Review - Bonhams Scotland 'The Scottish Sale'
Edinburgh 21st- 23rd August 2003.

Report by Mr M.


'Famine or Feast'!

What a feast it was! With this amount of Scottish silver appearing at auction on consecutive days, it asked the question, 'what was going to happen to the prices?' I cannot recall there having seen such an amount of rare Scottish Provincial Silver, particularly hollowware, having come onto the market for a number of years. Possibly, since the 'Shaw' and 'Morris' collections being sold in the early 1980's we have not been fortunate to have seen this quantity of items on offer at anyone time.

In the two reports below I will comment on only some of the items of Provincial flatware. I will leave it to the editor, if space permits, to include any English and Irish flatware from the Murray collection.

As last year, Bonhams had put together a good selection of Scottish Silver to open their annual major three-day auction of Scottish themed items. Prior to the Provincial items there was a good offering of Edinburgh and Glasgow silver. The two highlights of the section of Edinburgh Items being:-
  • Lot 31 - A pair of George III bright cut engraved Tea Caddies 1789 by Alex. Spence - 12,500.
  • Lot 45 - A fine George I Tankard 1722-3 by Charles Dickson, assay master Edward Penman - 10,200.

    Within the small selection of Glasgow silver on offer were two 'related' lots of flatware that I feel warrant a mention; These two lots, Bonhams suggest, may be by a presently unidentified maker with a makers punch 'RG'. Their reasoning for this is that these spoons stylistically would appear to have been made during the first half of the 18th century and therefore may be too early to be able to be credited to Robert Gray.
  • Lot 74 - A good rat-tail Hanoverian pattern Hash Spoon, makers mark RG - 2,500.
  • Lot 89 - A good set of six George II rat-tall Hanoverian pattern Tablespoons, makers mark RG. - 1,450.

    Prior to commenting on some of the provincial flatware members may be interested to note the two-hollowware items that were the 'star lots'.
  • Lot 119 - A good Bullet Teapot circa 1730 from Aberdeen, made by George Cooper which attained an above estimate hammer price of 8,100.
  • Lot 131 - A very rare Communion Beaker made by Patrick Scott of Banff circa 1720. This beaker is one of a pair which have a contemporary inscription, dated 1720. Being such a rare item it was not surprising that it attained the highest price of the silver sale - 19,200.

  • (Please note that the achieved price does not include the 19.5% buyers premium.)

    Edinburgh

    Lot 48 Lot 48
    LotAchieved
    46.A set of six George III Dessert Spoons, of Hanoverian pattern, with crest and motto, by William Davie, Edinburgh 1775. 250 - 300.N/S
    47.A set of six Toddy Ladles, each engraved with the crest of Murray- Thriepland of Fingask, makers mark of RW, date letter lacking, Edinburgh, circa 1800. 600 - 800.N/S
    48.A pair of George II Tablespoons, of Hanoverian pattern, with initials HJ over L, makers mark of H.P, possibly for Hugh Penman, assay master Hugh Gordon, 1746. 150 - 200.140
    49.A silver Caddy Spoon, makers mark of 'SS', Edinburgh modern. 160 - 180.N/S

    Lot 50 Lot 50
    50.A Tablespoon, of Hanoverian pattern, engraved initial and number 6, makers mark of Lothian & Robertson, assay master Hugh Gordon, Edinburgh 1740; and another similar, with makers mark of IC, Edinburgh 1733. 150 - 200.170
    51.A pair of Dessert Spoons, of Old English pattern, Edinburgh 1783; three Edinburgh salt spoons and two teaspoons. 100-150.100
    52.A set of six tablespoons, of Old English pattern, by Ker & Dempster, Edinburgh 1762. 300 - 500.N/S
    53.A George III Soup Ladle, of fiddle pattern, by George Fenwick, Edinburgh 1814. 120-180.N/S
    54.A set of four toddy ladles, of fiddle pattern, makers mark of JA, Edinburgh 1833. 200-300.180
    55.A set of six Tablespoons, of Hanoverian pattern, by R.Gordon of Edinburgh 1763. 500-700.N/S
    56.A set of six Tablespoons, rat-tailed, by J. Tait, Edinburgh 1712. 600 - 800.1,600
    57.A set of six Teaspoons, of Old English pattern with bright-cut engraving, by A. Henderson, Edinburgh circa 1800. 100 -150.N/S
    58.A pair of silver harlequin Sugar Nips, makers mark of EM, Edinburgh 1864. 350 - 400.N/S
    59.A pair of Sugar Tongs, of King's pattern, makers mark of J.O, Glasgow 1851; and two pairs, plain with shell bowls, Edinburgh 1811 and 1832. 80-120.N/S
    60.A set of six Dessert Spoons, Five of fiddle pattern, makers mark of JW, Edinburgh 1849. 180-220.N/S
    61.A set of ten silver Teaspoons, fiddle and shell pattern, makers mark of PG, Edinburgh 1840. 150 - 200.N/S
    62.A Gravy Spoon, of Old English pattern, engraved with the motto 'Virtutis Gloria Merces' by Robert Gray of Glasgow with Edinburgh hallmarks for 1792. 100 - 150.150
    63.Eight Tablespoons, of single struck King's pattern, with engraved initial, by J. Hay, Edinburgh 1853. 300-400.N/S
    64.A Toddy Ladle, with circular bowl and part twist baleen handle, marks rubbed, possibly F. Howden, circa 1790. 80-120.70
    65.Five Toddy Ladles, of fiddle pattern, makers marks of 'J.F', 1816; 'DF', 1829; 'WE' 1823; 'AW' 1831 and J. Mackay 1839. 250 - 350.N/S
    66.A set of six Tablespoons, of fiddle pattern, with engraved crest and motto, by J.Mackay, Edinburgh 1860/61, 13.5ozs. 200 - 300.N/S
    67.A Victorian Caddy Spoon, of fiddle and shell pattern, with engraved crest and shell bowl, by makers mark of EM, Edinburgh 1843. 80 - 120.75
    68.A Soup Ladle, makers mark of AW, Edinburgh 1825, also struck 'J*H'. 100-150.110
    69.Three pairs of Sugar Tongs, plain with engraved initials, Edinburgh 1806, 1811, marks rubbed. 80 - 120.70
    72.A George III Hash Spoon, by William Taylor of Edinburgh, 1767, of Hanoverian pattern, with later engraved initials, 41.5cms long, 7.7ozs. 800 - 1200.1,450

