Review - Lyon & Turnbull Sale of the Murray Collection
Edinburgh 20th August 2003.

By Mr M.

This single owner collection of English, Scottish and Irish silver and plate, collected by Mr H.K. Murray, was put together over a period of around 65 years of collecting. Like the rest of the collection, the Scottish Provincial section consisted predominantly of hollowware items. They were mostly from the northeast assay centres, particularly Aberdeen from where Mr. Murray hails.

Members may be interested to note that Mr. Murray was influential in encouraging Dr I.E. James to write the book about Aberdeen silver published in 1981. A number of the items illustrated in the book being from the Murray collection.
Amongst the major items of hollowware were:-
A Perth sugar bowl - 3,800.
An Aberdeen double snuff box - 2,700.
Five Aberdeen waiters - 1,000. to 2,300.
A pair of Aberdeen tea caddies - 4,800.
A Banff brandy pan - 5,000.
A very rare Banff beer mug - 11,000.

Since the sales of the Shaw collection in 1983 and then the two Morris collection sales in 1984 it has been a long time since a large single owner collection has come onto the market in Scotland. Now, with the Murray collection having been sold, one wonders whether many of the pieces have been purchased by other major collectors, who someday may give the next generation of collectors the opportunity to purchase some of these items:

Lots 106, 107, 108, 109

(Please note that the achieved price does not include the 17.5% buyers premium.)
106.A George I basting spoon, with marks for London 1725, maker William Toone, the bowl with rattail, plain handle, engraved crest. 34.7cm, 4oz. 300-400.1,050
107.A George I straining spoon, with marks for Thomas Spackman, London, circa 1720, the long handle with flattened end with hanging hole, the bowl of large size, well reticulated and incorporating an engraved and pieced crest, 37cm long, bowl 9.5cm x 6.2cm. 400-600.900
108.A George II table spoon, with marks for London 1744, maker SH, of conventional form, with marrow scoop handle, plain, 20.5cm. 150-250.240
109.A James I seal top spoon, with marks for London 1614, maker possibly crescent enclosing a saltire, the bowl of traditional form, 16.9cm. 400-600.1,200

Lots 210, 211, 212, 213

210.ABERDEEN - A George III double marrow scoop with marks for Alexander Thompson, circa 1770, of plain conventional form. 22.5cm. 500-700. "Aberdeen marrow scoops are quite rare, therefore being in good overall condition this example was a reasonable buy at mid estimate hammer price of 600".600
211.ABERDEEN - A pair of George III sugar tongs, with marks for John Leslie, circa 1780, bright-cut engraved arms. 100-200.80
212.ABERDEEN - A silver fish slice with marks for Aberdeen, W Jamieson, circa 1825, piecred and engraved decoration, plain handle. 400-600.N/S

Lot 213 Lot 216
213.ABERDEEN - A George III meat skewer, with marks for John Leslie, circa 1780, totally plain apart from the bold hallmarks, 36.5cm. 400-600. "This rare meat skewer was in very good condition, commanding a near double top estimate price o f 1,050".1,050
214.ABERDEEN - A composite set of six tablespoons with makers mark only for Aberdeen, circa 1760, three for J. Gordon, three for Coline Allan, Old English pattern, 5oz. 400-600.N/S
215.ABERDEEN - A pair of George III salt spoons, with makers mark only for I.E, plain engraved initials, 9cm. 70-120.70
216.ABERDEEN - A set of five tablespoons, with marks for Aberdeen, circa 1730, makers mark for Alexander Forbes, with rattail, the reverse of the handles with initials, 9oz. 500-700. "These five spoons had good marks but unfortunately the bowls were slightly worn. However there rarity meant that they sold for a good price of 950".950
217.ABERDEEN - A set of six George III dessert spoons, with makers mark only of James Erskine, Old English pattern, engraved three groups of initials. 200-300.150
222.ABERDEEN - A George IV caddy spoon, with marks for William Jamieson, circa 1830, plain, engraved initials, fiddle pattern. 200-300. "A fine quality provincial caddy spoon, which rose well above its estimate".520

Lot 239 Lot 239
239.ELGIN - A composite set of six teaspoons and a sugar spoon, the teaspoons with makers mark only for Charles Fowler, circa 1790, the sugar spoon with marks for Elgin, Thomas Stewart, all of fiddle pattern with bright-cut decoration. 800-1200.400

Lot 241 Lot 242
241.BANFF - masking spoon, with marks for John McQueen, circa 1830, plain engraved initials, wrythen stem. 300-500.480
242.BANFF - sugar spoon, with marks for Banff, circa 1830, maker George Elder, plain engraved initials, Old English pattern. 200-300.260


.30. / .31.
The Finial, October/November 2003

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