EDINBURGH, Scotland – The Andrew Crawforth Collection of Early Metalware and Works of Art was 100% sold at Bonhams Edinburgh on September 13. The 430-lot sale made a total of £491,272, which was double the low estimate. The sale was offered with no reserve.
Bonhams Director of Private Collections and House Sales, Charlie Thomas, said: “The late much-admired antique dealer Andrew Crawforth was an acknowledged world authority on antique metalwork. From early on a Saturday morning, Andrew would open his stall on Portobello Market, buying and selling and sharing his unrivaled knowledge with collectors from around the world. What better testament to his legacy than the results of today’s sale – to see such varied metal works all greeted with equal enthusiasm by bidders was a joy for all those involved in the sale. One of the keys to the sale’s exceptional total was, in fact, keys. With half of the top 10 lots being collections of them. When one sees a key long removed from the gate or door it was associated it can certainly unlock their imagination, and it was great to see that happening today”.
The highest selling of the keys were a group from 18th and 19th century, 15 in all, associated with famous London landmarks including the lodge in St James’ palace Gardens and The Secretary Meteorological Office in St James’ Park (which no longer exists). One of the keys, granting access to Green Park, had V.R stamped on it – raising the intriguing possibility of Queen Victoria slipping unobserved out of Buckingham Palace, across Constitution Hill and into the park, using her personal key. The keys as a group sold for £9,563 against an estimate of £1,000-£1,500. Other successful key collections were 28 mostly continental 17th- to 19th-century keys selling for £8,288 and three fine and rare 17th and 18th century keys, which sold for £7,650.
Other highlights include:
A pair of 18th-century iron strongboxes together with a large number of Victorian brass gaming counters, which sold for £2,800. The strongboxes have typical elaborate locks and strapwork decoration and the counters are dated 1797 and inscribed: ‘In memory of the good old days’. They depict George III in classical attire.
A rare Tudor copper alloy candlestick from around 1400-1500, which sold for £2,500.
An English civil war period breast- and back-plate, which sold for £1,600.
The current rate of exchange is £1 = $1.37.
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