Omar Ramsden gold chalice carries final bid of $22,500 in antiques auction

On Thursday February 9, a Gloucester auction house held a very particular antiques sale. The auctioneer has offered a wide variety of collectibles over recent years, branching out from its main specialism in books to medals, art and comics.

This auction was nevertheless unusual even for them, as it was offering a range of art and antiques from a very particular source: Ramsgate Abbey.

Nearly 700 lots were sent under the hammer, some for modest prices but with a number achieving several thousand pounds.

The top lot was not a surprise. It was a 15ct gold chalice crafted by Omar Ramsden and dating to 1927, together with a matching paten.

An original design drawing exists, together with a note with instructions for its creation. This wasn't offered with the lot - only a photocopy. But the writing is not in Ramsden's hand, suggesting that it was not his design.

Gold chalice and paten Omar Ramsden
The gold chalice and paten which attributes itself to Omar Ramsden

That design consists of a trumpet shaped stem rising into a tight, spherical, ribbed ivory knop with 12 beaded straps, then on to a hemispherical bowl with an engraving line below the rim.

The underside bear an inscription as follows: "Dno. Raymvndo. A. Sco. Iacobo. Sacerdoti. In. Eternvm. A. Patre. Et. Matre. In Festo. Dni. Nri. Ihv. +Pi. Regis. An. Ab In Carnacoe. Eivsden. Mcmxxvii. Lavs. Tibi. Dne. Rex Eterni. Glorie."

In addition "Omar Ramsden Me Fecit" (Omar Ramsden made me) is inscribed. The matching paten has a receded centre, and is otherwise plainly styled.

The piece achieved its estimate with a final bid of £14,200.

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