We have added two more titles to our page about publications which deal, in whole or part, with stamp boxes.
This is Lot 16 in the Canterbury Auction Galleries sale on 16 February 2016, described as: “An Elizabeth II silver and shell mounted rectangular inkstand in the form of a silver ingot, inset with inkwell with shell carved lion’s head cover and stamp box with lion rampant carved cover, all enclosed by gilt metal framed magnifying glass …”.
We have a new article on the Articles page about the makers of Tunbridge Ware.
This accompanies the existing article on how Tunbridge Ware is made.
We have to thank the leading Tunbridge Ware dealers Amherst Antiques for this very well illustrated, brand new article.
It is lot 869 in Dickens Auctioneers sale on Saturday 30th January 2016.
Most European countries produced stamp boxes at one time or another. Sweden is no exception but they do not turn up in any great numbers, in the UK at least. Our picture shows the hinged lid of a simple wooden box with two sloped compartments. The basic box is similar to a common Mauchline Ware type. The Swedish one is decorated all over in pokerwork and has a small circular image inset under glass in the lid. Fortunately, identification of the image is made easy by the inscription to the back of the box: “Minne från Hälsingborg 1919” which may be translated as “Memento of Helsingborg 1919”; Helsingborg being the modern spelling of one of Sweden’s oldest cities. The grand building is the town hall built in 1897 and the equestrian statue is of Count Magnus Stenbock (1664 –1717) a military officer and statesman. This little tale illustrates one of the joys of collecting: there is so much to be learned from what we collect if we bother to do a little research.
We have added a new page containing a diary listing very many antiques fairs which may be of interest to our readers.
Examples of this cold painted bronze dog’s head stamp box turn up fairly regularly at auction. They generally seem to sell quite well, and why not – they are attractive, well-made boxes. One in a recent auction was described as “Bergmann style”; a description we have not noted before.
“Franz Xavier Bergman (1861-1936) is, arguably, the most famous of the Viennese cold-painted bronze artists …” (millersantiquesguide). The factory closed in 1930 due to the great depression but was later reopened by Robert Bergmann, son of Franz, and operated until his death in 1954 (Wikipedia). The name is sometimes spelled with one “n”, sometimes two.
An internet search for images of Bergman bronzes will produce hundreds of results which will demonstrate that Bergman-style is a fair description of this box. Now here’s the thing: none of the dog head boxes have been noted as having a Bergman mark and they only seem to have started appearing on the market about five years ago. So, who made them; are they quite modern?