Smallwork remains one of the most collectable areas of the silver market, and Dorchester auctioneers Duke's will be aiming to tempt enthusiasts for one particular corner of this arena later this month.
The Dorchester auctioneers are offering a collection of castle
top card cases and vinaigrettes on the first of a two day
auction held on November 27-28.
Silver smallwork of this type was a speciality of the Birmingham
goldsmiths in the 19th century, who were part of a huge industry
turning out silver toys and accessories for the burgeoning middle
Many were conceived as souvenirs of a particular place, and the
so-called castle-top format, which features a well-known landmark
such as a cathedral, castle or other topographical scene, was a
popular form of memento for which firms such as Nathanial Mills and
Joseph Willmore soon built up a reputation.
Duke's collection, formed over more than 25 years by a now-retired
West Sussex couple, is notable for the additional research
undertaken by the vendors who put together a photographic archive
to help identify less familiar buildings.
There will be around 50 examples, the majority by Birmingham
makers, on offer at Duke's.
Highlights from the collection are also on show this week at
Partridge Fine Art in New Bond Street on Monday and Tuesday
November 3 and 4.
By Anne Crane