Silver shines in decorative arts auction

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – Leland Little Auctions marked another successful sale as they wrapped up their Fine & Decorative Arts Auction March 19.

Precious metals are always a popular investment, and they are even more attractive when they take decorative form.

A few of the top silver lots in the sale follow. Prices include buyer’s premium.

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A 7 1/2-inch George III Irish sterling silver jug from Dublin, 1829, sold for $1,800 against a presale estimate of $600 to $900. The piece weighed in at 22.9 troy ounces and carried hallmarks with “RS” sponsor’s mark and had a raised pear form body with ornate Rococo style repousse and chased design of flowers and scrolls. One side featured a shield form cartouche engraved with boar’s head family crest surmounted by a spread-winged eagle.

According to the lot description, substantial jugs of this form without covers were often used as beer jugs; however, the use of ivory spacers on this jug’s handle indicate use for heated beverages. (Condition issues were noted: Possible repaired split to underside of handle’s thumbguard, minor discoloration and hairline to ivory insulators, black spots to body.)

silver cocktail shaker 5925141_3690YN73X.jpgAn 11 1/2-inch tall Russian Art Deco silver cocktail shaker brought $2,500, again against a presale estimate of $600 to $900. The Art Deco piece, which weighed 26.6 troy ounces, had a tapered cylindrical form with chased lobed decoration to body, neck, and removable cover, the interior with fitted pouring strainer, hallmarks to foot and marked “900” on underside.

A set of 12 American sterling silver julep cups by Manchester Silver Co. (pattern number 3759) hammered for $2,800 against a presale estimate of $1,000 to $2,000. Each cup measured 3 3/4 inches high and carried a classic cylindrical form with slight taper and applied reeded border to foot and mouth. The cups carried no monograms and the set weighed in at 49.7 total troy ounces.

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Full auction results (for all auction categories) can be found online at LLAES’s website ( Their next sale will be an Estate Treasures Auction April 2.

Photo courtesy Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales.

Download the Gold & Silver Value Chart (PDF) for just $3.99 from, Antique Trader’s official online store.

Here’s a video with antique silver cleaning tips from


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