    Lots 72, 74

    Glasgow
    74.A rat-tail Hanoverian pattern Hash Spoon, maker's mark of RG, Glasgow, engraved with initials DP. length 36.5cm, 7.5oz. (Traditionally this mark has been ascribed to Robert Gray of Glasgow In fact the hash spoon cited in Jackson may be this example Gray, however did not gain his freedom until 1776, which seems implausibly late for a spoon of this pattern. It is possible that this spoon and the set of six table spoons which are lot 89 in this sale are by an unidentified maker working in Glasgow in the first half of the 18th century). 1800 - 2200.2,500
    84.A Hanoverian pattern Gravy Spoon, by Taylor and Hamilton, Glasgow, c 1780, engraved with initials JC, length 28cms, weight 3ozs. 300 - 400.300

    Lot 85
    85.A set of six Tablespoons, of Old English pattern, crested, by A. Graham of Glasgow, circa 1770, four marks, AG twice, tree twice. 500 - 700.500
    86.A Basting Spoon, of Hanoverian pattern, with engraved foliate initials, by Adam Graham of Glasgow, circa 1765, four marks, AG twice, tree twice. 250 - 300.260
    89.A set of six George II Tablespoons, of rat-tail Hanoverian pattern, by RG of Glasgow, four marks, RG twice tree, 'S'. 700 - 900.1,450

    Aberdeen
    The thirty five lots of Aberdeen silver were in general of average quality and rarity, a few of which I shall make mention.
    Lot 91
    91.A Toddy Ladle, of fiddle pattern, with engraved initials, makers mark of JP, six marks, JP thrice, A.B.D. 70 - 90.95
    92.A set of ten Table Forks, by William Jamieson of Aberdeen, circa 1820, five marks, WJ twice, A.B.D. 400 - 600.440
    93.A gravy Spoon, of King's pattern, engraved with crest, by George Sangster of Aberdeen, with Edinburgh hallmarks for 1885. 70 - 90.120
    94.A Tablespoon, of Old English pattern, with foliate engraved initials, by Nathaniel Gillet of Aberdeen, two marks, NG, ABD. 80 - 120.N/S
    95.A Dessert Spoon, of Old English pattern, with engraved initials, by John Leslie of Aberdeen, circa 1800, two marks, IL, ABD; and a dessert spoon by William Jamieson of Aberdeen, three marks, WJ twice, ABD. 100-150.N/S
    96.A silver Table Service, crested and with engraved monogram, with London hallmarks for 1880, and ABDN, 85ozs. 2000 - 3000. "Even although this table service was possiblly retailed in Aberdeen as it had a London assay, I felt it sold well at 2,800".2,800
    99.A Toddy ladle, of fiddle pattern engraved initial, by George Booth of Aberdeen, circa 1820, three marks, GB, ABO, AB. 100-150.90
    100.Five silver Teaspoons, of oar-end pattern, by William Jamieson of Aberdeen, two marks WJ, ABO 80 - 120.90
    102.A silver Tablespoon, of Old English pattern, with crest and motto, by James Erskine of Aberdeen, circa 1800, four marks, E, hand and dagger twice, three turrets. 80-120.90
    103.Two Teaspoons, Old English pattern, with makers mark only, JE, possibly for James Erskine; another spoon similar, makers mark only, IG, possibly James Gordon. 60 - 80.N/S
    104.A silver Punch Ladle, with baleen handle, by James Erskine of Aberdeen, three marks, hand and dagger, E, triple turrets. 150 - 200.130
    105.An Old English Gravy Spoon, engraved with the crest and motto of Udney within a bright-cut engraved cartouche, maker's mark of James Erskine struck four times only. 300 - 400.300
    106.A pair of Toddy Ladles, of fiddle pattern, with engraved initial, by J.Riddel of Aberdeen, circa 1840. 150 - 250. "This pair of ladles, being in good condition and having been made by a seldom encountered maker, no doubt pushed the price to above top estimate".260
    107.A Teaspoon, fiddle pattern, by Alexander Grant of Aberdeen, five marks, AG twice, A twice, thistle; and a teaspoon by Rettie & Son, four marks, R&S, A.B.O. 60-80.50
    109.A Toddy Ladle, of fiddle pattern, with engraved initials, makers mark of JB, possibly for James Berry or James Begg, circa 1840, three marks, JB, ABD.85
    110.Three Toddy Ladles, of fiddle pattern, by George Booth of Aberdeen, five marks, GB, A.B.O.N; another, makers mark of *H, pot'o'lilies thrice; and another by R&S. 150 - 200.230
    111.A pair of Tablespoons, of Old English pattern with engraved initial, by Nathaniel Gillet of Aberdeen, c.1800, five marks, NG, ABD, double scroll?, and two flower marks. 180 - 220.150

