THIS iron casket with gold and silver damascening decoration provided the high point of the sale conducted by Shapes of Edinburgh on March 7, selling at £37,000.
It measures 17in wide by 13in high (44 x 32cm) and is profusely
chiselled, engraved and inlaid with a riot of cherubs, caryatids,
armorial devices, fruiting cornucopia, masks, beasts and scrolling
The hinged lockplate covers the monogram PZ for the
Eibar metalworker Placido Zuloaga (1834-1910), the name most often
associated with the revival of the damascene technique in mid-19th
Having taken over the management of the family business of
armourers in 1859, the firm began to concentrate increasingly on
luxury items, such as this, that were first seen by a wider
audience at the London Exhibition in 1862. An exhibition
of work from the Zuloaga workshops - 40 pieces from the holdings of
Nasser D. Khalili - was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in
Shapes' vendor, who agreed to an estimate of £10,000-£15,000, is
understood to be a descendant of George Thorneycroft Sassoon
(1936-2006), who lived on Mull, the scientist, author and only
child of the First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon
The casket was understood to have once resided at Heytesbury
House in Wiltshire, where the poet lived a reclusive life in old
age. The buyer was a Warwickshire dealer.
The buyer's premium was 16 per cent.