A local vendor has been gradually selling her wide ranging and extensive collection of Arts & Crafts items with us. This month she brought me another selection of her treasures, including a beautiful Ruskin Pottery large souffle lavender glaze fruit bowl. With it’s very rare early scissor mark to the base and excellent condition, it is estimated at £300/£500 and will hopefully provoke strong interest from collectors. Other items include a beautiful selection of Arts & Crafts silver jewellery which is always very well received by both dealers and private buyers. An early version of a silver dove brooch by the ever-popular Georg Jensen is bound to do well against the £200/£300 estimate whilst an unusual ‘turquoise matrix’ double drop pendant by Murrle Bennett is also going to be popular with collectors.
My same vendor then surprised me with a fantastic collection of antique kitchenalia, including a very sought-after selection of Victorian moulds for chocolate, biscuits, jellies and pastries. A lovely German wooden biscuit rolling pin features a grid of tiny carved motifs which could be pressed into the biscuit dough and then later after baking, cut up into individual squares. There are other smaller wooden rollers for making imprints on butter as well as pastry wheel cutters and crimpers and an unusually large early 19th century pewter ice cream mould in the form of a vase of flowers. Two Victorian copper jelly moulds bear the marks of well-known makers Benham and Froud and are sold together with a delightful copper pudding mould. Estimated at £60/£100 they will hopefully leave their estimate far behind as all these pieces are highly collectable. They are the sort of items that one might see in a large National Trust kitchen, giving us an interesting glimpse into cookery techniques from the past - a far cry from many of the convenience foods which we eat today!
From another client my kitchenalia section has now been complimented by an inauspicious tall glass bottle with a very faded label. The label itself is unusually cased within the glass of the bottle itself and reads ‘Allen’s Red Tame Cherry Syrup’. This was a non-carbonated soft drink made from cherries and cherry leaves in Ohio, America at the turn of the 20th century. The label is so faded it is tricky to make out the words, but since one of these bottles with a bright red label sold in the US recently for $4,600 it would appear that ‘Allen’s Red Tame Cherry Syrup’ is a very collectable item over there! My faded example is estimated at just £200/£300 and I think it will almost certainly return home. This is made so easy now by the online bidding platforms who have developed extensive worldwide marketing techniques so that buyers can find whatever obscure items they are looking for - even when it is the other side of the world.