DALLAS – A celebration of expert silversmithing, Heritage Auctions’ November 15 Silver & Vertu Signature® Auction soared to $1,808,011, exceeding its presale estimate by more than $360,000.
Featuring works by American masters such as Gorham Mfg. Co. and Tiffany & Co. as well as pieces by English greats such as Charles Johnston Hill and John Bridge, the auction teemed with exquisitely detailed examples from some of the most notable names in silver – and bidders took notice.
“Collectors, dealers and institutions competed vigorously for the best silver available,” said Vice President of Fine Silver & Decorative Arts at Heritage Auctions Karen Rigdon. “This was a great silver auction bookended by two large collections amassed in the 20th century. Between them laid treasures untold with results that far exceeded expectations.”
Leading the auction was a circa-1880 Tiffany & Co. silver and mixed metal tray, which sold for $52,500, surpassing its estimate of $30,000-$50,000. From the property of a Southern gentleman, the hand-hammered tray featured a finely chased gold-winged dragonfly and a tomato vine embellished with copper and brass details.
Other standout Tiffany & Co. lots included an 1877 silver walrus ice bowl that realized $51,250; a circa-1865 silver bacchanal-theme punch bowl that realized $37,500 and an 1893 silver yachting trophy that sold for $43,750. The trophy is one of two cups commissioned by John J. Astor for a three-day race held for American contenders of the America’s Cup.
The two large collections that bookended the sale featured material long off the market. From the estate of Fort Worth philanthropist Mildred Hedrick Fender – granddaughter of Ross S. Sterling, founder of Humble Oil and the 31st governor of Texas – came an extensive collection of English silver. Highlights included a pair of Charles Reily and George Storer silver candelabra that sold for $35,000, a Charles Johnston Hill silver reticulated jardiniere that realized $28,750 and a John Bridge silver covered tureen that sold for $27,500.
The other collection belonged to Mrs. D. Wayne (Janice) Calloway of Dallas, whose husband was chairman and CEO of PepsiCo from 1986 to 1996. The couple were known for lavish gatherings where they played host to American and international dignitaries. Calloway’s wide-ranging assemblage included Reed & Barton Francis I lots that realized $263,000, including a seven-piece silver tea and coffee service that sold for $25,000.
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