SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

The Silver Salon Forums
Since 1993
11,300 threads & 61,600 posts !!
For Sale Forum
How to Post Photos REGISTER (click here)

customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  For Sale
tline3open  Amazing Silver Auction

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Amazing Silver Auction
florida_bob

Posts: 54
Registered: Dec 2004

iconnumber posted 01-15-2005 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for florida_bob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Coin Silverware Enthusiasts:

I thought that the people on this list deserve to know about one of the most important auctions of early American Silver ever to take place (this coming week in New York):

[gone from the internet - search.sothebys.com/search/collArea/BrowseCat.jsp?event_id=27059&format=textImage&sortspec=LIVE_LOT_ID_SORT+asc&docStart=121&HitsPerPage=20]THE SILVER OF THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, CONGREGATIONAL, FARMINGTON, CONNECTICUT, WITH IMPORTANT AMERICAN SILVER (1670/80 - 2005)[/URL]

(You may have to cut and paste the above link into your browser.)

Bob M.

IP: Logged

swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2918
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 01-15-2005 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An important sale is right! Thanks for the heads up. Tha catalog can be purchased through the link near the top right corner of the page the link takes you to. It should be an important, well documented reference.

The down side is that it is sad that an old institution would be in a position to have to (or be willing to) sell its heritage. The value of certain of these items has become such that similar sales have taken place either to raise money for costly repairs and renovations and/or because the institutions could no longer afford the insurance on their holdings!

[This message has been edited by swarter (edited 01-15-2005).]

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 01-15-2005 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the other hand, this is a church, not a museum. The tasks and duties of a church are seriously different from that of a custodial institution. A church is there to offer solace and comfort, not display old objects. The sale makes perfect sense to me. Let the silver go to those who love old silver. And let the church use the proceeds to further its mission.

IP: Logged

wev
Moderator

Posts: 4029
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 01-16-2005 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I doubt I will challenge any of the serious bidders -- I'm searching the couch cushions just to get the catalog -- but I was able to add several lovely example connections to folks in my tree project. Better yet, the Livingston chocolate pot promted me to do some fresh digging into Thomas Hammersley. I discovered that his mother, Lucretia Grevenraet, was cousin to the silversmith Petrus De Reimer and his brother Andrew married as his second wife Margarite, the daughter of the silversmith John Hastier; two excellent makers added on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

IP: Logged

nihontochicken

Posts: 289
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 01-16-2005 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nihontochicken     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the "heads up" on this auction. I actually may bid on something (if my wife doesn't catch me at it!). Unfortunately, the absentee bidder form won't come up for me (usual .pdf file malfunction; for the record, I hate Adobe Acrobat, almost always a bad experience). Any suggestions? Guess I'll just call the contact telephone number. In any event, it's nice to just see pictures of the 17th and early-mid 18th century items. Certainly rings my chimes. Sigh.

IP: Logged

ahwt

Posts: 1843
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 01-22-2005 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

[gone from the internet - search.sothebys.com/jsps/live/lot/LotDetail.jsp?sale_number=N08082&live_lot_id=356]sale_number=N08082 live_lot_id=356[/URL]

[gone from the internet - search.sothebys.com/jsps/live/lot/LotDetail.jsp?sale_number=N08082&live_lot_id=358]sale_number=N08082 live_lot_id=358[/URL]


The above web sites show pitchers with a waterside scene of dragonflies and may be of interest to dragonflywink. This auction at Sotheby's also included the silver of the First Church of Christ, Congregational, Farmington, Connecticut.

IP: Logged

wev
Moderator

Posts: 4029
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 01-22-2005 11:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It appears that the modern goods, estimate against final hammer, did better than the fine old pieces. The Dummer/Sanderson/Hull caudle cup was especially surprising -- do folks think another is going to show up any time soon?

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 01-23-2005 12:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What did this caudle cup actually sell for? If it is any consolation, my impression has long been that early silver collectors are people who already have pretty much everything and really don't buy anymore.

