4th Nov, 2016 10:30

The Silver Auction

  Lot 508

EARLY 20TH CENTURY BELIGAN SILVER DESSERT PLATE FROM THE EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE DINNER SERVICE maker Delheid Frères (mark with chevroned line above the letter 'D') , Brussels, circa 1920-30, unoffical 950 Standard mark (mark 'A950' within a diamond), London Import 1936, cast serpentine rim with shell details, rim also with seal and crown of the Emperor, approximately 562g, 25cm in diameter; with an original purchase receipt for 'a silver plate formly part of the Emperor Haile Selassie dinner service' from 'R Lauder, Antiques & Works of Art, 398 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow' dated Jan 1938 Note: HIM Haile Selassie I, Emporer of Ethiopia, spent his exile in Bath. The four years, 1936-40, were a short episode in his long life (1892-1975), but they were eventful and significant. As Royalty in exile, though not unusual between the World Wars, Emperor Haile Selassie was reticent regarding his experience. He observed 'Our life in Bath was very hard. We also encountered great financial difficulties. Some ... had spread the rumour that we had taken a great deal of money with us when leaving the country ... but it is a complete lie'. When the Emperor arrived in England he had cash, plate and jewellery. His money just melted away in 1936, for apart from the rather grand style of living, there were business trips (in particular to Geneva) with his advisers, the purchase and redecoration of Fairfield House in Bath and, until well into 1937, payments to refugees in England, Palestine and elsewhere. Even before 1936 was out there were problems which led to the sale of a silver service and of some jewels. Bath Chronicle 17th and 22nd December 1936 - 'The service consisted of about 500 pieces of modern Austrian design. The auction raised £2,527. Some of the silver was on display, presumably for sale, at Gilmers of Bath the following spring.'


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Sold for £340
Estimated at £300 - £500

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