PROPERTY FROM THE STUART COLLECTION OF MAGNIFICENT REGENCY SILVER
I can remember quite clearly the moment when the creator of the Stuart Collection first contacted us. He had been browsing through our website and was interested in quite a few very sophisticated objects. He contacted our sales consultant, Susan Lapene, via email with a wide range of well thought out questions about the items that interested him. Being a relatively new member of the M.S. Rau family at the time, she came to me with the myriad questions he was asking, wondering, "How do I answer all of them?" We took the time and consideration to address each and every query, and to our delight, we were able to help him acquire the truly magnificent pair of silver-gilt wine coasters by Digby Scott and Benjamin Smith (lot 125).
The collector and his wife came to our gallery a few days later, and I had the pleasurable opportunity to sit down and to speak face to face with them. I was amazed to discover that, in fact, what they had acquired from us was actually their very first important piece of silver. From the very enlightened questions Susan and I were answering, I had presupposed that this gentleman was an advanced, seasoned collector, and this road was one he had traveled many times before.
Over the next few years, we received hundreds of questions, typically sent late at night or on the weekends, through email. His concerns were always very conscientious, and he often asked questions for which I had to research deeply to find an answer. On more than one occasion, he would know more about the history of a piece of silver in our collection than I did! Throughout this journey, it was more than his knowledge and thoroughness that impressed me. He would search diligently for works that were truly the absolute best of their kind with impeccable taste and an amazing collector's instinct.
In our over 98 years of business, M.S. Rau Antiques has helped put together many major collections of important antiques. The greatest sense of accomplishment for us is when we are able to assist our clients in assembling the very best collection possible. By far, the Stuart Collection of Regency Silver featured in the following pages is one of the most exceptional, and most memorable, we have ever had the pleasure to help create.
M.S. Rau Antiques
New Orleans, September 2010
MARK OF PAUL STORR, LONDON, 1836