No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
This lot is subject to Collection and Storage charges
The remarkable collection of mortars and associated items entered for sale in this catalogue represent an element of the various collections of Robert Spalding MA.
Robert Spalding now claims to have stopped collecting. He studied Natural Science at Cambridge a little before the War, following a public school education notable largely for his outstanding quarter-mile. He subsequently trained as a Public Analyst (of food and drugs) becoming a Fellow of the Royal Institute of of Chemistry and upon moving to Maidstone, County Analyst for Kent. For over half a century weekly attendance at Maidstone's Old Lockmeadow Tuesday antique market was a fixed feature of his life.
There can be no doubt that this background drew his interest in the antique to the scientific and domestic. Collecting in earnest began as the war ended. At the time artefacts were reasonably plentiful - both in Britain and on the continent, primarily Italy and French North Africa. Robert Spalding's collections, including furnishings and furniture (largely practical!), treen, 18th-century drinking glasses, books, ceramics, scientific instruments and weights and measures, bronzes, domestic metalwork and mortars were largely complete by the early 1970's. Later, more manageable collections included old woodworking tools (he is a talented woodcarver) and Italian States stamps and much else. The mortars, like the other collections were a product of hundreds of Saturdays spent in Portobello Road, the 1950s/60s salerooms, Cheshire Martin's antique shop and Guntrip's antiquarian bookshop - both in Maidstone, the local market and numerous sojourns abroad.
Robert Spalding had a natural eye as a collector with a genuine love of the piece. He was a collector of the old school with great breadth and depth of understanding and interest. He was in many ways a true connoisseur and had drawerfuls of objects of vertu in the antiquarian tradition. He took particular delight in seeing something cherished, in seeing something that age and use had embellished, and in seeing something of grace, elegance and unusualness. He did not like to see the loss of charm or character of an over-cleaned or restored piece.
For several decades Robert Spalding has lecutred on antiques locally. He has been a single parent to two generations of childen. He now says he needs the space and has given up collecting. I almost believe him.
Robert Neil Spalding.