IP: Logged

nihontochicken

Posts: 289
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 01-23-2005 01:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nihontochicken     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lot# 415: u - A SILVER TWO-HANDLED CUP, JOHN HULL AND ROBERT SANDERSON, OVERSTRUCK BY JEREMIAH DUMMER, BOSTON, CIRCA 1670, ESTIMATE 200,000 - 300,000 USD

Sold for $204,000.

IP: Logged

wev
Moderator

Posts: 4029
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 01-23-2005 01:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
$204,000 against a low estimate of $200,000 -- less than the price of a Gull Wing (and they made thousands of those) or .06% of Bill Gates annual income after taxes.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 01-23-2005 01:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Out of curiosity, what was a Congregational Church doing with all this silver? I suspect it was not used for after service coffee, but I could be wrong. Was this simply accumulated over the years? For what purpose? I really am curious about this.

Would anyone be able to post a summary of sales for this auction? It sounds like a really interesting event.

IP: Logged

ahwt

Posts: 1843
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 01-23-2005 09:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is the main page for Sotheby's:
[gone from the internet - search.sothebys.com/jsps/live/event/EventLanding.jsp]EventLanding.jsp[/URL]

This is the schedule of auctions:
[gone from the internet - search.sothebys.com/jsps/live/event/EventResultsLanding.jsp]EventResultsLanding.jsp[/URL]

This is the results page for the church silver. [gone from the internet - search.sothebys.com/jsps/live/lot/LotResultsDetailList.jsp]/LotResultsDetailList.jsp[/URL]

Lots 415 to 420 were the church silver included in the auction and the rest of the lots came from various sources. I assume if there is a missing lot number it means that the reserve was not obtained.

The last link appears not to work so just use the second link and then click on the third auction listed. (The church auction) When you get to the next page, click on "show lot name" to get the most information.

IP: Logged

dragonflywink

Posts: 913
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 01-23-2005 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"pitchers with a waterside scene of dragonflies and may be of interest to dragonflywink"

Sigh, can't tell you how much I craved that Tiffany piece! Terrible weakness for mixed metal pieces, had to sell my Gorham dish a few years ago. Justified it to myself because I didn't truly love it. The pitcher on the other hand is just my taste! If only I'd had time to sell my house (have enough in equity now), oh dang - then I wouldn't have any place to put the pitcher. Maybe on the dashboard of my new residence, unless of course, I'd sold that to buy the D & H piece. No matter, they'd have looked fabulous on the top rack of my shopping cart as I wandered the streets looking for discarded silver.

Wonderful pieces in that auction, was just a pleasure to look through the catalogue.

Thanks for thinking me, ahwt!

Cheryl ;o)

IP: Logged

swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2918
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 01-23-2005 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
If it is any consolation, my impression has long been that early silver collectors are people who already have pretty much everything and really don't buy anymore.

I think it is impossible to have everything - there is almost none of this really early stuff still in circualtion (was there ever?)! I imagine they got what they have when prices were lower than they have been recently at the big auctions, and if they have proper connections (I don't, so don't ask me what those are!), they can buy elsewhere. Anticipation of high selling prices plus fees may have discouraged some prospective buyers, too (and not only bargain-hunting pensioners like me)- some might be kicking themselves now. And Museum budgets may be low as well. The timing of the auction might have been better, too - tax time is a poor time for American buyers.

IP: Logged

swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2918
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 01-26-2005 12:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
what was a Congregational Church doing with all this silver?