    Lot 113
    113.A pair of Serving Spoons, l of fiddle pattern, by William Jamieson of Aberdeen, seven marks, WJ struck four times, A.B.D. 250 - 350.340
    114.A set of six Teaspoons, fiddle pattern, by WG.J, London 1885, ABDN. 100-150.N/S
    115.A Soup Ladle, of Old English pattern, with engraved foliate initial, by Nathaniel Gillet of Aberdeen, three marks, N, thistle, G. 350 - 450.N/S
    116.A pair of Sauce Ladles, with she!! bowls, by Coline Allan of Aberdeen, three marks CA, triple turrets, E. 500-600.460
    117A Fish Slice, of fiddle pattern, the blade simply pierced with a fish within geometric border, three marks, JF, AB, DN. 250 - 300. "On handling this fish slice I would suggest that it may in fact have been plate. Thus it was surprising that it took 250 to attain it".250
    118.A set of six Teaspoons, of fiddle pattern, with engraved initial above crest and motto, by George Booth of Aberdeen, two marks, GB, ABD. 150 - 200.140
    120.A set of six Teaspoons and a Sugar Shovel, of fiddle pattern, with engraved foliate initials, makers mark of GW, three marks, GW twice, ABD. 200 - 300. "This set six of teaspoons and a sugar shovel were in good condition. This, along with the makers mark GW for possibly George Wyllie circa 1825 pushed the price to above estimate".310
    121.A set of six Teaspoons, of fiddle pattern, with engraved initial, hallmarks for London 1880, makers mark of WG.J, and ABDN. 100-150.160
    122.A set of six Teaspoons, of Old English pattern, engraved initial, by John Leslie of Aberdeen, circa 1800, two marks, IL, n. 150 - 200.140
    123.A George IV fiddle-pattern Soup Ladle, by William Whitecross, c. 1820, engraved with initials ABO, 6.6ozs. 300 - 400.300
    124.A set of six Teaspoons, of fiddle pattern, with engraved initials, by George Sangster of Aberdeen, with Edinburgh hallmarks for 1857, GS, A,B,O. 100-150.N/S

    Arbroath
    Three of the four lots by Andrew Davidson sold near to top estimate. However lot 127, a Toddy Ladle, rose to about twice top estimate, its condition was good but it would appear that an inscription had been removed.

    Lot 126

    126.A Basting Spoon, of Old English pattern, with engraved initial, by Andrew Davidson of Arbroath, circa 1835, four marks, AD, crowned head twice, portcullis. 200 - 300.280
    127.A Toddy Ladle, of fiddle pattern, by Andrew Davidson of Arbroath, four marks, crowned head twice, portcullis, AD. 100-150.290
    128.A Sifter Spoon, of pointed-end Old English pattern, with engraved garland and trailing foliage, by Andrew Davidson of Arbroath, circa 1835, four marks, AD, crowned head twice, portcullis. 200 - 300.260
    129.A pair of Toddy Ladles, of fiddle pattern, by Andrew Davidson of Arbroath, circa 1835, four marks, AD, pot'o'lilies twice, portcullis. 300 - 400.400

    Ballater
    The one item of Ballater silver on offer more than doubled its top estimate. Being in crisp condition and depicting Balmoral Castle, with a Royal Coat of Arms always puts a premium on any item of Ballater silver.

    130.A souvenir Caddy Spoon, the heart shaped bowl, depicting Balmoral Castle, the handle formed of a thistle with Royal Coat of Arms finial, by William Robb of Ballater. 100-150.310

    Continued overleaf....

    .23. / .24. / .25. / .26.
    The Finial, October/November 2003


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