Metalware

This sector comprises artefacts made from both base and precious metals. Many antique items were originally used for domestic purposes but are now collected on account of their craftsmanship, decorative quality and social interest.

Items can range from include pewter jugs, tin pots, brass bells, copper weathervanes and cast iron benches.

While this area offers plenty of affordable material, rare historical survivors can command high prices.


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Wingett goes for upmarket upcycling turning scrap into a super Georgian cistern

30 November 2020

In an act of decidedly upmarket upcycling, dealer Simon Wingett of Burton Antiques and his business partner have commissioned a series of casts of a George II wine cistern to be made from scrap.

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Firing demand: three fenders eagerly contested at autumn sales

16 November 2020

Pictured here are three quite different brass fireside fenders – all of them eagerly contested at autumn sales.

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Ingenious design for travelling chalice

19 October 2020

Made from paktong, a zinc, copper and nickel (or similar) alloy resembling silver, this c.1780 English travelling chalice, or cup, is modelled on drinking glasses of the period.

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Lot watched by eager beaker bidders

05 October 2020

Silver by major names from the early to late years of last century were major eyecatchers at the Lacy Scott & Knight (20% buyer’s premium) 20th Century Design Sale in Bury St Edmunds.

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Police call for help to find stolen Cotswolds post box sawn from its mount

13 August 2020

A Royal Mail post box has been sawn from its mount in a Cotswold village and local police are hoping to trace it.

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Ivory in demand ahead of trade ban

20 July 2020

Despite – or because of – the imminent prohibition, good-quality antique ivory works of art continue to bring solid prices at auction.

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Bromsgrove metalwork blows estimates away

20 July 2020

From the house clearance of a deceased estate, a small collection of Arts & Crafts metalwork triggered an estimate-demolishing response from dealers and collectors at Fieldings (20% buyer’s premium).

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Musik plays part as one of three €100,000 top-sellers

15 June 2020

Sotheby’s Paris (25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium) reported a cumulative total of €5.4m for the five online sales it held over two weeks in mid May through to early June. The initiative attracted new buyers, said the auction house, with 35% in the jewellery sale and 27% in the Contemporary art auction.

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Louis XIV vases stand out in summer sales at Christie’s Paris

18 May 2020

Christie’s Paris rooms has announced a programme of 18 summer sales that it will be holding over May, June and July. These are a mixture of timed auctions and live online (huis clos) auctions.

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English Arts & Crafts enamel plaques come to the fore in Cincinnati

18 May 2020

Treadway’s (25/20/15% buyer’s premium) Spring sale in Cincinnati was led by examples of Tiffany glassware and a Gallé ceramic.

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Ingenious chalices conceal Catholic purpose

27 April 2020

The Penal Laws weigh heavily on the history of Ireland. Before they were largely repealed in the period 1778-93, the series of statutes were imposed in an attempt to force Irish Catholics (and Protestant dissenters) to accept the established Church of Ireland.

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Raise a tankard to online sales at Bonhams Australia

27 April 2020

Bonhams Australia is holding its first auction behind closed doors in Sydney on May 13 with bidding online and by phone.

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Rare glass perfume bottle and Arts & Crafts pewter bowl designed by Archibald Knox emerge in Cincinnati

27 April 2020

Treadway Gallery’s Spring Sale of decorative arts will be held in Cincinnati on May 3 using phone, internet and absentee bidding but with no public attendance.

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Architects of a house sale success at Dreweatts

20 April 2020

Contents of Palladian home in County Durham provide showpiece auction in Newbury

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Hippo bathroom set by François-Xavier Lalanne scrubs up nicely for Sotheby’s Paris auction

13 April 2020

A bathroom set in the form of a family of hippos by François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008) is set to be a highlight of Sotheby’s Paris design auction in late June.

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Second chance for works from Spetchley Park offered at Chorley’s

02 March 2020

Second-dibs sales at regional salerooms – those that follow after a major London auctioneer has cherry-picked the contents of a stately country house – can sometimes acquire the slighting epithet of ‘crumbs from a rich man’s table’.

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Art Deco duo dance into North Shields

02 March 2020

Briefly catalogued, but accurately estimated, this bronze and ivory dancing couple was the outstanding star at Featonby’s (18.75% buyer’s premium) recent sale in North Shields.

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Bell to announce ships in Ceylon stands proud in Scotland

02 March 2020

This 14in (25cm) diameter bronze bell shown here bears the insignia of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (the Dutch East India Company or VOC), the date 1747 and the name Jaffanapatnam. It is suspended in a wrought iron frame and mounted to a large stone mill wheel.

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Moigniez bronze bird flies into German auction

27 January 2020

When he was only 20, the French sculptor Jules Moigniez exhibited one of his works at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1855.

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Royal history behind the £99,000 candelabra

27 January 2020

Highlight literally and metaphorically of the Woolley & Wallis sale on January 8 was a pair of ormolu and hardstone-mounted candelabra, superb in themselves and packed with French royal history.

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