Review - Woolley & Wallis Silver Sale - 28th January 2004
With the Reference Library of Brand Inglis Esq.

Report by Robert Nevin.


The focal point of this first offering of the year from the Salisbury specialists was undoubtedly the extensive silver reference library of the distinguished London silver dealer Brand Inglis. Assembled over a period of forty years, the library was broken down by silver specialist Alexis Butcher into subject headings consequently forming a rich resource of nearly three hundred lots, many of which were multiples. Mr Butcher believed the library to be the best private collection to have appeared on the market during his career, surpassing that of the collector David Morris twelve years previously. He also pointed out that it contained some volumes that not even the library at the Goldsmiths Hall could claim to possess. The collection not only covered works on all aspects of British silver to include sections on individual makers, society journals, landmark sale catalogues, provincial centres, church and college plate and livery companies. It also contained works on areas allied to the subject of antique silver such as topography, mythology and Architecture, as well as boasting a substantial section on foreign, continental and colonial reference work.

Part of the success of the library's dispersal (in which every lot sold, bar the dubiously titled 'Wupzadeysie, Hans Niessen: Bumps im Nacht'!) can be put down to the tremendous opportunity it presented to silver enthusiasts to purchase such a wide variety of works in one sitting, and also to the fact that Brand Inglis was not merely seen as a dealer, but also as an academic authority on antique silver who lectured all over the world, thus many of the titles in his library were seen as must haves for collectors and dealers alike.

One such title formed part of a five-lot group assembled under the heading 'Ireland', the contents of which proved to be one of the more sought after sections in the sale, reaffirming the continued interest lavished on the market for antique Irish silver. The book in question was the 1972 edition of Douglas Bennet's 'Irish Georgian Silver', which coupled with a bound National Museum of Ireland publication, 'Hallmarks on Dublin Silver 1730-72' sold well above estimate (300-400) to realise 780. In a similar vein Bennet's 'Collecting Irish Silver' published in 1984 made 800. The latter result is especially strange as the same title made just 250 in the firm's previous sale. Supporting these strong prices, a copy of the Rev. C.A. Webster's 1909 'Church Plate of the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross' (containing a pamphlet, 'The Alter Plate of The Franciscan Church, Cork 1897') together with Buckley, J.J, 'Some Irish Alter Plate' published in 1943 sold at 500.

In terms of early spoons the majority of items offered came in the form of sale catalogues, most notably a single bound Sotheby's and Co spoon catalogue dating back to May 1935 entitled 'The Choice series of Rare Medieval and London Spoons Formally in the Celebrated Collection of the Late H.D.Ellis Esq. and now the Property of Lt: Col.J. Bennet-Stanford'. The catalogue included buyer's names and prices realised and was fully annotated, selling well above estimate at 400. Not surprisingly since Inglis had worked for two years as a researcher with How of Edinburgh, there was a copy of the latter's seminal work 'Silver Spoons and Pre-Elizabethan Hallmarks on English Plate' on offer which sold at it's bottom estimate of 500. In contrast one lot to exceed all expectations in this section was none other than 'The Finial', containing a complete run from the first edition in July 1990 through to September 2003, it sold well above estimate (80-100) realising the princely sum of 480!

Mr Butcher singled out one item that particularly surprised him; this lot formed the only title under the heading 'China'. Published in 1975 and entitled 'Chinese Export Silver, 1785 to 1885' by Forbes, Kernan, Wilkins it had a special dedication from the author and was in it's original dust jacket. This title was coupled with two exhibition catalogues, one of which was entitled 'The China Trade: Romance and Reality' for the Lincoln museum exhibition in 1979. This combined lot sold well above estimate (60-80) at a staggering 920. Similarly dealing with overseas silver J.W. Fredericks' four-volume study of Dutch Silver covering the years 1952, 58, 1960 and 1961 complete with dust wrappers made 510 against an estimate of 300-400.

The latter figures appear somewhat paltry when compared to the highest bids of the sale which were made in pursuit of the cloth bound collections of Sotheby's and Christie's sale catalogues that Brand Inglis acquired from Thomas Lumley. A substantial sixty volumes of Sotheby's catalogues encompassing the years 1923-98 (and including the 1931 edition of 'The Well Known Collection of Relics of Samuel Pepys') realised 11,500. Whilst sixty-six volumes of Christie's catalogues with gilt-tooled spines, for the years 1902-98 made a colossal 13,000.

All in all a successful sale. Before closing it is worth mentioning that a copy of John Norie's 'Caddy Spoons, an Illustrated Guide' of 1988 made a substantial 190, surely a sign of things to come for the Salisbury based firm, who will be dispersing his collection in their next outing!?

