It was a special commission from Devlin, made for the family of the vendor who sold it at George Kidner in Lymington, Hampshire, in 2005.
The box returned for sale at the Woolley & Wallis (25% buyer’s premium) Silver & Objects of Vertu auction in Salisbury on January 25-26 with a guide of £3000-4000 and sold at £6200 via thesaleroom.com.
As the box (with a glass-covered Swiss musical movement, marked Reuge, Sainte-Croix) is cased in Brazilian rosewood, the piece was sold with a CITES Article 10 certificate.
Charles I in amber
The most eagerly contested antique lot in the auction was a pair of 17th century amber-handled knives of a type associated with Konigsberg and other amber carving centres in Germany and the Baltic regions. Estimated at £800-1200, these sold online for £9000, the top lot of the sale.
Unmarked save the cutler’s marks to the blades, these were probably from the second half of the 17th century and were carved (presumably for the British market) with portraits of the martyr king Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, set with gilt filigree crowns and the ferrules worked with masks and scroll and bead decoration.
The fitted leather case was original, although the cover was replaced and repaired.