final matthew barton press release may 2011

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  • 8/7/2019 Final Matthew Barton Press Release May 2011


    Matthew Barton LtdSilver, Works of Art & Objects of Vertu



    A MAGNIFICENT George V Gold Freedom Casket

    enamelled with the arms of the County Borough of

    Newport (Wales) will highlight Matthew Barton Ltds

    auction of Silver, Works of Art and Objects of Vertu.

    The sale will take place on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 in

    West Kensington at 25 Blythe Road, W14. It is

    estimated at 18,000-22,000.

    Made by S. Blanckensee & Son Ltd of Birmingham

    and dated 1924, the rectangular casket is decorated

    with Newport views of St. Paul's National School,

    Commercial Street and Newport Harbour, while the rear has panels of St. Paul's Church and the

    G.W.R. Chepstow Castle steam locomotive. The interior has crushed cream satin lining and

    presentation plaque, also containing the scroll pronouncing 'The Right Honourable James Henry

    Thomas' an 'Honourary Freeman of the County Borough of Newport', underside inscribed 'SUPPLIED

    BY HOSKIN NEWPORT MON.'. The presentation inscription reads: Presented to the Right Honourable

    James Henry Thomas M.P., His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, by a few friends

    on his being made an Honourable Freeman of his native town of Newport, Mon., on May 8th 1924.

    J.H. Thomas, in spite of leaving school at 12 years, had a remarkable career as a Trade Unionist and

    Labour politician. By the age of 15 he was an engine cleaner on the Great Western Railways, passing

    his fireman's exams three years later. He became an official of the Amalgamated Society of Railway

    Servants and in 1913 helped organize the National Union of Railwaymen becoming its general

    secretary in 1917 and presiding over the successful rail strike of 1919. With Union backing, he had

    been elected to Parliament in 1910 as MP for Derby. He was appointed Secretary of State for the

    Colonies in the incoming Labour government of 1924 under Ramsay MacDonald. In the second Labour

    government of 1929 Thomas was made Lord Privy Seal with special responsibility for employment.

    Appointed Secretary of State for the Dominions in 1930, retaining the position in Ramsay MacDonald's

    controversial National Government (1931-1935): as a result he was expelled from the Labour Party and

    the NUR, although the electors of Derby remained faithful when he stood as an independent candidate.

    Thomas served as Secretary of State for the Colonies again from 1935 until May 1936, when he was

  • 8/7/2019 Final Matthew Barton Press Release May 2011


    forced to resign from politics because he had been implicated in

    leaks to friends about the forthcoming Budget. Retiring from public

    life to his home on the Sussex coast, he published his

    autobiography 'My Story' the following year. According to his

    obituary in The Times (22nd January 1949, p.6) he was 'always

    effective on the platform, he had a special gift for after-dinner

    speaking and succeeded in translating his homeliness into anasset. Members of all parties liked him for his humour, courage

    and broad humanity...' The G.W.R.'s 4-6-0 Castle class locomotive

    featured on the back of the casket had only just been completed, in

    February of 1924. Ironically the Chepstow Castle's life also ended

    in Newport when scrapped at Cashmore's, having been withdrawn

    from service in 1962.

    Also included in the sale is a large Edwardian Silver Presentation Pilgrim Flask, dating from 1906, which

    was presented two years later by the Prince of Wales to G. Cecil Whitaker after his A Class yachtCicely

    won the Regatta at The Royal Harwich Yacht club. The Regatta, in the 19th century had established

    itself as the opening event of the season for the big yacht class. Most of the famous racing yachts

    sailed there, includingBritanniaowned by Edward VII and his son, the Prince of Wales (later George V)

    had been the clubs commodore since 1895. To win in 1908Cicely beat the German Emperor'sMeteor

    among others. The flask is estimated at 4,000-6,000.

    Following the success of Oriental Works of Art in

    previous sales; an oval Sawasa ware Tobacco box,

    dating from the early 18th century decorated with panels

    of blossom, birds and pavilions on a granulated gilt

    ground with a gilt interior is estimated at 500-700, while

    a finely carved Chinese ivory casket carries expectations

    in excess of 4000.

    A lovely pair of George III silver square tea caddies by Lewis Pantin (London, 1772) are estimated at

    5,000-7,000, while a rare Irish rococo silver basket, probably by Thomas Lynch of Galway carries an

    estimate of 4,000-6,000.

    Elsewhere in the sale is a group of 17 Billy & Charley

    figures from the Anthony North Collection. Born in

    Blackpool in 1942, North, became a curator in the

    Metalwork Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum in

    1964. He worked closely with the Keeper, Claude Blair,

  • 8/7/2019 Final Matthew Barton Press Release May 2011


    and remained there until he retired in 2002. Billies and

    Charlies, otherwise known as Shadwell Dock

    Forgeries, were produced in the mid 19th century in

    variety of forms, often as badges, but also as figures,

    vases, vessels etc., the majority made by the labourers

    or navigators (navvies) Billy Smith and Charley Eaton.

    An example from 1860 of a knight in armour and amodel of a Bishop Saint, are being sold together and

    carry an estimate of 200-400

    Among the 20th century pieces is a rare Danish Toast Rack designed by Oscar Gundlach-Perdersen for

    Georg Jensen, 1933-4, which is

    estimated at 700-1,000; while a set of

    four Edwardian silver novelty menu

    holders, by Levi & Salaman of

    Birmingham, 1909 each finely modelled

    as a seated Roosevelt bear is expected

    to fetch 400-600.

    The sale also includes glass and Scandinavian design continues to be evident. A Swedish oval glass

    vase designed in 1955 by Vicke Lindstrand for Kosta Glasbruk decorated with two black trees shedding

    their leaves is expected to fetch 1,000-1,500, while an opalescent Ceylan vase by Lalique decorated

    with budgerigars is estimated at 4,000-6,000.

    For further information on the auction, please call020 7806 5545 or visit

    For Press Information onlyPlease contact Rachel AkedEmail:

    Tel: 07790 732448 April 2011