All of the church pieces in this group are cups of one sort or another. Other early New England church holdings, several now dispersed, were similar - cups, basins, and flagons. If I understand the practice correctly, these items were used in communion in a practice wherein communion was given by other parishoners rather than by the priest, hence the need for multiple drinking vessels. These items are a part of the history of the church, and not just a collection of objects to be displayed - hence my earlier comment at the top of this thread.

quote:
Would anyone be able to post a summary of sales

The catalog is very well illustated; the church pieces are extensively photographed -- as well documented as any I have seen. About 46 of the 150 or so lots in the 160 page catalog are before 1840; 49 pages are devoted to the history of the church and its silver, 33 of these to the 6 lots of church silver by the earliest American silversmiths: Sanderson and Hull, Coney, Jesse and Cowell. The objects are dated from 1670 to 1715. Prices realized for the Church pieces ranged from $120,000 to $204,000; One did not sell, failing to make its reserve. Of all other lots, only a chocolate pot by Thomas Hammersley reached six figures ($144, 000). A cream pot by Paul Revere reached "only" $36,000. Most other lots were in the 4 figure range, with only a few in the 5's. Total yield for the entire auction was $1,884,660.

IP: Logged

nihontochicken

Posts: 289
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 01-27-2005 01:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nihontochicken     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of comments on the auction. First, it was quite rewarding, even as a holey pocket, day late, dollar short non-participant, to see the really exciting items on the last three web pages come to the market. I have mixed feelings on the sales prices, which were on the low ends of the estimates for the really old and historic pieces. I wonder at the taste of those who have the wherewithall to buy the important items. Then again, I'm encouraged that, should I ever hit the bigtime, I'll have not that much competition for the items of greatest fundamental and lasting value (now where did I put those Lotto tickets?).

I agree that the later era items generally did a lot better against their estimates than did the older pieces. Shades of my earlier expressions on the relative merits of Victorian pieces versus older and simpler handmade pieces, but that is a sleeping dog best left undisturbed. Of the older pieces that sold, the Revere items did far and away the best. They were fine pieces, yet I suspect a case of name recognition among those bidders with more horsepower than strict aesthetic silver appreciation, but that's just my poor, sour grapes idle conjecture.

The Japanese aesthetic items did fine, as well they should. BTW, Dragonflywink, you might want to look at Ebay for the items representing the origins of this craft, namely Japanese sword accouterments (tsuba, kozuka, fuchi, kashira, menuki, kogai and the like, but watch out for the Chinese fakery now flooding this arena). Unfortunately for westerners, the better achievements in the Japanese mixed metal tradition were mostly in the area of sword fittings, which don't translate well into occidental wants. The more desirable pieces here tend to be the trays, plates and other more familiar household pieces made in the Meiji period after 1868 when the public wearing of swords was banned in Japan, the samurai class was extinguished, and traditional sword fittings makers were forced to pursue other markets, significantly including tastes of the western visitor. The Tiffany and Whiting pieces are nice, but fall short of the Japanese progenitors (IMO).

Anywho, I decided not to risk divorce, and skipped bidding on an item that cornered my interest. Discretion is the better part of valor and all that. When, post auction, I noticed this item was not on the sales list, I inquired as to whether it had been pulled from the auction, or whether it had just not met reserve. Turned out it was the latter, the item was still available, and so I made an offer, and therefore the divorce is still on (potentially). Wish me luck (which may be getting, or not getting, the auction item - who knows?). smile

IP: Logged

akgdc
unregistered
iconnumber posted 02-10-2005 06:43 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nihil, did you ever bag your quarry?

IP: Logged

nihontochicken

Posts: 289
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 02-13-2005 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nihontochicken     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, we were about $100 apart, and I dug in my heels, and it appears that Sotheby's was unwilling to adjust their buyer's premium to make it work. They reported that the seller had accepted my offer, but besides the 20% buyer's premium I had put a limit of $100 on the shipping/handling/insurance, and they wanted over twice that. I consider that gouging, and I choose not to support poor performance, and so I let it go. Oh, well, I might have some residual remorse, but not like the Hennell tumbler a few years back that had my initials engraved on it; I meant to snipe it, but forgot to bid, and it went for $250. That one still hurts! The upside of this latest fizzle is that I need not rehearse any Shakespearian recital to mollify the better half!

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a


1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.


| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2018 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices