Irish Sauce Boats & Dutch Cruet
Appraised Value: $4,500 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:09)
Sarah Shinn Pratt
APPRAISER: So when did you start collecting silver?
GUEST: Back when I was 15 years old I started collecting, and over the years I've developed different specialties and I'm looking at silver over the last ten, 15 years.
APPRAISER: And where did you acquire these?
GUEST: The gravy boats I bought at an auction in a box lot of silver plate about two years ago, and the cruets I bought about five years ago in an antique shop in Wisconsin. The sauce boats were about $200 for the matching pair, and the cruet set was $265. The sauce boats were black as can be. It took me about two hours to clean them.
APPRAISER: The sauce boats are Irish. They have hallmarks -- the harp for Dublin. They have the maker's mark of John West and they have the sterling mark. They don't have the date letter, but we know from the quality and the style -- the style being extreme rococo -- that they must date from about the mid-18th century. What do you think they might be worth?
GUEST: Uh... I was thinking, you know, $1,000 to $2,000 maybe, only because it's a matching pair.
APPRAISER: Mm-hmm. Well, Irish silver is much more rare than English silver. A pair of these at auction, of this quality, would very likely bring between $3,000 and $4,000.
APPRAISER: Now tell me, what did you think this was when you bought it?
GUEST: Well, the dealer that sold it to me said it was plate because it didn't have a sterling mark on it.
GUEST: And I remember turning it over and just seeing all these hallmarks and I said, "This has got to be good."
APPRAISER: So did you try to research it yourself?
GUEST: A little bit, and I noted that there was a rooster mark on the bottom, which indicated to me that it would probably be French.
APPRAISER: Okay. Um, did you try to research any of these other marks here?
GUEST: I tried, but I can't see them as well, so...
APPRAISER: Right-- well, I can understand why you might think it was French, because the French did, in fact, use the rooster mark, but this is actually Dutch. The Dutch used a rooster mark as well. And if you look at the style of it, it's kind of stiff. It's not as fluid as a French piece would be. And it's neoclassical, unlike the rococo sauce boats. Very formal, very symmetrical with these neoclassical profiles and these swags and the medallion profiles on the handles. And what do you think this might be worth?
GUEST: I was hoping between $1,000, $1,500, just because it's a big set.
APPRAISER: Yeah, it's, um... You're not too far off on these. You have a little bit of a condition problem. These things here, on each side, have been broken off, and they were probably rings at one point. In this condition, I think, you know, it's about $1,500 to $2,000.
APPRAISER: Yeah, so you did well in your antiquing.
GUEST: Thank you.
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