Chorley’s forthcoming sale on Thursday 6th September promises to be a glittering affair as silver and jewellery come into the spotlight. These areas of antiques have been bucking the economic trend for some time and Chorley’s salerooms have regularly witnessed extraordinarily high prices for natural pearls, gold and gems as well as Georgian silver. This auction includes items to suit every pocket from charming silver menu holders in the form of ships, estimate £200-300 (Lot 289)

Lot 289
A pair of Dutch silver menu holders, London 1910, est £200-300

to a dazzling diamond brooch for special occasions (Lot 394) estimated to fetch £2,500-3,000.

Lot 394
An Edwardian diamond brooch, est £2,500-3,000

The world of goldsmiths and silversmiths in the 18th century was not entirely dominated by men……the first recorded female goldsmith is Agas Harding, whose mark was entered in 1513, and by the 18th century there were a great many more. The best known of these was Hester Bateman, the illiterate wife of John Bateman. John Bateman has been described as a chainmaker and is likely to have been a minor tradesman undertaking commissions from master craftsmen. Clearly a capable woman, Hester not only raised a family but also assisted with the business. On his death in 1760 he left his business and tools to her; she filed his will the next day. Hester Bateman registered her first mark in the following year and went on to establish a dynasty that continued well into the 19th century.

The September sale includes Lot 354, a pair of tablespoons bearing Hester Bateman’s sought-after mark, dating from 1782 and having the pretty ‘bright-cut’ decoration typical of the period. Estimated at £60-80, these represent an affordable way to begin collecting her work.

Lot 354
A pair of George III silver table spoons by Hester Bateman, London 1782, est £60-80

Her children, Jonathan and Peter, continued in the business and on Jonathan’s untimely death in 1791 his widow Ann entered the business with Peter. Lot 364, an old English pattern ladle, bears the mark of Peter and Ann Bateman and is estimated at £150-200.

A lesser-known figure in 18th century silver is Elizabeth Aldridge, the widow of Edward Aldridge. Edward Aldridge’s shop was among the foremost producers of pierced baskets of the mid-18th century and had an aristocratic clientele. Many important silver makers of the late 18th century, such as William Plummer, were apprenticed to Edward. After his death in 1765 his widow Elizabeth continued the business. Her unregistered mark is rare and appears as an EA within a lozenge. The lozenge-shaped mark was often used by female silversmiths as it is the heraldic device used to display a woman’s coat-of-arms. Lot 345 is a fine example of an 18th century silver basket. With its extensive pierced and embossed decoration, scrolling rims and swing handle it is a stunning example of its type. Bearing Elizabeth’s mark and dating from 1766, the year after her husband’s death, it combines the quality of his work with the scarcity of her mark. With an engraved armorial relating to the Forester family of Shropshire, it has a wide appeal and is estimated at £3,000-4,000.

Lot 345
A George III silver fruit basket by Elizabeth Aldridge, London 1766, est £3,000-4,000

The jewellery section of the sale includes some fantastic brooches including an Edwardian diamond brooch (Lot 394) estimated at £2,500-3,000. The four principal stones are evenly matched in colour and clarity and each are just under 1 carat in weight and set within a scrolling diamond border.

Anybody with a family connection to the Coldstream Guards will be keen to view Lot 388, a bar brooch centred by the regimental badge picked out in enamel and rose diamonds. With an asking price of £300-500 this would make a lovely Christmas present.

The Greek firm of jewellers founded in 1926 by Ioannis Vourakis is still in existence. The sale includes a stunning diamond spray brooch (Lot 508) set in platinum and signed Vourakis. This stylish piece has a slightly more modern look and asks £2,000-3,000. Lot 495 is an earlier piece, of stylized anthemion design, set with diamonds and pearls and of top quality is estimated at £1,500-2,000.

Lot 495
A diamond and pearl brooch, est £1,500-2,000

As well as brooches there is a wide choice of other jewellery on offer including Lot 497, a delightful early 20th century diamond bracelet, the central section of which can be removed and worn separately, estimate £2,000-3,000. A diamond solitaire, Lot 491, asks £2,500-3,000 and a suite of sapphire and diamond jewellery, Lot 507, comprising earrings and ring by Asprey, £2,500-3,000.

For further information please contact Catrin Hampton on 

01452 344499, [email protected] or view the fully
illustrated online catalogue at


Tuesday 4th September, 9am-5pm; Wednesday, 5th, 9am-5pm; Thursday, 6th , 8.30am-10.30am.

Source: IONA PR