Tessiers Glitter at Sotheby's
By Padmaja Padman
Tessiers of London may not elicit the instant international recognition of a Cartier or Dunhill today, but its collection of antique jewellery and tableware still has a following of its own among Britain's discerning classes.
The exclusive jeweller and silversmith is to sell its entire stock of 450 lots of silver and 350 lots of jewellery through Sotheby's of London this Tuesday and Wednesday.
These are valued between Â£100 and Â£12,000 (between $4,500 and $54,000).
Tessiers established in 1852, is under new management and its premises in New Bond Street is currently undergoing extensive structural and renovation work prior to re-opening later this year.
The silver includes several 17th century pieces, but most of the lots comprise items of more recent make.
Among the items of domestic silver are condiment sets, wine labels, candlesticks and salvers.
Of special interest are four silver-gilt lion candlesticks dated 1881, estimated at between Â£5,000 and Â£7,000 (between $22,500 and $31,500, and a pair of turtle salt-cellars with a spoon each, and decorated with shells, which are expected to fetch Â£1,500 to Â£2,000 (between $6,750 to $9,000).
Apart from a selection of silver animals ranging from birds to elephants, there are also 14 coronets worn by peers at the coronation of George IV, Queen Victoria, Edward VII and George VI respectively.
In the jewellery collection is a diamond necklace made in the last quarter of the 19th century. It can be adapted to make a tiara and is valued at Â£12,000 to Â£15,000 (about $54,000 to Â£67,000).
Pendants, cufflinks, earrings, brooches and tie-pins with sporting motifs like jockeys and game-birds are in the collection. Rings ranging from Â£500 to Â£8,000 (about $2,250 to $36,000) will go under the hammer, together with cultured-pearl necklaces estimated at Â£400 to Â£8,000 (about $1,800 to $36,000) in value.
Tessiers, with its distinctive old-fashioned shopfront of arched windows, goes back in business to 1712 when its Huguenot founder Etienne de Tessier moved to London.
Initially, the family had no connection with the silver and jewellery trade but a grandson and city merchant, Lewis de Tessier, may have become involved by helping wealthy French refugees dispose of their jewellery.
Over the years, the family which anglicised its name, built up a reputable business. Although no longer in the family's hands, its name has been retained.
The present owners, the Parsons, plan to continue using the historic name and to offer the same standard of excellence that has been the hallmark of the business.
Source: New Straits Times - 14th June 1992