Two major silver collections will be sold by UK provincial salerooms in the autumn season. Edinburgh-based auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull will offer for sale the first part of the Chen collection in London on November 23, while Salisbury’s Woolley & Wallis will complement their October silver sale with a single-owner catalogue devoted to the collection of the late George Petzall.
Hong Kong collectors Sinclair and Raye Heather Chen have spent 14 years acquiring the silver and works of art that Lyon & Turnbull are to sell on November 23 at the Caledonian Club, Belgravia.
Part one of two comprises top-quality Russian and English silver including a silver-gilt cloisonné and en-plein enamel casket marked for Fedor Ruckert, Moscow 1908-1917 (estimate £40,000-50,000) and a set of four Paul Storr silver-gilt candlesticks bearing the crest of William, 1st Earl of Lonsdale (estimate £60,000-£80,000).
Part two, which will follow in spring 2009, will include fine Viennese enamels and rock crystal, Asian and European works of art, as well as European carved ivories.
Lyon & Turnbull estimate the collection as a whole is worth £6m. It will be available to view in Philadelphia (Freemans, October 1-5), New York (The Forbes Gallery, October 6-12) and Edinburgh (Lyon & Turnbull, November 15-16) before moving to Belgravia for sale.
George Petzall (1937-2008), whose collection Woolley & Wallis will sell on October 28, was well known to older members of the silver trade (he later became reclusive) and is remembered both for his eccentricities and his eye for great detail.
When he started his career in the antiques hypermarket at the junction of Kensington High Street and Kensington Church Street in the early 1960s, he wore a powdered wig, breeches and tailcoat. Brown roll-up cheroots and turtleneck sweaters later became his trademark.
He particularly liked to buy wine funnels, vinaigrettes and card cases (castle tops were a speciality) keeping the best pieces for a personal collection stored in bags in his flat in West Hampstead.
The result is the £200,000 accumulation of silver smallwork and objects of vertu to be offered in nearly 500 lots on October 29.
By Roland Arkell