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Preview: Spring Jewellery, Watches & Silver Sale

1st April 2022.

Nearly two hundred lots of silver will be coming under the hammer in Tennants Auctioneers’ Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale on 23rd April, including a good section of Chinese export silver mostly from two private collections. Highly collectable, highlights include a Chinese Export Silver Tray with Chinese Character Artisan Mark for Yi Tai, which was retailed by Luen Wo of Shanghai in the late 19th century; decorated with engraved chrysanthemum flowers and foliage, the tray is offered with an estimate of £1,200-1,800 (plus buyer’s premium). A Three Piece Chinese Export Silver Tea Service by the same maker and retailer is also offered with an estimate of £1,200-1,800. Modelled as gourds or melons, with applied chrysanthemums, the set is sold in a fitted wooden case. The gourd is associated with fertility in Chinese culture, and such sets were often given as wedding gifts.

In addition, a further tranche of silver from The Contents of The Laithes, Penrith from the Estate of Ian Stephenson, the first part of which sold so successfully in the Spring Fine Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale, will also be on offer. Alongside a good group of objects of vertu including scent bottles are further highlights which include a George III Silver Salver with Maker’s Mark ‘RR’ for either Richard Rugg or Robert Rew, London, 1774 (estimate: £700-1,000), A Victorian Silver and Enamel Vesta-Case made by Lawrence Emanuel of Birmingham in 1887, decorated with an enamelled scene of a reclining nude in a landscape (estimate: £300-500), and a Victorian Silver Claret Jug made by Edward and John Barnard of London in 1866, which features a snake handle and butterfly lid (estimate: £600-800). Also of interest will be an Edward VII Silver and Enamel Porringer made by William Snelling Hadaway of London in 1904, which is decorated with an enamel plaque of a stylised fish (estimate: £300-500), and an Edward VIII Silver Centrepiece made by Walker and Hall of Sheffield in 1902 (estimate: £1,200-1.800.

A collection of trench watches is set to stir interest from collectors in the Watch section of the sale. During the First World War, accurate timekeeping was vital for soldiers in the trenches, however pocket watches were cumbersome, easily broken, and difficult to read in low light levels. In response, new wristwatches were developed, with Arabic numerals for clarity, luminous hands, and durable materials; by 1917 the majority of officers owned a wristwatch and they soon spread to lower ranks. Highlights amongst the trench watches in the sale include an unusual 1916 Silver Full Hunter example, which has a hinged silver front cover (estimate: £150-200).

Also of interest in the section are an Oris Day/Date Big Crown (ref: 7500) (estimate£300-400), a Lady’s Tiffany & Co. white gold and diamond set Atlas watch (estimate: £600-800), a gold plated 1966 Omega Seamaster (ref:166.010) (estimate: £250-350), and a Silver Pair Cased Cylinder Pocket Watch made by Ellicot of London in 1775 (estimate: £200-300).

From a private family collection come pieces of jewellery with interesting provenance relating to the Rickards family. A circa 1918 Enamel and Diamond Portrait Miniature Pendant on Chain with A Locket and Seal is offered with an estimate of £300-500, the miniature having been purchased from John Moffat of Edinburgh. The miniature depicts Lt. Com. Arthur Scott Horace Pitt Rickards, R.N., of Rock End, North Berwick, who was Coxwain of the North Berwick Lifeboat and Captain of the Glen Golf Club, and the 19th Century locket belonged to Edward Henry Rickards D.L. and is engraved to his wife Ester. A Signet Ring with an armorial engraving to the Rickards family of Evenjobb, Old Radnor is offered with an estimate of £700-1,000, and collection of three 18 Carat Gold Enamel Memorial Rings dedicated to those connected to the Rickards family is offered with an estimate of £500-700. The memorial rings are for Anthony Harman (died 1845 aged 84), Harriett Perkins (died 1852, aged 77) and Luana Catherine Rickards (died 1873, aged 28).

A selection of coral and amber jewellery includes a Coral Brooch and a Pair of Coral Drop Earrings (estimate: £200-300), a Coral Bracelet comprising coral cabochons in a pierced frame (estimate: £1,500-2,000), three Coral Cameo Brooches sold together with a Hardstone Cameo Pendant (estimate: £200-400), and an Amber Bead Necklace (estimate: £600-800).  Unusual and attractive pieces of note include an Emerald and Diamond Transition Ring/Bracelet (estimate: £600-800), an 18 Carat Gold Aquamarine and Diamond Cluster Ring (£800-1,200), and a Diamond Brooch modelled as a stylised floral spray (estimate: £1,200-1,800).


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