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Old Plant Pot has a Silver Lining

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A Chinese twin handled silver bowl was the highlight of Thomas R. Callan, Auctioneers and Valuators sale of Fine Art and Antiques, held on 23rd November 2013

The bowl was found in an Ayrshire house clearance and had been used for years as a planter for indoor plants. The bowl although missing its liner and had an obvious heavy tide mark was in good condition with only some minor damages. Weighing approximately 60ozs. with a diameter of 30cm the base was marked Luen Wo of Shanghai, a prolific but quality silver maker and retailer operating from various premises in Nanking Road, in Shanghai in the late 19th and early 20th Century. The piece had a small presentation inscription dated 1897 confirming it’s probable date

With a Callan’s come and buy estimate of £600 – £900 the Shanghai bowl was heavily contested with international interest. Protracted bidding came from the room until 10K and then the internet and six phone lines (three to China) took the final bid to £18,500

According to the Antique Trade Gazette, reporting on Callan’s Sale this was one of the highest prices paid for Chinese export silver sold in the UK in 2013

Measuring 4cm x 2.5cm x 1cm one of the smallest items of silver was William IV silver vinaigrette which had a beautiful cover with an embossed view of Newstead Abbey. This was a prize item for collectors, as it was in perfect condition and still possessed its red leather case. Made in Birmingham by Silver Smiths Taylor and Perry, this tiny vinaigrette punched well above its weight selling on the internet for £1,000

Other highlights from the sale included the pair of officer’s flint lock pistols by Hawkes and Mosely & Co., London circ. 1800 which were found amongst shoe boxes at the bottom of a wardrobe during a house clearance sold for £6,400

Scottish Contemporary Art is proving in demand as more and more collectors are moving away from traditional Victorian Art to the new vibrant coloured oils of contemporary art. All seven John Lowrie Morrison (Jolomo) paintings sold with the top price of £3,300 paid for ‘Evening Gloaming, South Uist’

The fine Art section had some notable sales including:
Louis Bosworth Hurt (1856-1929) Highland Cattle realised £5,200
Cecil Kennedy (1905-1997) Camellias Realised £3,300
A small watercolour by Scottish Artist James Kay (1858-1942) sold for £1,500

Brown furniture held its own despite a down turn in demand. The top lot of the day was a George III drum topped pedestal table, in ‘untouched’ but poor condition it sold to an internet buyer for £4,000
A Georgian knee hole desk realised £1,700 a Georgian bureau bookcase secured £2,600 and two large Bokhara red ground carpets sold for £1,900 each.
Photo: Shanghai silver bowl

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