Cake basket with Grantham origins sold for £157k at auction

Silver cake basket was sold by Christie's. Photo:  CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2013

Silver cake basket was sold by Christie's. Photo: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2013

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A 274-year-old cake basket fetched nearly a quarter of a million dollars at an American auction on Wednesday – after being originally sold by a Grantham resident for less than £400.

The silver item, made by silversmith Paul de Lamerie in 1739, was sold for $245,000 to an American dealer at Christie’s at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York.

The cake basket used to belong to wealthy landowner and MP Sir Charles Welby, who lived at Denton Manor.

Sir Charles sold the basket in 1900 – which had belonged to his family for more than a hundred years – for 395 pounds, nineteen shillings and 10 pence. The family coat of arms is featured on the basket, which weighs 77 ounces and is nearly 16 inches long.

Jennifer Pitman, a silver expert at Christie’s, said: “Paul de Lamerie’s work is highly prized among collectors and he is considered to be England’s finest eighteenth century silversmith.”