News & Insights

Preview: Silver in the Fine Jewellery, Watches & Silver Sale

8th June 2022.

An impressive Victorian Silver Four-Light Candelabrum presented to a high-ranking British Army officer is amongst a strong offering of 160 lots of silver and objects of vertu in Tennants Auctioneers’ Fine Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale on 16th July. The Candelabrum was made by John Mortimer and John Samuel Hunt of London in 1840 and presented to Lt. General the Right Honourable Sir Edward Blakeney K.C.B., G.C.H. (1778-1868) by ‘A Few Friends in Dublin’. Blakeney was born in Newcastle, the son of Major William Blakeney, himself and Army officer who fought at the Battle of Rheinberg and the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American War of Independence. After entering the Army to serve with the 8th Light Dragoons, Sir Edward rose rapidly through the ranks, seeing action in numerous battles from Dutch Guiana to Copenhagen, and served with Sir Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, during the Peninsular War in 1810. In 1862 he was promoted to Field Marshall, having been sent 1836 to Ireland as Commander-in-Chief before becoming Lord Justice of Ireland. Back in England he would go on to become Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Candelabrum is offered with an estimate of £5,000-8,000 plus buyer’s premium.

Also with provenance from the armed forces is a rare Victorian Table Service in the Admiralty pattern, made by several silversmiths from 1840 to 1877, each piece marked with the British Government broad arrow (estimate: £3,000-5,000). Comprising 52 pieces, according to family tradition the service was acquired, either as a gift or a purchase, from the Royal Navy by Rear Admiral Hugh Webb Faulkner (1900-1969) and has since remained in his family. The rare pattern, which depicts a fouled anchor below the Royal crown, was first made for the use of Royal Naval officers in the early 19th century, until it was discontinued around the First World War.

A Victorian Silver Jug presented to Dr Amos Ingham, Charlotte Brontë’s doctor, is also up for sale with an estimate of £700-1,000. The jug is chased with a depiction of Sir Edwin Landseer’s ‘Bolton Abbey in the Olden Times’, the original of which is in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth. The jug was presented to the Haworth doctor by the Viscountess Montauban in 1873, in recognition of his friendship and services to her late father, Richard Shackleton Butterfield. A successful mill owner, Butterfield was ruthless in his attempt to build a family fortune and earned a reputation as a cruel man who treated his employees appallingly, unfortunately a common practice in mills. Patrick Brontë, father of Charlotte, lobbied the Government to intervene. Butterfield resisted the imposed changes, leading to a strike, the ringleaders of which he had arrested. Charges were dropped and Charlotte noted in a letter to her father ‘…I cannot help enjoying Mr Butterfield’s defeat…’. Ingham saw to Charlotte Brontë in 1855 during her last illness and signed her death certificate. There is a portrait of him in the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Pieces by notable makers in the sale include an Edward VII Silver Epergne by James Dixon and Sons of Sheffield 1906 (estimate: £6,000-8,000), a George IV Silver Meat Dish by Paul Storr of London, 1829 (estimate: £2,000-3,000), and an Art Nouveau Victorian Silver Tray by William George Connell of London, 1900 (estimate: £1,200-1,800). Also included in the sale is an interesting George V Silver Bowl by Mappin and Webb of London 1913, inspired by the 8th/9th century Irish Ardagh chalice and awarded as the Lancashire and Yorkshire Post Office Football Challenge Cup in 1914 (estimate: £1,000-1,500), a large Elizabeth II Silver Model of a Royal Stag and Deer by Camelot Silverware Ltd after a model by Tom Mackie (estimate: £700-1,000), and an Elizabeth II Silver Table Service by Viners of Sheffield designed by Gerald Benney (estimate: £2,000-3,000).

Amongst the Objects of Vertu in the sale is an Edward VII Silver and Enamel Cigarette Case by Adie Brothers, Birmingham, 1936, which is decorated with a Bugatti 57 type coupe (estimate: £500-800) and a rare Edward VII Gold Vesta Case by Percy Edwards Ltd, London, 1909, enamelled with an elegant lady and a horse’s head above the legend ‘Where Thouroughbreds [sic] Meet’ (estimate: £3,000-5,000).


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