Late 19th-Century European Silver Figurines

Value (2013) | $20,000 Auction$25,000 Auction

My great-grandfather worked for Standard Oil of New Jersey and was sent to Europe in some sort of official capacity, and they lived in London, and when they were there, they bought a bunch of stuff, you know, from furniture to paintings to clocks to silver. So I'm assuming that they bought these items when they were there.

And that was probably in the early part of the 20th century?

Early part of the 20th century, late part of the 19th century.

They're all sterling silver, made in Europe in the late 19th century. These three here were made probably on the continent, most likely in Germany, and this one here was made in England. What really appeals to me is that they're a cohesive collection. They're really whimsical, they're very collectible today, particularly the jester, with the semi-precious jewels, this nautilus shell as his belly, his curled shoes coming up, his hat, all of it just very, very whimsical. When we look at the cat, the same thing. I mean, look at these earrings!

The cat is wonderful.

How hysterical! Really, really funny. And they're in remarkable shape; you've taken very good care of them.

So are there any marks on any of them that you saw?

There are some marks on the front two pieces here. There's a little European mark on the bottom, and I'm pretty sure it's German. It's really hard to tell. And really, the manufacturer isn't as important as the fact that they are late 19th century, that they're silver, and that they're figural and kind of whimsical figures. The ox was made in England. These three here, being European continental, would be 800 grade silver, which is 800 parts per 1,000, as opposed to the American and English grade, which is usually 925 parts.

Oh, okay.

And this ox here does have a British hallmark, and we can see the series of hallmarks right on the top of the neck.

So that would be sterling...?

This is a sterling grade, and the others would be an 800 grade silver, which is slightly lesser, a little softer silver. I think individually, the values might be somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000 each.


But as a group, as a collection, I'd say it's probably worth $20,000, maybe even $25,000 at auction today.

(laughs) I... What do you say? That makes you speechless.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2013)
$20,000 Auction$25,000 Auction
Boise, ID (June 29, 2013)
19th Century
Shell, Silver

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