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Silver is very much a collectors’ area with certain pieces being keenly pursued. Hallmarking itself began around 700 years ago, and the marks show the assay office, the date and the maker of the piece. Certain makers are sought after as are certain assay offices namely Irish silver and pieces from the Norwich or York assay offices, which were active for short periods. Age-wise the older the better, anything Queen Anne or earlier will attract attention. We have auctioned a number of early pieces of silver  and we have valued silver from the Charles II and the Elizabethan periods.

Certain categories of silver items are also always in favour and collected. They are often smaller items for example vinaigrettes, snuff boxes, novelty pepper pots, vesta cases and novelty pieces in the form of birds or animals. Recently we auctioned a pair of Victorian novelty silver sauce boats by William Comyns which were in the form of sleighs for £2400 (plus buyers premium). 

For 18th century English silver, the big names to conjure with are Hester Bateman, Paul Storr and Philip Rundell. In the 19th century stand out pieces are often by Omar Ramsden, Hukin & Heath who Christopher Dresser designed for, and Archibald Knox who designed for Liberty & Co. These pieces are much contested and silver pieces linked to designer/makers are much in demand. In the 20th century the designers to look out for are Stuart Devlin, Georg Jensen and Christopher Lawrence. 

We also auction examples of silver from Europe, the Middle East, China and India. Indian silver often being referred to as ‘kutch’.  Chinese silver is predominantly Exportware and was made for the European market. We see a variety of pieces from these countries often including snuff boxes, card cases, cigarette boxes, bowls and tea sets. We auctioned a rare Maltese sugar bowl for £4000 (plus buyers premium)a few years ago and we are experienced in handling those rarer pieces from outside of the UK. 

Two memorable highlights were a pair of Victorian salts modelled as kangaroos, by Hunt & Roskell, which sold for £18,000 (plus buyers premium) and a Queen Victoria presentation silver chamberstick by Robert Garrard & Co. which realised £3800 (plus buyers premium).

Looking for a valuation? Speak to our friendly team today for a free online valuation.