Sensational Silver at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Sale of Fine Silver & Objects of Vertu A William IV silver dinner service presented to Peter Greenall Esquire by the residents of St. Helens, as a token of their esteem and gratitude, will be sold alongside a selection of fine silver and o
the 1853 Dublin International Industrial Exhibition, the most extravagant and expensive public event of 19th century Ireland. With its unusual and historically significant scene this Irish castle-top card case is estimated at £3,000-5,000. [Lot 757]
Elsewhere in the sale a selection of fine Chinese silver includes a pair of Qianlong Chinese export silver gilt filigree vases and covers. The technique of filigree originated in Spain and was practised by Jewish Sephardi silversmiths who took it with them when they were expelled from Spain in 1492. Over the years the technique was combined with the local style of the countries in which they settled. During the 17th and 18th centuries filigree silver is known to have been produced all over Asia.
A highly skilled art form, filigree was, and still is, very much in demand. In particular, many export pieces were purchased for the collections of the first major European museums and many affluent private homes.
A number of similarly worked pieces to the example in the sale are illustrated in 'Silver Wonders from the East: Filigree of the Tsars', the catalogue of the 2006 exhibition at the Hermitage Amsterdam.
According to Adrien von Ferscht, in his article, ‘The Art of Filigree’, the best Chinese filigree was produced during the 18th century and most pieces don’t carry a maker’s mark, as became popular in the early 19th century. The examples in the sale are unmarked and standing at 20cm tall the pair are estimated to sell for £3,000 4,000. [Lot 801]
The sale is on view at Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire from Sunday - Tuesday, 22-25 February. Online bidding with no additional premium will be available via www.dnfa.com.