Diverse selection of silver entered in Heritage Auctions’ Objects of Vertu sale April 20


Bell & Brothers coin silver mug, San Antonio, Texas, circa 1865, 4 inches high (10.2 cm), 8.57 troy ounces. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000. Heritage Auctions image


DALLAS – Heritage Auctions will offer a rare Bell & Brothers coin silver cup manufactured in San Antonio, Texas, at a Silver and Objects of Vertu Auction on April 20. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Samuel Bell was a silversmith who began his trade in Knoxville, Tennessee, and moved to San Antonio in 1852, bringing along three sons. A notable Bell commission was a pair of silver spurs worn by Gen. Samuel Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto during the Mexican-American War. Bell purportedly used Mexican reales to produce silver, tablewares, spurs, Bowie knives and jewelry. Clientele listed in the company’s register included Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant and other prominent military figures. The Bell sons continued producing silver in San Antonio, and the business remained in operation until 1961.

One of the most recognizable family names in American history graces the catalog in two lots:

A 48-piece Tiffany & Co. William K. Vanderbilt pattern flatware service is a rare example in which the firm manufactured a noncommercial flatware service. The pattern, and its sister Cornelius Vanderbilt service, are two of approximately 10 known private flatware patterns produced by Tiffany & Co. in the last quarter of the 19th century for America’s wealthiest families including John Mackay, John Carter Brown, J. Pierpont Morgan, William Randolph Hearst, and others. The firm employed Charles T. Grosjean, acclaimed designer of Tiffany’s Lap Over Edge and Chrysanthemum patterns, to design the two Vanderbilt family services, and reportedly charged the family $10,000 before actual production to draft and patent the designs, and create the dies. The front of the stems bear type-specific scenery depicting allegories of Actaeon, Hercules and Diana, overtly illustrating the utensils’ celebration of the hunt at the table, and each piece features the Vanderbilt family crest and monogram to the terminals.



Rare 48-piece Tiffany & Co. William K. Vanderbilt pattern flatware service, New York, circa 1885, 101.90 troy ounces (weighable). Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Heritage Auctions image


An eight-piece Howard & Co. silver tea and coffee presentation service was gifted to Emily Vanderbilt Sloane by her aunt, Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt. The underside of the tray bears a presentation inscription: “Emily Vanderbilt Sloane, on the occasion, of her marriage with, John Henry Hammond, from her aunt, Margaret L.V. Shepard, April 5th 1899.” Emily was the daughter of Emily Thorn Vanderbilt (1852-1946), granddaughter of William Henry Vanderbilt (1821-1885), and the great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877).

A Clemens Friedell Los Angeles Kennel Club trophy exhibits vestiges of Friedell’s work for Gorham from 1901-1908 while producing the firm’s prestigious Martelé wares. One of only a handful of independent Arts and Crafts silversmiths, he relocated to Pasadena in 1911 and solidified his capabilities by creating his “Orange Blossom” service for Los Angeles brewery magnate E.R. Maier. Friedell’s most popular items were trophies, and he was sought after by the notable professional organizations like the Tournament of Roses and Pasadena Polo Club.



Clemens Friedell partial gilt silver Los Angeles Kennel Club, 1917, President’s Trophy, Pasadena, Calif., circa 1917, 14 1/4 inches high (36.2 cm), 39.65 troy ounces. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. Heritage Auctions image


An important English centerpiece (below) once belonged to a famous British military officer who witnessed to the first battles of the American Revolution. The piece bears the arms of Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings. Rawdon-Hastings participated in some of the Great Britain’s most historic military campaigns in the 18th century and commanded the regiment at the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and was subsequently wounded during the British army’s second assault at Breed’s Hill. He recovered and engaged in several other conflicts for the British empire.



Charles Eley silver-gilt tazza centerpiece bearing the arms of Francis Edward Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings, London, 1825, 11 3/8 inches high x 10 3/8 inches diameter (28.9 x 26.4 cm), 63.26 troy ounces. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000. Heritage Auctions image


The catalog’s cover lot is an impressive Italian Buccellati double-pheasant covered serving platter. Graced with intricate wire work to the bodies and feathers, the figural dome sits atop a lush grape and foliate tray.



Buccellati silver tureen with double pheasant dome, Milan, Italy, 20th century, 16 inches high x 21 1/2 inches wide x 17 inches deep (40.6 x 54.6 x 43.2 cm), 118.67 troy ounces. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Heritage Auctions image


An additional standing pheasant is another imposing yet whimsical piece that typifies the firm’s distinctive and high-quality workmanship.