Saturday, 15 February 2014
Ramsgate artefacts - a ramble.
There have been a few Ramsgate items turning up in recent weeks that are of interest. This ginger beer salt glaze earthenware bottle was sent to me via facebook and what a gem it is. It is an exceptionally rare Josiah Edward Austin mineral water bottle made specifically for the Granville Hotel. Josiah Austin was in business producing mineral water between 1887 to 1913 and supplied only hotels and inns in Ramsgate.
There have been many bottle pictures being circulated around facebook this month that suggests there is a dig going on somewhere.
This medal was awarded to Mayor W Coleman 1905 - 06 , 1924 - 1925 and 1928. It was offered to Ramsgate Town Council for £2,000 and was turned down. It has no makers mark and there is no hall mark. The absence of official marks does makes it difficult to match up with the box it is in. The box is for an item made by silversmith Solomon Joel Philllips of Bond Street, on the reverse it is stamped "18" and that is meaningless. The seller in Germany said it was 18ct gold but there is no hallmark to prove it, anyway like I said it was turned down at that price.
I often wonder how much fine art and decorative there is related to Ramsgate on the open market because apart from the Mayor's town silver collection items are not widely known. Even going through "official" collection lists there are very few items that can be classed as fine or decorative art which is a shame considering the size and status of Ramsgate in its time. Margate on the other hand is different and it is a job to keep up with it.