Aristocratic sterling silver an auction feature

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 7th March, 2016

More than 30 pieces of quality 18th and 19th sterling silver from the one collection – including items from Baron Elphinstone presented to him by the British residents of Bombay – are the highlights of Kim’s Auctions latest sale from 11am Sunday March 13 at 327-329 Warrigal Road, Burwood.

The two items in the collection that belonged to John Elphinstone, 13th Earl of Elphinstone, are a pair of highly important George IV English regency soup tureens containing his coat of arms.

Born in 1807 in Scotland, he succeeded his father to the Scottish peerage six years later and entered the army at age 19.

Promoted to lieutenant then captain in the Royal Horse Guards, in 1835 he became lord in waiting to William IV.

Elphinstone had already served in the UK parliament as a Scottish representative peer and in 1837 was appointed Governor of Madras by Lord Melbourne – a position he held for five years.

After resigning he travelled extensively in India and explored Kashmir before returning to England in 1845 where, two years later, he was appointed lord in waiting to Queen Victoria.

In 1853, Elphinstone was appointed Governor of Bombay and during his governorship the Indian Rebellion of 1857 broke out.

He successfully put down the insurrection, seized the ringleaders and prevented the conspiracy from amounting to anything.

On his return to England in 1859, he was made a peer of the United Kingdom as Lord Elphinstone (and Baron) of Elphinstone, Stirlingshire and died still unmarried the following year when his UK peerage became extinct.

Other sterling silver items in the collection include a set of four Victorian pedestal comports made in 1873 by royal silversmiths Robert Garrard, a pair of 1844 decanter stands by JC Eddington, a pair of 1765 torchere form candlesticks by William Tuite and a 1747 George II cake basket.

Unusual is the 1875 Victorian sterling silver lidded jug made by Henry Bourne in the style of Dutch artist David Teniers featuring wayward men drinking in a tavern, a young man seducing a girl and a sleeping drunk.

Other sterling silver items include a 1764 five basket George III epergne by Thomas Pitts and a 1905 punchbowl by the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company.

The auction contains a giant elephant’s tusk 2.16 metres high taken during the 1960s on a Kenyan safari from a bull elephant that had only one remaining.

Works by several of Australia’s leading artists are up for grabs including Charles Blackman’s Alice in Wonderland, Dreaming Alice, The Meeting, Sitting Girl’s Cat and When Cats Do Play, David Bromley’s Gillian and Butterflies, and Bruce Earles’ Rainbow Bay and Off the Path.

Furniture features a 19th century French ormolu table and a cabinet, there is a German oak three-quarter clock and an 1930s Shapira art deco ivory, bronze and marble figure.


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