Dutch Miniature Cutlery Box, ca. 1800

Value (2008) | $2,500 Auction$3,500 Auction

GUEST:
What I have is an antique knife box which has sets of knives, forks and spoons that are all miniature silver, sterling silver. My mother was an antique collector, in particular of miniature silver.

APPRAISER:
All right.

GUEST:
And I believe this came from England.

APPRAISER:
I see. The case is made of sharkskin, which is also known as shagreen. We have some wonderful silver mounts on the front here. You also have silver mounts on the side, which are hallmarked. And additionally you've got the silver mounts on the back as well, the hinges, which also have hallmarks. You had initially thought that it was English.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Okay, it is actually Dutch, we believe.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
There are many hallmarks on it, and unfortunately a lot of them are partially rubbed out. The hallmarks on the escutcheon plate with the two stars below a crown is potentially a Dutch city mark. With a little bit of research we should be able to identify it. It's interesting to see it has so many hallmarks, and those marks can be deceptive. It's that series of four marks which makes you think that it's English, but in fact it was Dutch. And in some cases they actually did it intentionally to fool you into thinking that the silver was English, because English silver was regarded very highly at the time. So what we have here is we have a wonderful miniature cutlery box. You can see it's fitted on the interior with knives, forks, spoons, also miniature sauce ladles. And we have three out as a little sampling here.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
This was probably part of a very fine miniature doll's house service. And so you would have additional pieces with it. But what's very, very nice about it is that it is intact. All of the slots are filled with cutlery, with each individual serving piece, and it's very difficult to find a set which has everything intact.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
The case has some condition issues. We can see a little bit of separation and some splitting, and that's consistent with age. I would put a presale estimate on it of about $2,500 to $3,500.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
So it's a very nice little set. What gives it the value is that it's complete and its condition.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, NJ
Appraised value (2008)
$2,500 Auction$3,500 Auction
Event
Dallas, TX (June 28, 2008)
Material
Silver

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