Here at the silver department we are busy researching and cataloguing for our upcoming auctions, providing insurance and other types of valuations for silver items and collections throughout Scotland and the North of England and assisting clients with identifying unknown entities held in their own personal collections.
If you have a collection or item of silver that you wish to learn more about, have identified and valued or professionally catalogued and presented for auction then contact our specialist to receive free no obligation professional advice.
The silver auctions are held fifteen times a year at our Edinburgh, Dumfries, Ayr and Carlisle auction rooms and broadcast worldwide online to an international market. The department record for a single item is the £13,800 achieved at the Carlisle branch on the 9th May 2014 for a silver soup tureen by Robert Hennell 1834 modelled upon the Warwick vase. Other stand out results include:
£8,300 for a Scandinavian peg tankard by Henrik Carlenius in 21st May 2015;
£5,200 for a Channel Islands silver sauce boat by John Henry in December 2017;
£4,200 for a table bell modelled as a pig by William Hurcombe for Asprey 1908, in October 2020;
£3,900 for a set of three entrée dishes by Paul Storr 1812, in August 2012;
£3,800 for a spoon and porringer bowl by Charles Robert Ashbee for Guild of Handicrafts 1901, in September 2015;
£3,500 for a pair of George II silver gilt candlesticks by John Priest London 1758, in May 2013;
£3,200 for a pair of "tree and well" meat ashets by Benjamin Smith 1835, in August 2012;
£3,200 for a set of four silver table salts by Isaac Cookson Newcastle 1740, in November 2019;
£2,900 for a silver gilt cup by Emes & Barnard 1828, in August 2014;
£2,800 for a canteen of silver cutlery by Peter, Ann & William Bateman 1800, in February 2019;
You may have heard of Thomson Roddick from advertisements in publications including Antiques Trade Gazette, The Scotsman or Scottish Field. If you are social media inclined, and don’t follow us yet, then we are on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: you can find our social media icons in the footer of the website to start following us. Perhaps you have seen a member of our team on tv recently? We feature regularly on Bargain Hunt, Antiques Road Trip, Dickinson’s Real Deal, Cash in the Attic and the much missed Flog It, or you may have met one of our valuers presenting a talk on antiques to your local group.
We like jargon, if you do too, then here are some related jargon and terms that you may find in one of our silver auction catalogues:
Silver 925 Britainnia 958 Liberty & Co Archibald Knox Charles Horner Nathaniel Mills Art Nouveau Arts & Crafts Tea Set Cigarette Case Pin Cushion Pencil Flatware Carving Set Canteen Scottish Provincial Tain Wick Thurso Elgin Montrose Toddy Ladle Teaspoon Novelty
Scottish Provincial Silver
Scottish provincial silver is a niche collecting field within the silver market. By not submitting pieces to the assay offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, some Scottish silversmiths chose to illegally sell their work without paying any duty. They would mark their work with a cipher, usually a town mark and their initials which often closely resembled a traditional hallmark but without the all important lion Standard mark. This was particularly prevalent in northern and remote towns such as Tain, Wick, Ellon, Montrose, Banff, Ballater, Forres, Elgin, Oban and Greenock but also Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen have numerous makers too. Gone are the days when we used to hold stand-alone auctions of 300 individual spoons, tongs, forks and toddy ladles, the material now being rather scarce, however some rare pieces have been discovered by the silver department in recent years:
£4,600 for a Queen Anne silver thistle cup by John Luke of Glasgow, in August 2018;
£3,500 for a silver spoon by John and Patrick Riach of Forres, in November 2018;
£2,400 for a toddy ladle of fiddle pattern by John and Patrick Riach of Forres, in November 2018
£1,600 for a silver quaich by Thomas Borthwick of Inverness 1783, in August 2018;
£1,550 for a silver serving spoon by Charles Fowler of Elgin, in December 2009;
£1,500 for silver brandy label by William Innes of Tain in November 2018;
£1,300 for a silver table spoon by John Sellar of Wick in May 2009;
£1,100 for a silver toddy ladle by John Sellar of Wick, in December 2010;
£1,000 for a silver spoon by William Livingstone of Elgin, in September 2008;
£850 for a silver quaich by William Robb of Ballater 1913, in May 2010.
Hugh M Gregory FGA is the head of Department and is always happy to conduct free no obligation valuations whether that be in person at the auction room, over email or in the comfort of your own home.
Hugh can be contacted by telephone on 0131 440 2448 (Edinburgh), 01387 721 635 (Dumfries) or 01228 535 288 (Carlisle) or by email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.