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Matthew Barton Ltd. to Hold Silver Auction that is Full of Surprises!
Stuart Devlin, Eggs.

LONDON.- collection of pieces by innovative contemporary silversmith Stuart Devlin will highlight Matthew Barton Ltd’s auction of Silver, Works of Art and Objects of Vertu. The sale will take place on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 in West Kensington at 25 Blythe Road, W14.

Amassed over fifteen years by a collector in Cheshire, the sale will include 55 pieces by Stuart Devlin dating from the late 1960s to the 1980s. Iconic pieces include a three branch silver candelabrum with filigree globes and a matching snuffer which are estimated at £1,500-2,500; a wonderfully stylised and part textured cocktail jug and stirrer is estimated at £800-1,200, and a set of eight tapering cylindrical parcel-gilt silver goblets with hammered finish, carrying an estimate of £1,000-1,500 as is eight similarly-decorated beakers.

Australian-born Devlin is also known for his amusing pieces and the sale includes two important groups. The Easter themed ‘Surprise’ eggs, new designs for which came out each year, open to reveal intricately detailed novelties such as a gaping hippo and a frog on a lily pad. They will be offered individually with estimates ranging from £150 to £300.

Between 1970 – 1981, Devlin designed a series of novelties in the form of parcels, Christmas puddings and boxes which open to illustrate imaginatively one of each of the Twelve Days of Christmas such as three French hens sitting on a tricolor; eleven Scottish pipers piping and a partridge in a pear tree. For those, who plan early for Christmas, Matthew Barton will offer a whole collection of these with estimates ranging from £300-400.

Matthew Barton said: “This is my second sale as an independent specialist auctioneer, and I am delighted to have been asked to sell this wonderful collection by one of the greatest contemporary gold and silversmiths. The pieces, many of which rarely come onto to the market, range from the stylised to the amusing and I look forward to it appealing to a wide range of buyers.”

Stuart Devlin was born in Geelong, Australia, in 1931. In his third year of secondary education, he chose to become an art teacher, specialising in gold and silversmithing. In 1964, he won a competition to design the first decimal coinage for Australia and the following year, he moved to London and opened a small workshop. Between 1979 and 1985 he had a prestigious showroom in Conduit Street (London) and during this time, he was granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment as Goldsmith and Jeweler to Her Majesty the Queen. Among his most popular commissions, Stuart Devlin has designed coins for 36 countries throughout the world, including Singapore, Malaysia, and the Cayman Islands. He has now closed his London shop and workshop and is based in Littlehampton, West Sussex.*

Elsewhere in the sale will be a late 19th century magnifying glass globe Swiss desk timepiece with a moonphase and date on a Victorian silver stand by Charles Boyton of London, dated 1892 which is estimated at £800-1,200; while an unusual silver ‘Churchwarden’ pipe by Joseph Taylor of Birmingham, hallmarked 1809 carries an estimate of £700-1,000.

A delightful notecase by Nathanial Mills of Birmingham is among an interesting collection of smallwork. Decorated with an image of Crystal Palace, the notecase with ivory sheets and original pencil, is inscribed to ‘Miss Anna Beachcroft’, when she went to the exhibition ‘9th July 1851’ and is expected to fetch £500-600. Also by Nathanial Mills, a vinaigrette in the form of the Scott Monument in Edinburgh is estimated at £300-500.

Matthew Barton Ltd | Stuart Devlin | Silver Auction |

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