The second tranche of a private collection of nutmeg graters was offered at Woolley & Wallis’ October 19 sale.
When the Salisbury saleroom offered the first instalment on April
20, it sold out in record time, creating a new benchmark for
these collectables. This selection was not quite such a ground
breaker but nonetheless gave a solid repeat sell-out
It included strong prices for the rarest and best items, like
this 3oz, 2.25in (6cm) wide unmarked cartouche-shaped example of
Normally, a piece like this would make around £2000, reckoned
auction specialist Alexis Butcher. But what lifted this version out
of the ordinary was the engraved crest for Walpole, probably for
the celebrated Sir Robert Walpole 1676-1745 for Walpole-related
silver of any form exerts its own special magic.
When this last went under the hammer in 1998 at Christie's it
fetched £8500, a huge price which also established an auction
record for a nutmeg grater.
At the Salisbury rooms it broke new ground again when the silver
dealer Nicholas Shaw bid £11,500 to secure it.