Alastair has been in silver for over 50 years starting at one of London's major auction houses in 1971. In 1983 he was appointed Head of Antique Silver at Asprey, eventually becoming a Director of the Antiques Department in 1994.
In 1996 he started up his own business in Jermyn Street, together with his former Asprey assistant, Melanie Cuchet, who has now worked with him for over 30 years. During the last 23 years we have bought some of the finest pieces to have come on the market including the Rockingham wine cistern for a hammer price of £1.3 million, the second highest price at that time ever paid at auction for a piece of English silver in the United Kingdom. More recently we acquired the Albert Collection which was one of the largest to have sold through the London trade numbering over 600 pieces.
In January 2010 Christies New York sold the silver collection of the late Benjamin Edwards , 90% of which was purchased through ourselves and even though most had been bought within the previous 5 years some very respectable prices were achieved. More recently in April 2021 a fine private collection was sold through the Salisbury auctioneers Woolley and Wallis where over three quarters were supplied by ourselves. That silver sale was the highest total recorded by that firm. This reinforces our view that it is always the best policy to buy the best silver. Although we specialize in fine and important silver from the 16th to 19th centuries we are always keen to purchase large collections or just single pieces privately.
We have also bought and sold a large amount of silver made by the great Arts and Crafts maker Omar Ramsden, including works by the original partnership of Ramsden and Alwyn Carr. We are particularly interested in purchasing unusual items by these makers.
One of the strongest areas of our business is that relating to small collectable silver such as wine labels, caddy spoons, vinaigrettes, boxes, rattles, vesta cases, etc. We have helped many clients build up important collections by supplying the finest examples available. To this extent we frequently advise clients about forthcoming auctions buying for them on commission.
Those of you who watch the BBC's Antiques Roadshow may have seen Alastair appear from time to time, since he has taken part in this popular programme for over 30 years.
Other biographical details include:
- A Freeman and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
- A Freeman of the City of London
- A former member of the Court and Liveryman of the Company of Art Scholars
- A former member of the Council of the British Antique Dealers Association
- Former Chairman of silver vetting at November Olympia Antiques Fair
- Former vetting committee member for the Masterpiece Fair
- Expert advisor to the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
- Member of the Antique Plate Committee at The Goldsmiths' Hall
- Advisor to metalwork, West Dean College.
We hope you enjoy browsing through our website and if you are looking for a particular piece that is not illustrated then please call us on 01483 425329.