Published 25th April 2014
The most important lot in the silver auction of the Spring 2014 Fine Art Sale is undoubtedly a rare Arts and Crafts silver bowl (FS22/153) by Charles Robert Ashbee, being 39cm in diameter and weighing 47 troy ozs. Ashbee (1863-1942), a leading light of the influential Arts and Crafts Movement in England, established the Guild and School of Handicraft in London in 1888. However, it was not until early 1896 that, on behalf of the Guild, he entered a maker's mark at Goldsmith's Hall. The present bowl bears Ashbee's own maker's mark, thus making it one of the earliest recorded pieces produced after the Guild commenced silver production. The estimate is £8,000-£10,000.
In the same Arts and Crafts influence, there is a more affordable silver sweetmeat dish (FS22/8) by Mappin and Webb, which was produced ten years after the Ashbee piece. It still retains the charm of beaten silver, being simple in line and form. It is expected to realise between £300-£400.
One of the oddest teapots to come up for auction is a George III teapot (FS22/116), which is almost cubist in style, so very much before its time. It is believed to have been made by John Robins, who was known to produce some very quirky designs. Perhaps this may have influenced the likes of Christopher Dresser. The estimate is £400-£600.
Continental and Foreign Silver is also included in this sale with two large silver pheasants (FS22/104, FS22/105) being the most decorative; each being estimated at £600-£700. France is also represented with an 18th century Rococo double salt (FS22/96), which has created great interest abroad and should realise £500-£700.
From Asia, there is an impressive large Indian silver pedestal bowl (FS22/101), decorated with hunting scenes. A great deal of interest has been shown by Indian collectors and it is expected to top £1,000.
More traditional Georgian silver comes later in the silver auction and includes a pair of entrée dishes, (FS22/131), which is estimated at £800-£1,200. There is also a set of three oval platters by John Parker & Edward Wakelin (FS22/152), which would look good on any sideboard and carry an estimate of £600–£800.