Forres silver reaches high point at Thomson Roddick sale

Rare as Forres silver is, three pieces by the Highland town’s smiths John and Patrick Riach were on offer at Edinburgh auction house Thomson Roddick (17.5% buyer’s premium) on October 11 – the fiddle pattern dessert spoon, below, and two characteristic Scottish toddy labels.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Terence Ryle

Riach dessert spoon – £3500 at Thomson Roddick.

Having learned his trade 12 miles away in Elgin – another source of eagerly collected Scottish provincial silver – Patrick Riach set up business with his brother back home in Forres in 1817, working there until retirement in 1854.

Market-fresh appeal

The three pieces came from one of two private collections established 40 years ago. Such market-fresh material, said auctioneer Sybelle Thomson, attracted enthusiastic bidders – including many she hadn’t seen for a number of years in the Rosewell rooms.

The c.1830 dessert spoon, pitched at £800-1200, went to a collector in the room at £3500.

Quadrupling the top estimate, a c.1840 toddy ladle took £2400, while a slightly earlier example c.1830 toddy, with clean hallmarks but a dent to the back of the bowl and some pitting, sold at £1400.

Among the other provincial pieces was a c.1810 goblet by Dundee smith W Jamieson.

The 7½in (18cm) tall goblet with ovoid bowl on a spreading stem and circular foot was engraved with a trail of fruiting vines. Pitched at £600-800, it sold at £1000.