Topping the list in the Lachmann collection offered at Ader was this 4in (10cm) high chalice shaped egg cup made in Paris in the first half of the 18th century. The bowl, which is decorated with slender lanceotate leaves, is set on a slender baluster-shaped stem and a circular gadrooned base which is engraved with the initials NG. It sold for €3200 (£2780) against a €2000-2500 estimate.
Ringing the changes on the collectable categories of silver smallwork was the Lachmann collection of egg cups which opened the silver auction held by Ader (28% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Paris on October 20.
Two later 18th century silver basket frame egg cups of a form known as à vannerie, each with a moveable cup. The example on the left, Paris 1780-81, measuring 1½in (3.5cm) high, sold for €1200 (£1045). The slightly larger example on the right, Paris 1784-85, which is engraved with an armorial, made €800 (£695), both offered at Ader.
Just over 60 examples were on offer, mostly in silver, spanning the early 18th century through to the mid 20th and charting a range of designs employed over the years for these small pieces of tableware, some of them straightforwardly utilitarian, others whimsical or ingenious.
A 2in (5.24cm) high egg cup with a blue glass liner set in a silver tripod based frame of neoclassical design with three hoofed feet, dating from c.1780. With marks for the Parisian master goldsmith Bernard Georgeon, (received in 1779), it sold for €500 (£435) at Ader.
Most found a buyer with prices ranging from a high of €3200 down to a couple of examples that sold for less than €100.
A 2¾in (7cm) high late 19th century silver egg cup from Paris made by Tallois & Mayence. The cup, with a gilt interior, is engraved with a medallion monogrammed CG set on three hen’s feet joined to the bowl by leafy terminals. Estimated at a modest €60-80, it was bid to €200 (£175) at Ader.
A 3in (7.5cm) high French silver egg cup from c.1900 (no goldsmith’s mark), the bowl formed as half a broken egg shell with a chick emerging from the side set on a tree trunk stem with a round foliate decorated base. It took €350 (£305) at Ader.
Art Nouveau egg cup made from chromed metal fashioned as artichoke stem with the globe forming the cup set on curled leaf, 3¼in (8.5cm) high, mark of Pierre-François Queille, sold for €350 (£305) at Ader.
£1 = €1.15/$1.12