Metalware

This sector comprises artefacts made from both base and precious metals. Many antique items were originally used for domestic purposes but are now collected on account of their craftsmanship, decorative quality and social interest.

Items can range from include pewter jugs, tin pots, brass bells, copper weathervanes and cast iron benches.

While this area offers plenty of affordable material, rare historical survivors can command high prices.


Saleroom pulls ‘looted artefacts from Maqdala’ after Ethiopian appeal

21 June 2021

A group of Ethiopian works of art believed to have been taken during the Battle of Maqdala in 1868 has been withdrawn from a Dorset auction after the Embassy of Ethiopia intervened.

Limoges plaque bidder hell bent on a purchase

07 June 2021

Sixteenth century Limoges work depicts underworld scene from Virgil’s The Aeneid

Double Islamic and Indian interest

07 June 2021

Shown here are two highlights from sales of Islamic & Indian art held by London salerooms recently.

Metalware collection based on long experience

10 May 2021

John Douglas’ interest in antique base metalware started over 60 years ago.

Taken up a peg or two from the estimate

19 April 2021

The name ‘peg tankard’ comes from the vertical row of pegs inside that can be used to measure the amount of alcohol drunk as it was passed around a table.

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Work of ‘modern day Grinling Gibbons’

15 March 2021

This late Victorian carved lime and soft wood panel is by James Peake (c.1839-1918), a carver and gilder.

Leather blackjack tankard

Horse to tankard: Oliver Cromwell’s warhorse mug sells in Dorset

01 March 2021

A tankard said to be made from the hide of Oliver Cromwell’s warhorse was the toast of an auction in Dorchester.

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Cluny Museum moves in to buy knightly ornament at auction

15 February 2021

The Cluny Museum in Paris, dedicated to works of art from the Middle Ages, pre-empted two items in a Pierre Bergé & Associes sale of Haute Epoque in Paris.

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No public view? No worries…

08 February 2021

Despite lockdown restrictions Bonhams' traditional Oak Interior offerings performed very well

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Wingett goes for upmarket upcycling turning scrap into a super Georgian cistern

30 November 2020

In an act of decidedly upmarket upcycling, dealer Simon Wingett of Burton Antiques and his business partner have commissioned a series of casts of a George II wine cistern to be made from scrap.

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Firing demand: three fenders eagerly contested at autumn sales

16 November 2020

Pictured here are three quite different brass fireside fenders – all of them eagerly contested at autumn sales.

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Ingenious design for travelling chalice

19 October 2020

Made from paktong, a zinc, copper and nickel (or similar) alloy resembling silver, this c.1780 English travelling chalice, or cup, is modelled on drinking glasses of the period.

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Lot watched by eager beaker bidders

05 October 2020

Silver by major names from the early to late years of last century were major eyecatchers at the Lacy Scott & Knight (20% buyer’s premium) 20th Century Design Sale in Bury St Edmunds.

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Police call for help to find stolen Cotswolds post box sawn from its mount

13 August 2020

A Royal Mail post box has been sawn from its mount in a Cotswold village and local police are hoping to trace it.

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Bromsgrove metalwork blows estimates away

20 July 2020

From the house clearance of a deceased estate, a small collection of Arts & Crafts metalwork triggered an estimate-demolishing response from dealers and collectors at Fieldings (20% buyer’s premium).

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Ivory in demand ahead of trade ban

20 July 2020

Despite – or because of – the imminent prohibition, good-quality antique ivory works of art continue to bring solid prices at auction.

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Musik plays part as one of three €100,000 top-sellers

15 June 2020

Sotheby’s Paris (25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium) reported a cumulative total of €5.4m for the five online sales it held over two weeks in mid May through to early June. The initiative attracted new buyers, said the auction house, with 35% in the jewellery sale and 27% in the Contemporary art auction.

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English Arts & Crafts enamel plaques come to the fore in Cincinnati

18 May 2020

Treadway’s (25/20/15% buyer’s premium) Spring sale in Cincinnati was led by examples of Tiffany glassware and a Gallé ceramic.

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Louis XIV vases stand out in summer sales at Christie’s Paris

18 May 2020

Christie’s Paris rooms has announced a programme of 18 summer sales that it will be holding over May, June and July. These are a mixture of timed auctions and live online (huis clos) auctions.

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Ingenious chalices conceal Catholic purpose

27 April 2020

The Penal Laws weigh heavily on the history of Ireland. Before they were largely repealed in the period 1778-93, the series of statutes were imposed in an attempt to force Irish Catholics (and Protestant dissenters) to accept the established Church of Ireland.

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