This Stuart Devlin ‘partridge in a pear tree’ Twelve Years of Christmas Limited Edition Surprise parcel-gilt-silver box, hallmarked London 1970, is estimated at £400-600 at Catherine Southon’s auction on October 3.

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It comprises more than 80 Devlin lots, including his distinctive and collectable ‘Surprise Eggs’ plus a complete set of the Christmas boxes (where each one represents one of the 12 days of Christmas – only 100 sets of these are known to exist).

Also included is a range of silver candlesticks, tableware, flatware, champagne flutes, goblets and beakers. Estimates range from £100-6000.

Local links helped to secure the collection for auction. The Devlin group has been amassed by a lady who lives close to Ripley Arts Centre, where Southon has an office. The consignor attends one of the art classes there – and that’s how she heard of the auction house and its sales, particularly of silver and jewellery.

In our recent silver feature (ATG No 2352) we wrote about how the death of designer Stuart Devlin earlier this year and a book he published just beforehand could lead to a reappraisal of his work.

Silver feature: Detail in the Devlin