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A Noble Collection of Silver Toys

Duke’s Auctioneers of Dorchester are delighted to be able to offer a staggering collection of Dutch silver toys. This collection was initially formed by Edgar Frederick Marie Yustin, Baron Michiels Van Verduynen, a wealthy businessman and distinguished diplomat, shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War. Baron Michiels Van Verduynen became the Dutch Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s.

The toys, which had been kept safely in the Dutch embassy in London, made their way back home after the Second World War, when Baron Michiels Van Verduynen moved his family to Clingendael, a 17th century manor house on the edge of The Hague. Clingendael had been occupied by the Nazis during the war.

The toys include some exceptionally rare and well-preserved examples from some of the leading silver toy makers of the 17th and 18th centuries. A rare baby stroller by Arnoldus Van Geffen (fl. 1728 – 1769) and a Samovar bearing the mark of Johannes van Somerwil with an estimate of £300-600.

The collection remained at Clingendael until 1968, by which point the house had been sold to the State and now houses part of the Dutch institute of international relations. 

Baron Michiels Van Verduynen died without an heir and the collection passed down through the family to the closest relatives, the family of the Barons Van Tuyll van Serooskerken. The family treasured the pieces and are now selling through Duke’s, the family have personally enjoyed the toys for generations and now feel it is the right time to allow others to cherish and enjoy a before unseen collection.

Senan MacDonagh of Duke’s adds “It is a real honour to be able to offer a one-off collection. These little treasures have bought joy for centuries and not only is it a chance to acquire a piece of history but a toy to bring joy for generations to come”

This is a rare opportunity to acquire one-off pieces with a provenance to match. One of the highlights of the sale is a Dutch silver gaming board by Frederick van Straut II, circa 1740, for nine mens Morris and Draughts with what are believed to be the original counters, with an estimate of £500-1000.

The collection will be offered in The Winter Auction on Thursday 25th February 2021

For more information, please contact Senan MacDonagh