FOUR centuries of social, commercial and military history dictate that South Africa is just occasionally the source of rare European antiques and works of art.
These two well-preserved English sealed wine
bottles, both from Devon - one for John White of Wrangaton, near
Dartmoor dated 1785, the other for G.C. Skinner of Tavistock dated
1780 - emerged for sale at Rudd's in Cape Town on
February 28 estimated at a lowly R2000-3000 (around £200).
Bidding opened at R45,000 before six UK
telephone bidders chased them to R110,000 (£9650) plus 15% buyer's
Although prices of this magnitude are
traditionally reserved for bottles of half a century earlier or
more, both vessels bore seals with name, date and location of their
original owner (key for the genealogical research that interests
today's collector) while the octagonal form of one is particularly
rare for this late 18th century date.
Both bottles formed part of the collection
of P.D.G. Pugh, author of Staffordshire Portrait Figures of the
Victorian Era,who retired to the Cape in 1980.
The buyer, from Kent, is currently
researching over 5000 British bottles for a book titled Antique
Sealed Bottles 1640-1900 and the Families that Owned Them.