Margaret Carnegie’s christening bowl by Theodore Starr – £4400 at Hannam’s.

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Marked for the eminent New York maker Theodore Starr and beautifully worked with a circumference scene of water lilies, equally important for its commercial fortunes was the inscription and a case with the initials MC for Margaret Carnegie (1897-1990).

She was the only daughter of the Scottish- American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and her christening bowl part of the furnishings at Skibo Castle, the Highland mansion which Carnegie restored and where Margaret spent most of her childhood summers.

Measuring 8¼in (21cm) wide including its folding handle, it was pitched at £2000-3000 at the on February 22-25 auction and sold to a US art institution at £4400.


George IV silver gilt plate engraved with a Bacchanal by Edward Thomason – £5500 at Hannam’s.

Other stand-out silver at the Selborne sale included a 13in (33cm) diameter silver-gilt plate marked for the Birmingham industrialist Edward Thomason (1769-1849) and the date letter 1828 (it was not Victorian as catalogued).

Thomason employed some of the best engravers of the day to produce his medals and tokens – techniques that were on display in this dish engraved with an Bacchic scene and a deep border of schools and scrolling anthemion. Modestly estimated at £500-800, it took £5500 from a silver dealer.


A 1757 swing-handle pierced basket by London smiths Samuel Herbert & Co – £4000 at Hannam’s.

Sold at £4000 against a similar guide was a 1757 swing-handle pierced basket by London smiths Samuel Herbert & Co. Of typical George II form and weighing 48oz, it was decorated to the rim and to the handle with cast heads of Chinamen. “It was such a lovely piece that a UK collector outbid the silver dealers,” said Hannam’s Cam Clarke.