BIRMINGHAM, UK – Fellows’ Sept. 21 sale of silver promises to deliver a varied range of lots to suit all budgets and interests. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.
Highlights begin with the exceptional silver Cymric mantel clock, embossed with a foliate motif and stylized numerals, hallmarked “Liberty & Co. Ltd., Birmingham 1902.” Cymric silver was a brand name of gold and silverware by Liberty & Co., equivalent to the pewter design Tudric; aptly named to reflect its Celtic-inspired designs. Archibald Knox created most of the designs for the range, alongside designers Rex Silver and Arthur Gaskin.
During the mid-18th century the Birmingham metal trade flourished, in particular producing large volumes of small personal items known as “toys.” Nathaniel Mills is one of the well-known Birmingham toy makers. He excelled in making silver boxes, vinaigrettes, snuffboxes and card cases – examples of which can all be found in Fellows’ auction. Nathaniel Mills “castle-top” vinaigrettes are perhaps the most highly regarded. As many boxes depict castles the generic name “castle top” was quickly adopted; although some include famous buildings or landmarks, such as the Houses of Parliament.
The September auction features some other well-known makers including a modern silver salver with Chippendale-style border by Albert Edward Jones (Lot 328), an early 20th-century 16-piece silver-gilt dressing table set by Asprey & Co. (Lot 366), and a late-19th century silver mounted walking stick handle by Oomersi Mawji (below), wonderfully decorated with close floral scroll repousse (Lot 668).
Avid spoon collectors will be interested in the Charles I silver-gilt Apostle spoon (Lot 617), the fig-shape bowl with slightly tapering stem and Apostle terminal, hallmarked Benjamin Yates, London 1633.