Antique Irish Silver Selling Around the World


Antique Irish silver is highly valued around the world. Take a look at some of the pieces on sale in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Even the more recent items can still fetch a decent sum.


A Rare George III Antique Irish Silver Coffee Pot

This was made in Dublin in 1765 by Richard Williams. This coffee pot is in perfect condition, and it has beautiful and unusual engraving on two sides. It is selling for US$45,000 at a silver dealer called S.J. Shrubsole, on East 81st Street, New York.



A George II Antique Irish Silver Cake Basket

This was made in Dublin in 1750 by Robert Calderwood. Large decorative items like this were used as a show of wealth, and were rolled out when celebration cakes were presented. These are very popular today because they can still be used as attractive objects to display on a large table. Even when they were first made, they were very expensive items. Silver baskets were first produced in the 1730s, and early ones are rare. They were made more available in larger numbers from the mid-18th Century onwards. Irish silver was always popular so this cake basket dated at 1750 is quite the find. It is selling for US$25,000, from S.J. Shrubsole in New York.



Late Georgian Irish Sterling Silver Sugar Basket

The more recent the antique, the less it is worth. That said, recent antiques are still worth looking for. This silver sugar basket is on offer for US$800 in the New Orleans Auction Galleries. It is hallmarked 1805, in Dublin, by Joseph Jackson. Silver baskets were valued as centrepieces across the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras because to the wealthy and middle classes, they were a means of displaying wealth and taste. People of the era loved unusual types of dining pieces and serving items, which signalled that the owner was cultured and knowledgeable. Sugar baskets are the smallest of all of basket tableware, and were used to hold sugar for tea or sweetening foods. They were a decorative novelty item, and were popular because of the demand for obscure items of silver tableware.



George II Irish Sterling Silver Trophy Cup

This piece is for sale at Molloy’s Antiques Centre in Auckland, New Zealand. It is a large George II Irish two-handled cup fashioned in solid Silver. The maker’s Mark is William Williamson of Dublin, Ireland (Circa 1730-1740). The trophy cup is engraved with an armorial or family crest. This significant piece of Irish Georgian Silver is selling for €3,500.




Octagonal Castors from 1726

These octagonal castors are on sale in Australia for €8,300, from a silver dealer called Rutherford, based in Melbourne, Australia. These were made in Dublin in 1726. How they made their way to Australia must be some story, considering that Captain Cook only landed in Botany Bay in 1770.

Castor sets holding just salt and pepper were used in the seventeenth century. By the 18th century, things got a little fancy. Castors became common for sugar, mustard, spices, vinegar and oil.



Irish Silver Teapot

This elaborate silver teapot is being sold by Cynthia Findlay Antiques, in Toronto, Canada. In terms of antiques, it isn’t that old, being made in Dublin in 1846, by Robert Smith. But the asking price is €3,500, which is a lovely reward for looking in an attic on a day off.

Teapots have always been popular in Irish life. They brought grace and beauty to the table, and Irish silver teapots are among the most beautiful in the world; early examples tend to be simple and plain in design and made of heavy gauge silver. Towards the middle of the 18th century they became more ornate and decorative, as the Rococo period was at its height.

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