Looking for inspiration for unique and elegant holiday gifts this season? Freeman's December 15 auction of Silver & Objets de Vertu has just the thing. Specialist Sarah Blattner has picked out some of her favorite pieces in the upcoming sale of silver, just in time for you to find that perfect one-of-a-kind present for someone special on your list.
For the Elegant Hostess
Every host needs a pair of salad servers, and this is a lovely, well-priced set. This serving spoon and fork was hand-hammered by the Randahl Shop in Chicago, a prolific Arts & Crafts silver shop which prospered well into the 1950’s. Arts & Crafts silver is hot on the market making this set a must have!
Hammered sterling silver salad serving set, The Randahl Shop, Chicago, IL, early 20th century, Estimate: $200-300
Dating to 1795, this pair of Sheffield candelabra exhibit the best features of the Neoclassical movement. Elegant yet functional, they can be converted from a single candlestick, perfect for intimate settings, to a three-light candelabrum well-suited to a formal dining table.
Pair of George III silver three-light candelabra, John Green, Roberts, Mosley & Co., Sheffield, 1795-96, Estimate: $3,000-5,000
For the Consummate Entertainer
Shaken not stirred...everybody knows the essential to making a good martini is having the right equipment. Finely decorated with bamboo shoots, this cocktail shaker evokes the glamour of the Art Deco period, particularly as it flourished in Shanghai. An essential part of any bar, this shaker will make the perfect gift.
Chinese export silver cocktail shaker, mark of Nanking, early 20th century, Estimate: $1,000-1,500
Keep your champagne chilled with this pair of Sheffield silver-plated wine coolers made by one of England’s most notable industrialists and craftsman. Matthew Boulton opened his factory in 1762 and produced many fine works in silver and silver-plate. He is perhaps best remembered for his contributions to the Industrial Revolution particularly his introduction of the steam engine, with partner James Watt.
Pair of Sheffield silver-plated wine coolers, Matthew Boulton, late 18th/early 19th century, Estimate: $1,000-1,500
For the Person Who Has it All
Every great collector of silver knows the importance of Paul de Lamerie, and Freeman’s is pleased to be offering an exquisite cased set of tea caddies by the renowned silversmith. Given the enormous expense of tea in the 17th century, tea caddies were commissioned of the finest materials and superb workmanship. Rare to come to market, this set is a worthy addition to any collection and certainly a very special gift for the avid silver connoisseur.
Rare and important cased set of George II silver caddies, Paul de Lamerie, London, 1736-37, Estimate: $40,000-60,000
Another important name that speaks for itself is Paul Storr. These silver soup tureens are delicately crafted and exemplify Storr as a true artisan. His reputation as one of the most impressive English silversmiths was cemented after Storr joined Phillip Rundell of Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell, who assembled one of Britain's most important and successful silver manufacturing businesses of the period. A favored silversmith of the aristocracy, these tureens were commissioned by Sir Edward Knatchbull (1758-1819) and retained in the family until the late 20th century.
Fine pair of Regency silver covered soup tureens with liners, Paul Storr, London, 1811-12, Estimate: $30,000-50,000
Exhibition for the upcoming auction of Silver & Objets de Vertu opens to the public on Thursday, December 10 at 10am. We invite you to join us on Chestnut Street to view these and other works in silver, gilt, and enamel being auctioned on December 15. Whether you're looking for that perfect something for the hard to shop for person on your list, or simply treating yourself - buying at auction means finding that unique gift you won't see at any department store.