It would be amiss not to record the fortunes of the rare George II provincial silver tea kettle that, as reported in ATG no.1663, dated November 6 had been consigned for sale at Toronto fine art auctioneers Waddingtons (15% buyer’s premium) on December 6.
The heavy 57oz kettle (missing its stand) carried the marks RC
with a bird. In 1921 these assays were recorded in Sir Charles
Jackson's Silver & Gold Marks alongside other London makers
whose names had not been not traced.
However, David Barker, writing in Ian Pickford's 1989 revision of
that great work, has suggested that the bird is a crow and a play
on the name of Croker, who is recorded as a silversmith and cutler
in Guildford from 1729 to 1775. By the middle of the 18th century
there were at least five working silversmiths in the Surrey town
although no recognised body of work survives.
But, while it represented a significant find for the 'picker' who
bought it recently at a Canadian house sale, rarity did not
translate into a huge price tag. Although it comfortably exceeded
its modest Can$3500-5000 estimate, the English trade backed off at
Can$13,000 (£5900) at which point it sold to a Canadian collector.
The absence of the stand was a problem but it also appears that -
even in the provincial silver market - an object can be too
If that bird didn't fly then a Worcester saucer certainly did.
Measuring 5in (13cm) diameter this little gem from c.1752-54
painted in underglaze blue in the High Island pattern with
workman's marks to the base underlined the demand for the earliest
English porcelain when it skipped nominal hopes of Can$200-300 to
bring Can$5600 (£2550)
£1 = Can$2.20
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