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Treasure trove found in house could net fortune for relatives
10:30am Thursday 20th September 2012 in News
A HOARD of silver and gold antiques that were found littering an unassuming house on the outskirts of Swindon could net relatives of the owner tens of thousands of pounds.
The extensive collection, which will be auctioned in Cirencester next week, was found by the family of a Swindon man after he died. Silver and gold antiques were found around the house, in a shed, and in cars.
The collection includes more than 100 antique pocket watches, which were found in a suitcase, solid gold coins dating back to the reign of Charles II, and more than 100 pieces of silverware.
The house clearance also uncovered a large collection of ceremonial swords, bayonets and daggers, most from the Third Reich but some dating back to the American Civil War.
The collection will be sold at the Selected Antiques Sale of Moore Allen & Innocent, in Cirencester, on September 28. Recalling the find, auctioneer and valuer Philip Allwood said: “When the family invited me to look at these antiques I was expecting a quantity of silver plate.
“I was amazed when I discovered all this very high quality silver and gold.
“It was a real Aladdin’s Cave. Perhaps the most surprising thing was the number of antique silver salvers – trays used for carrying or serving glasses, cups and dishes by waiting staff. There were more than 30 of them.
“There were some big ones, including a 44cm Edward VIII salver by JRF & Co of London, which weighs approximately 90 ounces. That’s worth £1,200 to £1,500 alone.”
Other notable pieces include a 41cm George II silver salver, by the renowned silversmith Paul Crespin of London, which is valued at £1,000 to £1,500 and a 45cm, 80 ounce Edward VIII silver salver, made by Mappin & Webb of Sheffield in 1936, which should make between £1,000 and £1,500.
Among the standout lots in the watch collection are an 18ct gold George III pocket watch by the world-renowned James McCabe of the Royal Exchange, London, which carries an auctioneer's estimate of £600 to £1,000, and a gold cased full hunter pocket watch by Patek Philippe of Geneva – considered the makers of the 20th century's finest watches, which is reckoned to be worth £800 to £1,200.
Among the collection of coins, a James II five guinea piece from 1688 and a William & Mary five guinea piece from 1692 should each make between £2,000 and £3,000 while a Charles II five guinea piece from 1668 should achieve between £1,500 to £2,000.
And while of lesser value than the silver and gold, the collection of military memorabilia is attracting attention from collectors. There are more than 30 blades, including a dagger owned by a member of the Reichsarbeitsdienst – or Reich Labour Service – engraved ‘Arbeit Adelt’ (‘Work Ennobles’) estimated at £300 to £400 and a Nazi brownshirt dagger inscribed ‘Alles fur Deutschland’, which carries an estimate of £100 to £150.
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