Silver & Objects of Vertu
Lyon & Turnbull’s Silver & Objects of Vertu department currently hold three specialist sales a year both through our Scottish auction house in Edinburgh and via live online auctions. Our specialists’ knowledge and experience of the current market has proved an essential combination for the successful sales of English and Continental silver from the 16th to 20th centuries often by makers such as Paul de Lamerie, Paul Storr, Faberge, Robert Garrad and Stuart Devlin.
Spanning over 500 years of design and craftsmanship, our specialist Silver auctions offer fine tableware, centrepieces, candelabra and flatware alongside fine object of vertu including Russian enamel, gold boxes, card and cigarette cases.
Once the most desirable and ubiquitous trappings of wealth, silver is intrinsically valuable, and Lyon & Turnbull enhance this value by researching and documenting each piece we handle, and ensuring a desire in collectors. It is this diligence, knowledge and respect for the vision of the silversmith which has led some of the world’s pre-eminent collectors and museums to our saleroom.
Recent successes include a set of six presentation photograph frames gifted to the vendor’s family by Queen Mary. Each of the frames, by Garrads of London, contained an original photograph of Queen Mary, complete with a personalised hand written note on the reverse. Not only were the frames of excellent quality and in near perfect condition, but the provenance and the personal notation provided a rare insight into the private world of the royal family at the start of the 20th century.
From the personal to the grandiose, The Huntly Testimonial was a highlight of The Chen Collection, a private single owner collection containing important Russian silver and enamels as well as a carefully amassed collection of British Regency silver. The Huntly Testimonial was created by Paul Storr for Rundell, Bridge & Rundell of London in 1814-15. At over a metre tall, this impressive and beautifully made piece of Regency silver sold for over £80,000. The same collection included a fine Russian silver-gilt and cloisonné and en-plein enamel casket that fetched over £130,000, one of many pieces of Russian enamelled silver which exceeded its estimate in the London sale.
We also appreciate the beauty and value of smaller works, such as a puzzle opening cigarette box by Alfred Dunhill, and a George IV circular seal and box, containing the wax seal of the fictitious nation of Poyais created by the notorious early 19th century Scottish fraudster Gregor McGregor. A modern canteen of cutlery by Stuart Devlin, dating from the early 1970s is one of the recent highlights from the more contemporary items we offer; the textured handles are typical of Devlin’s style and along with the slightly misshapen bowls, make for a very contemporary yet practical aesthetic. The canteen went on to exceed its estimate, eventually fetching over £11,000.
Our Silver & Objects of Vertu department holds three auctions throughout the year, and a specialist Scottish Silver auction in August. To find out more about our upcoming auctions or to talk further about potential consignments please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialist team.
All prices inclusive of premium.