Best Of The Best 2006: Heavy Metal
Mary Jane Morgan was a merry widow indeed, judging by the spectacular pair of silver candelabra she commissioned from Tiffany & Co. in 1884. Each is nearly 6 feet tall and has 20 lights (arms for candles), and together they weigh more than 100 pounds. The candelabra and a set of eight silver-gilt salt cellars, crafted in 1822 by London silversmith Paul Storr, are among the items offered by A.M. Marks Ltd., an antique silver gallery in London. Owner Anthony Marks began dealing in antique silver in 1974, somewhat to the chagrin of his father, Albert, the gallery’s founder. Albert asked the then 16-year-old Anthony to mind the business while he and Anthony’s mother vacationed. During the teenager’s watch, an American collector offered to buy 35 different silver items. “This had never happened to us before. I had to give him a fantastic deal, but when I told Dad the price, he was not happy,” says Marks, now 47. “He was in the retail business and didn’t like to give more than 10 percent off. But I am more of a dealer. If you offer me a deal, I’ll take it.” Since Marks took over the gallery in 1983, he has been dealing for ever-grander treasures; the Morgan candelabra are only the latest.
A.M. Marks Ltd.