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As this is a bullish market, especially where the best is concerned, that isn’t perhaps such a surprising outcome. No Dutch silver collection worth its salt would be complete without a 17th century piece by one of the Van Vianens of Utrecht, the Netherlands’ most celebrated silversmithing family.

Dreesmann had no fewer than three, one each by brothers Paul and Adam, and one by Adam’s son Christian.

Topping the sale was Adam van Vianen’s 9oz, 7in (18cm) long shaped oval bowl, pictured right which made a multiple-estimate €640,000 (£407,640), a new auction high for its maker. Signed ADV and dated 1622, this was a relatively early purchase for Dreesmann (from Christie’s Geneva in 1977). At this level it overtook what Christie’s had thought would be the more expensive of the Van Vianen offerings, Christian’s 9oz footed silver bowl of six years later. From the collection of the Duke of Hamilton, William Beckford’s great grandson and later the Joseph Ritman collection, that sold for €420,000 (£267,515).

The third piece, a 5in (12.5cm) diameter circular plaquette cast with a figure of Charity by Paul, repoussé and chased with a female figure emblematic of Charity monogrammed PV to a rock and dated 1611, came in just over top estimate at €55,000 (£35,030).
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