German silver soup tureens make $171,750 at Christie's

A pair of exquisite German silver soup tureens brought $171,750 to Christie's New York yesterday (May 21).

The circa 1757-1759 tureens sold securely within their $150,000-250,000 estimate, leading Christie's much-anticipated silver auction.

German silver soup tureens auction
The 18th century tureens were offered from a private collection

Bearing the maker's mark of master German metalworker Gottfried Bartermann, the tureens are composed of sinuous foliate forms as well as dainty silver nesting birds.

The strong sale price suggests a silver soup tureen gifted to Marie Antoinette's sister Mimi, which is to cross the auction block at Bonhams on June 19, could prove equally popular.

A pair of 20th century silver gilt, gem-set lions, manufactured by eminent luxury goods retailer Asprey, also put in a good performance, making $43,750.

An eye catching 19th century silver ice bowl and spoon, formed as if chased with frost, brought $68,750 - a 175% increase on its $25,000 estimate.

ice bowl auciton
The iconography inherent in this impressive ice bowl and spoon relates to the 1867 purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2m

The unusual ice bowl stars a pair of silver polar bears climbing its sides, while the spoon resembles a harpoon entwined with rope.

Sales at the Rockefeller Plaza totalled $2.9m.

Historic silver items with impeccable provenance are proving very popular at auction.

A large collection of Durham Light Infantry ceremonial silverware sold for £61,940 ($94,290) in April 2013.

The value of any decorative silver item should not be attributed to its weight alone. Such pieces also derive worth from age, artistry and the scarcity of any equivalent item.

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