragonfly, possibly c.1740 and 3-inches long made £5625; a George III Silvergilt Irish Freedom Box, with the coat of arms and motto of Drogheda, and engraved on the base with the coat of arms and motto for Brabazon, by Abraham Tuppy, Dublin c.1780; 3.2" diameter; made £6,250; and a charming 19th Century parcel-gilt Dutch marriage casket engraved with couples in oval motifs, the locking mechanism mounted with cupid and inscribed, maker's mark "SA", c.1845; 2.9" long; 3.8oz made £9000. The day’s total exceeded £220,000 with over 93% of lots sold.

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5 stars

“Congratulations on what looked like a very successful sale ! You never mentioned that you did the auctioneering as well ... talk about doing the whole job ... see it into the building, find out what it is, decide if it’s for the Fine Art sale or the General Sale, lot it and describe it accordingly, and then sell it ... that really does count as seeing the job through from start to finish! Whilst the job isn’t over yet, it really is a case of so far, so good ... some items have sold for sums that exceeded our expectations, with one item in particular fetching a truly remarkable sum, so we’re very happy indeed... we’ve noted how accurate the guide prices are ... and how gratifying it is when the bidding goes sailing past the guide ! I found the whole week to be both gripping entertainment and pleasingly rewarding financially. Please accept my sincerest congratulations for a job well done, and we’ll look forward to the October and November Sales with bated breath ...”

Andrew P

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