A bidding war is on the cards!

Posted On: 09 Mar 2023 by Anthony Eldred

Eldreds Antiques & Fine Art sale on 28th March is shaping up nicely with an interesting selection of silver and jewellery on offer. Amongst the silver section of the sale can be found a “castle top” box; a Victorian souvenir at the height of their popularity between 1830 and 1860 and depicting well-known castles, stately homes, monuments and cathedrals. Usually in the form of a card case or vinaigrette, the location is embossed in high relief or engraved on the lid. Card cases became extremely popular during the late-18th and 19th centuries; calling cards were the social media and etiquette of the day amongst the wealthy and fashionable, with a strict set of rules to follow and would express such sentiments as condolence, congratulations and the wish, if timed correctly, for an invite to tea. Owing to the fact that castle-top items were manufactured over a limited time, these treasures have become highly collectable and makers to look out for include George Unite, Alfred Taylor and Nathaniel Mills. The example in Eldreds sale of silver and jewellery is by George Unite and is of St Pauls Cathedral viewed from the North West. The card case measures 10.5 x 7cm, is hallmarked for George Unite, Birmingham 1845 and carries an estimate of £800-1,000.