To collectors of the so-called castle-top card cases, subject matter is everything. Pictured here is a great rarity.
The Bevis Marks Synagogue in London was built by Joseph Avis, a
Quaker, for the Sephardic Jews and opened in 1701.
It is the oldest synagogue still in use in Britain, although when
Nathaniel Mills made this card case depicting an exterior view of
the building in 1845 it was perhaps as a special commission rather
than a commercial line.
It was the unexpected highpoint of the sale of jewellery, silver,
watches, coins and medals conducted by Newbury auctioneers Dreweatt
Neate (17.5% buyer's premium) at the Donnington Priory salerooms on
The unusual subject matter was of sufficient interest to have
attracted silver enthusiasts and card case collectors, but the
auctioneers were of the opinion that the Jewish interest helped to
push it to £8000 (estimate £800-1200).
The price appears to be an auction record for a castle-top card
In all, 531 or 88 per cent of the sale's 602 lots sold for a total