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Bid & Hammer in New Delhi to conduct India's first exclusive 'Historic Silver' auction
Titled ‘Hallmarked English, Continental & Indian Silver’, the uniqueness of this auction lies in the fact that a vast proportion of the works are over 150 years old.

NEW DELHI.- Bid & Hammer's first ever exclusive auction in this category (and the twelfth auction overall) on 26th August 2012 in New Delhi comprises 197 plus an additional 47 lots with estimates starting from just ` 4,000 (USD 72 approx) and going up to ` 12,00,000 (USD 21,800 approx). Titled ‘Hallmarked English, Continental & Indian Silver’, the uniqueness of this auction lies in the fact that a vast proportion of the works are over 150 years old and on offer are tea & coffee service sets, teapots, jugs, sauce-boats, candlesticks, salvers & plates, trophy bowls, commemoration models and a host of related collectables from some of the most renown silversmiths from the English cities of London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Chester amongst others, and their counterparts in Europe besides from the master craftsmen in India from Agra, Calcutta, Kutch-Bhuj & Rajasthan.

On offer in this auction are works based on the Neo-Classical & Empire styles dating back to 1779 AD ie the late Georgian period (George III, 1760 - 1811), the Regency period (1811 – 1830), the William IV period (1830 – 1837), the Victorian period (1837 – 1901) and continuing based on the styles prevalent in the Edwardian (1901 – 1910) & post-Edwardian period including the more contemporary works done in the last thirty to fifty years. There are some plated works as well including from the Middle-East, Egypt & Persia besides the highly ornamental Indian silver works including models of; the Indian Parliament, the Oriental Life Assurance Co Ltd, a Bombay Textile mill and the Taj Mahal amongst others.

With the total value of estimates approximately between ` 1,94,00,000 - ` 2,40,00,000 (USD 352,000 – 434,000), this auction follows the Central Asian Antique Carpets, Rugs & Tapestries auction in June 2012 in Bangalore which was again a path-breaking reflection of Bid & Hammer's continuous & pain-staking efforts in developing the Indian art market above & beyond paintings.

After having firmly established itself as a pan-Indian all category auction house with a base in Bangalore and also having intermittently conducted previews & auctions in Delhi and Chennai, with this auction the auction house aims to be more active in Delhi due to the overwhelming request from its patrons who have started realizing that there is indeed value in art beyond contemporary paintings and have been prodding them to conduct their auctions more regularly in the capital. As such, to mark their return to the capital and to make the upcoming auction even more exciting, for the first time ever, Bid & Hammer have offered some lots that have absolutely no reserves.

Mr. Maher Dadha, Chairman & Managing Director of Bid & Hammer said “After tasting success with silver lots at all our previous generalist auctions, I am extremely glad to announce our very first and also the country’s very first specialist silver auction”.

He went on to add “Silver as a metal in India and also worldwide not only has great intrinsic value but also utility value and the lots in this catalogue have all five elements that one looks for when buying silver, namely: utilitarian value, metal weight value, decorative value, historic value and investment value”.

One of the highlights is a very fine pair of Indian silver ceremonial procession mast plaques, circa 1870s, used by Indian royalty, depicting the Sun and Moon gods (Suraj aur Chand) in circular form, with the face of the Sun god called ‘Suryamukhi’ and the Moon depicted with a spotted deer over semi-circular half moon, both are hand chiseled with circular floral motifs in five layers. Dia. 20.5 in each, Wt 6251 gms. This is estimated between ` 11,00,000 – ` 12,00,000 (lot 170).

Another important & early work is, a pair of George III silver column candlesticks, by J. Gregory & J. Staniforth, Sheffield 1800, with foliage and bead borders, on square bases, estimated between ` 36,000 – ` 48,000 only (lot 2).

For the silverware collectors, there are a range of works available, with a good example being the late Victorian silver three piece tea set, by Z Barraclough, Sheffield 1896, of oval form, embossed with foliate scrolls and weighing 669 gms. This is available for only ` 45,000 – ` 60,000 (lot 69).

Also on offer is a Victorian silver salver, by Garrard, London, 1866, of shaped circular form, engraved with flowers, foliage and C-scrolls, with moulded pie-crust border and floral rim, on three scroll feet, crested and inscribed with a 15.5 in diameter and estimated between ` 1,20,000 – ` 1,60,000 (lot 107).

There are also many collectible items such as lot 122 which is a very attractive pair of cruets modeled as thistles and estimated at ` 32,000 – ` 45,000. Perhaps these or the card cases (lot 179) estimated at ` 6,000 - ` 10,000 and other items are ideal for those who want to get initiated into first time collecting.

Moving back to the Indian silver section, amongst a host of elaborate works, on offer is an exceptionally large & very rare Indian silver photograph frame, with an elaborately worked pattern and an inscription in Hindi on the top of the frame, circa 1930’s, with a picture of an Indian Maharaja stamped ‘Vernon, Bombay’. With dimensions measuring 27.5 in L x 21.5 in B (lot 193), this is estimated between ` 3,00,000 – ` 4,00,000.

Ankush Dadha, Director, added “Given the rich history of the makers & their works in the auction catalogue, whatever be your silver requirement, budget or winning bid, you could be rest assured that any lot you take away will have its own pride of place in your collection”.

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