Steeple Cup Soars Highest.. But Bidders Serve up Big Bids for a Surprising Little Spoon...
Lawrences 750-lot sale of silver and vertu was a highly successful venture and there were many strong prices to show the strength and breadth of this field. A substantial pair of communion flagons in early 18th Century style, but made as presentation pieces in 1933, stood 47cm high and weighed a mighty 210oz. These made £6500. A generously-proportioned Queen Anne tankard by John Langwith of York, 1709, more than doubled hopes of £2000 to make £4500 but, for those who prefer their drinks in smaller measures, a Channel Islands mug by Pierre Amiraux, c.1775-1800, roared above a high estimate of £1000 to make £6250. With similar success, a George IV mustard pot with three greyhounds at its base and a hare finial was chased above its £700 estimate to a remarkable £5000.
A William IV salver by William Kerr Reid, 1831, was sold with its original oak travelling case and took £6500, whilst bids for a rare early 18th Century Dutch `Lighthouse` sugar caster by Eustachius R. de Jongh of Utrecht, 1706, shone out and took the price up to £7500. Snuff boxes are not often bigger than a modern cigarette packet and sometimes only the size of a matchbox, so a 15.7cm wide example with a fine presentation inscription from 1849 appealed to a sufficient number of collectors to exceed hopes of £2000 before making £4000.
The day's top price was paid for a very distinctive and desirably scarce late Elizabeth I steeple cup and cover, generously awarded as a racing prize in 1928. The tall and elaborate salt container, destined only for the grandest dining table when it was made in 1602, took bids up to £37500. However, one of the best surprises (for its lucky finder) was for a rare spoon with an acorn knop, judged to be c.1300 in date. It was described candidly as being `in a crushed and contorted state with much denting in the bowl` which might explain why it had ended up in a tray of mixed modern cutlery at a car boot fair. Lawrences' lucky London vendor spotted it for just 20p and his hunch was rewarded with a final price of £2375. The day's total exceeded £375,000.
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