Christie's charge a buyer's premium of 20.825% of the hammer price for lots with values up to NLG 200,000. If the hammer price exceeds the NLG 200,000 then the premium is calculated at 20.825% of the first NLG 200,000 plus 11.9% of any amount in excess of NLG 200,000.
Please note that the following two lots will first be offered seperately, then as a pair
The city of Maastricht is situated in the south-east of The Netherlands, almost on the Belgian border only c. 40km north of Liege. The city has always been economically, strategically and artistically of great importance because of its situation in the Meuse valley, on the main route from Aachen to Brussels. During the Middle Ages the city was governed by the (prince-)bishop of Liege together with the Duke of Brabant and from 1632 onwards together with the States General in The Hague. Hence, the city had two different types of burgers Walloon and Brabantine. Only in 1794, after the French troops had conquered Maastricht, there came an end to this dualistic system, and from that time onwards the city of Maastricht formed part of the Dutch Republic. This dualism had its influence on Maastricht silver and the silversmith's guild too. The first ordinances of the guild, for example, states that two deans and two assay-masters should be appointed, one of both nationalities.
Thanks to the mutual influence the silver from both cities shares many common features. There is for example the lack of ostentation, instead the emphasis is laid on functionality. A fair weight of silver contributed to the solidity and durability of the objects. In addition many objects are of identical shape and show stylistic similarities.
After 1632, when Frederik Hendrik conquered Maastricht on behalf of the States General in The Hague, the local craftsman were more and more influenced by their northern colleagues. The local silversmiths were especially influenced by the leading artistic centres The Hague and, to a lesser extend, Amsterdam. The governmental influence from The Hague, the presence of governmental functionaries and garrison commanders, which mainly came from The Hague, may explain why many Maastricht silver objects look typically Hague; especially milkjugs, teapots, candlesticks, braziers and salts. These fashionable products seem to have been manufactured mainly by productive silversmiths like Gerardus l'Herminiotte. L'Herminotte was baptised on 25 May 1732 in the church of Saint Jacob in Maastricht. He was the son of Engelbertus Herminotte and Maria Margareta Keutten. On 20 November 1748 he was registered in the Maastricht guild as an apprentice in his father's workshop. However, he seems to have been foremost interested in jewellery, the craft in which he apparently already had been trained by his father since his youth. Although l'Herminotte was already registered in the Maastricht guild, he went to Liege to finish his training. This step caused him troubles when he returned to Maastricht four years later, for the ordinances of the guild required that everyone who had learned the craft outside Maastricht had to follow an apprenticeship for another two years within the town. For unknown reasons l'Herminotte finished his masterpiece within the period of two years. Besides coffee pots, milkjugs, casters, candlesticks l'Herminotte is known to have manufactured jewellery too. A large number of rings, brooches, loose diamonds and pearls, mentioned in an inventory that was made up after l'Herminotte's death in 1802, clearly points in this direction .
Exh. Cat. Maastrichts Zilver, Maastricht, Bonnefantenmuseum, 1978; and Wishaupt, M.C.M., "Een paar zilveren ruitersporen uit 1782 van de Maastrichtse zilversmid Gerardus l'Herminotte (1732 - 1802)" in: Antiek, 1978, pp.265-268.