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    The Cork cup and cover by William Clarke. (click on image to enlarge)

    AN unrecognised and rare piece of Cork silver which changed hands for 3,500 dollars at auction in the United States last May 22 is now on the market for 150,000 euro. Catalogued as an early Continental ice bucket this silver cup and cover turned out to be a previously unrecorded piece by the Cork maker William Clarke.

    The makers mark and the rare turret mark which told the true story. (Click on image to enlarge)

    Made around 1710 the main problem with attribution was the rarity of the hallmark.  The double turret mark, based on the arms of the City of Cork, was used for a brief period 300 years ago.  The only known piece of silver by William Clarke with this mark is a Queen Anne wavy end hash spoon with large rat tail bowl c1710 from the Westropp Collection. This changed hands for £20,315 at Bonhams in 2003.
    Less than two dozen pieces of Cork silver with these turret marks are known.  The other pieces with this mark are usually made by Robert Goble Senior and Samuel Pantaine.
    The Dublin silver dealer William Crofton of L and W Duvallier describes this as the most important piece of Cork silver which he has ever known or held.  It was bought at the Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, Thomaston, Maine on Sunday, May 22 by the London silver trade.  Mr. Crofton is now offering the 12 3/4″ high cup which weighs 49.665 oz. for 150,000. It is under active offer by an international silver collector.

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