Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €5,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €5,001 and €400,000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €400,001. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.
B.W.G. Wttewaall collection (inventory no. V646).
Whilst miniature silver objects from the 15th and 16th centuries exist, often as part of larger object such as the figures and cannon which decorate nefs, it is not until the end of the 17th century that the production of there miniature silver toys became a specialised profession.
Though made in several European countries it is The Netherlands with whom their production is most associated. Never intended for children, instead the toys were made first to furnish the dolls houses, which were a common leisure for 17th century for adult women. Later the miniatures began to be considered works of art in their own right and as such moved from the dolls house into cabinets.
The gold age of the production of Dutch silver toys came in the second and third quarters of the 18th century when families such as the Van Geffen, Van Strant and Van Sommerwil families created an extraordinary range of items. Perhaps the most renowned and accomplished silversmith during this period was Arnoldus van Geffen, who became a master in Amsterdam in 1728 and during the course of a career lasting for over 40 years devoted his talents strictly to the production of toys.
B.W.G. Wttewaall, Nederlands Klein Zilver, Abcoude, 2003, pp. 328-329, ill. 1006 (left).