Pair of 19th century electroplated cups stamped for the noted Sydney silversmith Evan Jones £1900 at Andrew Smith & Son.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Apprenticed from the age of 12, his business with a workshop in Erskine Street was first listed in the Sydney Directory for 1873. The firm produced gold and silver racing cups, rowing and sculling trophies, and decorative tableware as well as epergnes with motifs drawn from the local flora and fauna.

At the Sydney International Exhibition of 1879 (Australia’s first), Jones showed ‘emu’s eggs mounted in 101 different ways’. This relatively modest pair of 6½in (17cm) cups with stems cast with Aborigine heads underlined the demand for Australian silverware when it took a surprise £1900 (£80-120).