Born with a Silver Spoon in their Mouth

The gift of silverware has longstanding associations with wealth and nobility throughout Europe. Indeed, the old maxim, ‘Born with a silver spoon in their mouth’, bears witness to that widespread middleclass tradition of gifting silver to those about to receive the first sacrament of Baptism.

As a result, it isn’t uncommon for such giftware to appear at auction, often complete with fitted case and some form of date or dedication inscription. These objects can be rich and varied, and range from humble porringers to the mighty trophy cup.



Within our upcoming specialist Silver Auction (16 July) we will be offering not one, but four examples of such Christening ware. Indeed, these four lots themselves highlight the breadth of silver that has been gifted throughout history, and, whilst the elaborate detail of the cased flatware set in Lot 411 should be viewed as typical of the Victorian period, the sleek angular form of the beaker in Lot 437 is quintessentially Art Deco.


Perhaps the stand out piece of the sale however, is Lot 412. Indeed, it is hard not to feel the immediacy of this gilded silver beaker as its glistening patina instantly catches our eye. The devil is certainly in the detail though, and it is only upon closer inspection that we begin to realise more about this curious looking object.

To begin with, the maker’s mark notes one Eduard Foehr of Stuttgart, an esteemed German silversmith and court jeweller to the King of Wurttemberg. As our eyes move towards the presentation inscription the prestige of this item only grows, with this stating; ‘Alfred Davis Welch, from his godfather HRH the Duke of Edinburgh’. Therefore, not only are we greeted with an exemplary product of continental silversmithing, but one that is fit for no less than a Duke; a most regal gift indeed!

With an attractive estimate of £100-200, this cased silver beaker is sure to be snapped up, so don’t miss out on your chance to own an exclusive object with royal provenance, only at McTear’s.


Click here to view full illustated catalogue. >>

James Bruce


Do you have silver you would like to sell at auction? Perhaps a Georgian piece, or something from the Victorian era? For a free no-obligation auction valuation, pop into McTear’s Monday-Friday this week, or email



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