This Scottish provincial George II communion cup topped Lyon & Turnbull’s latest silver sale in Edinburgh.
One of three cups consigned by Dundee's
Steeple Kirk, it was being sold to raise funds for restoration and
facilities at the historic church which dates back to the 12th
century and is the city's oldest building.
Any piece of 18th century Dundee hollowware
is pretty rare and many pieces that have survived are now in
This example, which was marked for Charles
Dickson II, had an acorn-knopped stem and a stepped domed circular
foot. It also had a Latin inscription over two lines referring to
the merchant Thomas Read de Auchinleck who either commissioned it
or donated it to the church in 1733.
In good condition with only a few minor
defects, the 20oz cup was 8¾in (22cm) high and was estimated at
£8000-12,000 at the sale on August 19. However, it drew competition
beyond these levels and was eventually knocked down at £17,000 to a
That buyer also bought a second communion
cup by Charles Dickson II from the same source. This example, given
to the church in 1730, sold for £15,000, while a third cup by John
Steven, donated in 1750, sold to a different buyer at £6000.
The buyer's premium was 25/20%.