Elizabeth I or James I pewter bell-based candlestick, £25,000 at Bishop & Miller.

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It is a well-known piece. Sold several times in the past half a century, it is illustrated in a number of reference works including Christopher Peal’s British Pewter and Britannia Metal for Pleasure & Investment (1971) where the author remarks it gives “a hint of the glories of Tudor design”.

In British Pewter (1969), author Ronald Michaelis notes it is “a very rare form of which only about a half dozen are known in pewter”.

The example in the Victoria and Albert Museum, part of the Alfred Yeates bequest, is virtually identical and dated to c.1600.

Little but large impact

This one was acquired by Tony Chapman, a past president of the Pewter Society, when the David Little collection was sold by Christie’s in May 2007. Back then, estimated at £20,000-30,000, it had made £16,000 (or £19,200 including 20% buyer’s premium).

The Stowmarket sale, for the first tranche of the Chapman collection, posted a hammer total £136,000. A second part will be offered in October.