Two rare Irish Provincial silver Freedom Boxes come up for sale at Lawrences Auctioneers on Tuesday January 15th. 18th Century freedom boxes were traditionally used for snuff and tobacco and were often given as presentation gifts and to bestow the freedom of a city as an honour. One of the silver freedom boxes in the Crewkerne sale is engraved with coat of arms within a circular cartouche with foliate scroll borders, struck once by William Clare of Cork. Circa 1727, its auction estimate is £5,000 – £6,000.
The other circular silver freedom box has reeded borders with the cover engraved with coat of arms and motto of the City of Cork. Provenance can be traced back to around 1752 and to James Fitzgerald, 20th Earl of Kildare. The estimated auction price is £2,000 – £2,500. Silver Irish Provincial Freedom Boxes occasionally come up for auction at Sothebys and Christies in London, where they have sold for double and sometimes triple their estimates.
The Crewkerne sale of Silver and Vertu, which begins at 10 am on the 15th, also includes a Silver Reference Library, personally collected by a silver dealer and researcher with over 60 years professional experience in the antiques silver trade. The reference library has been condensed into 223 lots by Lawrences Auctioneers who are describing the collection as “an invaluable resource at your fingertips.”