The House
September 1902

Record Prices for Old Silver in 1902

Published September 1902

Tudor Cup, sold for £4,100
image 1 Tudor Cup, sold for £4,100


While the price of silver steadily falls, the price of old silver steadily rises. Every year the records are broken at the salesrooms. People were astonished when about £70 per ounce was paid for a James I. mazer six years ago, but the sum of £100 paid by Messrs, Crichton or the Tudor cup of which a rough sketch appears in image 1 beats completely the previous record. The cup is only 4½ inch high and 4¾ inch in diameter and weighs 14oz. 3dwts. The price thus works out at about £290 per ounce. The spoon, surmounted by a figure of St. Nicholas restoring the children to life, dates back to the reign of Henry VII. The exact year is uncertain, but to say that it was manufactured in the last decade of the sixteenth century will not be far wrong. The spoon was sold for £690.

Tudor Spoon, sold for £690
image 2 Tudor Spoon, sold for £690

Exceedingly high prices are nearly always realised for silver of the sixteenth century. This is largely due to the civil disorders occasioned by the suppression of the monasteries when much plate was ruthlessly converted into bullion. Later, the Civil Wars had a similar disastrous result.

It gives me pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness for the illustrations of these remarkable pieces to the Editor of the Watchmaker.



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About this article

The price of silver is in English auction rooms in 1902 will not appeal to many readers. However, I find the hand-drawn images to be rather appealing and it is interesting to know what auction rooms have found popular across the ages.

This article is a reprint of an existing article with the title of the same name, published in The House, September 1902. It is the intent of this website to present this article in human and machine readable form. Format and editing changes have been made. This article is provided for the purpose of enjoyment only. Any statements in this article were relevant to the published period and may not be applicable in current times.