An Important Collection of Apostle Spoons Fetches £32,000 at Auction

On Monday 22nd September, Fellows Auctioneers held their quarterly auction of Silver & Plated Ware, which featured just under 700 lots. Over 300 bidders from 17 countries registered for live bidding online, and a full saleroom along with plenty of telephone bidders ensured the sale was a resounding success. 


This sale included everything from curious novelties to collectable items from celebrated silversmiths, and the auction achieved a final hammer price of over £118,000. 


Undoubtedly the auction’s star lots – a collection of Queen Mary I through to Charles II Apostle Spoons in our Cutlery and Flatware section (featured as Lots 481 - 490) – were of great excitement to avid spoon collectors. The collection of eight apostle spoons fetched an impressive total of £32,000 on auction day. 


It is quite rare to come across a pre-Elizabethan spoons, as such Lot 486 – a Queen Mary I silver Apostle spoon, hallmarked 1556, with fig shaped bowl and Master Apostle terminal with pierced nimbus –  is of notable significance. More so as its maker, Nicholas Bartholomew, was one of the most important spoon makers of the period; identified by the maker’s mark of a crescent enclosing a mullet on the back of the spoon’s stem. The lot was estimated at £2,000- £3,000. However, its unique significance encouraged a flurry of online bids matched by hot competition in the saleroom, resulting in a final hammer price of £10,800. 


Lot 484 was another of the highly prized and contested apostle spoons; a James I silver Apostle spoon hallmarked York 1623, making it a particularly unusual example. This lot was estimated at £1,000 - £1,500. However, the rare York hallmark attracted many interested parties and contributed to the hammer price of £3,100. 


Naomi Wilson, head of Fellows Silver Department, comments, “It is very rare to see such an extensive collection come to the auction market, so it was a very memorable and enjoyable sale.”  


Fellows’ next auction of Silver & Plated Ware will take place on Monday 15th December. If you would like to consign any items into this auction please contact Naomi Wilson on 0121 212 6302 or email






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