Lot 48 (front & back) Lot 49 Lot 50 (front & back)

Please note that the achieved price does not include the 17.625% buyers premium.
LotAchieved
48.A Charles I slip-top spoon, with a short, tapering stem, engraved on the back of a mullet and three cinquefoils, probably by Thomas Brothwell, London 1627, 6in (15.2cm) long, 1.5oz. 800-1200.1,000
49.An Elizabeth I seal top spoon, the chased and fluted terminal with traces of gilding mark an anchor (Jacksons Revised pp 102), London 1594, 6.3in (16cm) long, 1.3oz. 300-400.1,050
50.A Charles I ascribed West Country silver gilt apostle spoon; the saint lacking emblem (probably St Paul) on a tapering stem with a small 'v' rattail, the back of the with a Royal crown above the initials 'S', by Joseph Arden, Sherborne 1630-1640, 7in 1.3oz. 500-700.1,050
56.A set of Six Queen Anne wavy-end table spoons, with plain rattails and the scratched initials 'L' over 'AM' by Andrew Dalton, London 1708, 11.5oz. 300-400.1,100
83.A George III, engraved "pastern hoof" type caddy spoon, with a hollow, decorated stem and a pierced gallery around the bowl, by John Bettridge, Birmingham 1818 together with another 'pastern hoof' spoon with bright-engraving by Cocks & Bettridge, Birmingham 1809.150-20.320
89.A George III bright-engraved caddy Spoon, with a fluted, scallop shell bowl, initialled by Peter & Ann Bateman, London 1793, 3.1 in (7. 9cm) long. 70-90.340

Lot 56 Lot 83 Lot 89 (front & back) Lot 687

Lot 156 Lot 157 Lot 158

156.A George III Irish, bright-cut and star strainer spoon, with a slot pierced divider. Crested, by John Osborne. Dublin 1791. 12.25in (31cm) 4.5 oz. 300-400.620
157.Three George III fiddle pattern basting spoons: (one by Sarah and John William Blake and a pair by Josiah and George Piercy) all London 1818, 13oz. 150-200350
158.A rare, early George II Scottish basting spoon, Hanoverian, with a plain moulded rattail, the back of the stem initialled 'E', by Harry Beathune, Edinburgh 1728, 39.3cm long, 8oz. 400-500.1,400

Lot 160 Lot 161 Lot 165

160.A pair of George I dognose tablespoons with plain rattails, crested, by William Scarlett, London 1725, 7.95in (20cm) long, 4.25oz. 100-150.420
161.A pair of George III Scottish provincial tablespoons, Hanoverian pattern, with a double drop, by James Gordon, Aberdeen, (IG,ABD, three turrets) c1770, 4oz. 100-150.260
165.A George III marrow spoon with double drop bowl, initialled, by Samuel Jerman (possibly), London 1767, 8.75in (22.2cm) long, 1.75oz, 80-120.210
166.A George III Irish, hook-end basting spoon with a single drop, crested probably by John Laughlin (Snr), with an additional mark for Michael Cormick, 13in (33 cm) long, 3.5oz. 300-400.400
167.A George III strainer spoon of basting size, with a slot-pierced divider, initialled 'H', by William Sumner (I) London 1802, 11.8in (30cm) long, 3oz. 100-150.260
168.A rare George III Irish provincial, bright-cut, sauce ladle, with a navette-shaped bowl, crested, by William Teulon, Cork ('WT' crowned [incuse], STERLING) c1795, 18.2cm long, 1.7oz. 100-150.400
169.A George III bright-cut serving or basting spoon, by Hester Bateman, London 1784, 11.9in (30.1 cm) long, 3.5oz. 80-90.250
170.An interesting George III, Feather-edge basting spoon, with a crest below the motto "FREE FOR A BLAST", by an unascribed maker of unknown location (WS, Thistle, unicorn passant, S) probably Scottish provincial c.1780, 11.4in (29cm) long, 2.5oz. 100-150.720
180.A George II mote spoon, with a large, single drop initialled 'H' and pierced crosslets and scrolls in the bowl, the small finial turned, probably by Samuel Roby, (maker's mark twice) London c 1740, 5.6in (14.2cm) long, 0.25oz. 120-150.230
181.A George III Scottish masking spoon, with a twisted stem and a single drop on the back of the bowl, initialled 'AEMcL', makers mark only 'DF', unascribed 1800-1820, 725in (18.5cm) long, 0.5oz. 100-150.420
182.A George II fancy-back mote spoon, with a scallop shell below the drop, scratched 'SH', the bowl pierced with crosslets and scrolls, possibly by John Wirgman (makers mark twice) London c1750, 56in (14.2cm) long, 0.2oz, 120-150.210
183.A George III Scottish oar pattern soup ladle, initialled 'IN' by Charles Dalgleish, Edinburgh 1815, (retailers mark of Watson), 6.5oz, 100-150.220
184.A rare George III/IV Scottish provincial soup ladle, Old English pattern, with a single-drop bowl, initialled 'K', by John Keith, Banff (B[script], IK, head device, (B[script], BAN F) 1800-1820, 12.75in (32.5cm) long, 4.5oz. 250-350.600
186.A rare set of six Wm. IV Scottish provincial fiddle pattern teaspoons, engraved with a crest below motto 'PRO REGE ET PATRIA', John McQueen, Banff (B.A, thistle, McQ) c.1835, 4oz. 200-300.500

Lot 166, 167 Lot 168 Lot 169, 170


Coninued overleaf...

.32. / .33. / .34.
The Finial, March/April 2004


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