A unique piece of American Colonial silver will go on sale for £160,000 at the Antiques for Everyone spring fair at the NEC next month.
The silver marrow spoon, thought to be the most valuable of its type, dating back to 1766-68, is offered for sale by local silver specialist Michael Baggott.
The spoon, used for extracting bone marrow, is from the period of George III and is attributed to the makers Daniel Henchman/Nathaniel Hurd of Boston. It is 20cm long with the inscription at the top of the stem: “John Wentworth Esq To Thomas Smith”.
John Wentworth (1737-1820) was Governor of New Hampshire from 1766 until the American War of Independence when he was eventually forced to leave for England in 1778.
“When put into its historical context this is a very important discovery in American Colonial silver as there is not much historical silver of this quality remaining from this period, and it is this provenance that gives it its value,” said West Midlands based Michael Baggott.
“Compared to the values of other important pieces from this period it is not that expensive, and as an example of Rococo silver its quality is as good, if not better, than any other piece I’ve seen.
“The outstretched hand issuing from a dolphin mask sleeve can leave little doubt that this was a sincere gift of friendship and respect from a New Governor to a much respected elder figure within the state.”
Among the other items to be showcased for the first time will be an unusual and rare Tibetan gilt metal Oracles mirror, dating from the 18th century.
Oracle mirrors were used by senior priests for divination. The centre would have had a polished metal dome, which the priests would peer into (not directly but by the use of a smaller mirror) to see the future. These mirrors very rarely come onto the market.
Antiques for Everyone is one of the largest events of its kind in the UK.
The event runs between April 10 and 13.