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Steppes Hill Farm Antiques Newsletter #116 - June 2021
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Victorian Naturalistic Novelty Silver Onion Scent Bottle



 
Of a registered design................



Scottish & Scottish Provincial Silver Wine Labels






In a similar vein to silver Wine Labels emanating from Ireland, as discussed in last months Newsletter, Labels from Scotland exhibit some distinctive and idiosyncratic designs. Often quite plain and austere, although certainly not always, labels from the Scottish Provinces in particular are an intriguing  subject matter in their own right.

The two main assay offices in Scotland were based in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The marks that were placed on silver assayed here followed the same rules as the English assay offices except for one notable difference; instead of a Lion Passant to indicate the 925 standard they used a Thistle in Edinburgh and a Lion Rampant in Glasgow.

As Scotland is a large country with a historically impractical transport system, it was often unfeasible for Scottish silversmiths to travel all the way to Edinburgh or Glasgow to have their silver marked.

As a result Scottish silversmiths began marking the silver themselves – often only striking the item with the maker’s mark and the town mark from where they were operating. Many Scottish silversmiths travelled from town to town looking for work so you may find the same mark at different towns.

Despite it having been a legal requirement for silversmiths to send their wares to either Edinburgh or Glasgow to have them inspected and then hallmarked, many of those based in the provinces of Scotland would eschew such practices, instead opting for their own local markings. This has been put down to a number of reasons, including a strong aversion to the Hanoverian government that persisted throughout the country well into the 19th century, as well as the long and treacherous journey one would have to make to reach either of the assay cities.

With over thirty different provincial centres having been recorded, there is a vast array available, including examples hailing from Dundee, Perth and Aberdeen. Meanwhile, its relative rarity when compared to those pieces bearing full Edinburgh or Glasgow marks has made it highly desirable amongst collectors.

The significance of many motifs on Scottish provincial silver remains mysterious but the value is often purely found in the rarity of these marks.
 

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 Edwardian Silver & Enamel 'Comfort & Vice' Vesta Case 'Benedictus' Victorian Silver Wine Label 'Lachrymae Christi' - Duchess of Westminster Provenance Early 20th Century Austrian Silver & Enamel Twin Compartment Stamp Box George V Silver & Enamel WW1 British War Medal Ribbon Vesta Case
19th Century American Arts & Crafts Hammered Silver Vesta Case Edwardian Silver & Enamel Vintage Car Vesta Case 17th Century Silver Travelling Inkwell, Penner & Seal Victorian Novelty Silver Bass Beer Telescopic Propelling Pencil

Once again I am pleased to be able to update the site this month with over 40 new items of stock and some highlights include; an Edwardian Silver & Enamel 'Comfort & Vice' Vesta Case 'Benedictus', a rare Victorian Silver Wine Label 'Lachrymae Christi' with Duchess of Westminster Provenance, an early 20th Century Austrian Silver & Enamel Twin Compartment Stamp Box, a George V Silver & Enamel WW1 British War Medal Ribbon Vesta Case, a 19th Century American Arts & Crafts Hammered Silver Vesta Case,an Edwardian Silver & Enamel Vintage Car Vesta Case, a rare 17th Century Silver Travelling Inkwell, Penner & Seal and a Victorian Novelty Silver Bass Beer Telescopic Propelling Pencil.

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I do hope that you will find this Newsletter informative and helpful and will allow us send it to you on a regular basis. I would welcome any feedback you may have, both positive and negative.

David W.A. Buck.
Steppes Hill Farm Antiques

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Steppes Hill Farm Antiques Ltd · PO Box 608 · Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 9GT · United Kingdom

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