Silver Wine Cistern


A news item about a sale of antiques caught my eye as it mentioned a silver wine cistern made by William Comyns & Sons Ltd. This is the firm that my father started his apprenticship at their Soho premises in 1954 aged just 15.

The silver wine cistern, as big as a small bath, and large enough to hold 70 bottles of champagne will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s on 24th May with a price estimate of £80,000 – £120,000 – it weighs in at 2250oz. Made as recently as 1992, the cistern is a larger reproduction of an original, Paul de Lamerie, 1719, now in the Minneapolis Insitute of Arts and commissioned by John Leveson-Gower (1694-1754), 1st Earl Gower, a Tory politician who was appointed to the Privy Council of George II.

The wine cistern was the property of Lord Ballyedmond, who was Northern Ireland’s richest man when he died in a tragic helicopter accident in 2014.

He had amassed an exquisite collection of expensive antique furniture and silverware at his luxurious Belgrave Square property in London which he had purchased in 2006 and transformed into an extravagant residence in which he wined and dined heads of state, negotiated business deals and brought political foes together.

Lord Ballyedmond Belgravia Dining Room.

Lord Ballyedmond’s Belgravia Dining Room © Sotheby’s

Also in the sale is this large American silver spirit flask, stamped ‘STERLING’, made in about 1900 and engraved with a crest and motto.

silver spirit flask.

Silver Spirit Flask © Sotheby’s

Clients looking for a modern version of this should take time to look at our Silver Hip Flask.

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