Rare Aberdeen silver teapot expected to fetch thousands at London auction

A rare silver teapot made in Aberdeen almost 300 years ago is expected to fetch up to £6,000 when it goes under the hammer later this month.

The teapot, which dates back to around 1735, is being put up for sale at auction in London.

At the sale of Silver and Objects of Vertu at Chiswick Auctions in London on June 11, the previously unrecorded piece is expected to bring £4,000-6,000.

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Aberdeen silver of the first half of the 18th century is well researched and much admired. Although its quality often compares with the work produced in Edinburgh, it is much rarer.

Teapots of this spherical ‘bullet’ form design from the reign of George II are quite characteristic of Aberdeen silver although most survivors bear the mark of the city’s most prolific silversmith George Cooper.

This example, with a ‘pineapple’ finial, carries the maker’s mark AF for Alexander Forbes.

Working from c.1728-53, his hollowares are much less frequently encountered. It is in excellent condition.

Scottish provincial silver, distinguished by a multitude of town marks, has been collected since the 19th century.

Currently some 30 different centres of production are recorded, from Arbroath to Wick.

Despite laws instructing goldsmiths to send their wares to Edinburgh (and later Glasgow) for hallmarking, many silversmiths from the burghs of Scotland enjoyed sufficient independence from the assay office to use local marks.

They did this to avoid the perils of travel and (after 1784) to escape paying duty.