Rare desk seal belonging to Sir Walter Scott sold for £14,000

A rare desk seal belonging to Sir Walter Scott has sold for nearly £14,000.

The finely carved hand seal, set in lapis lazuli, gold and amethyst stones, is believed to date from his knighthood in 1820 and bears the writer’s family armorial. 

It was sold for £13,860 by auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull.

The figure achieved was matched by a late 19th rock crystal and multi-gem set desk seal owned by Lady Mary Douglas-Hamilton which sold for exactly the same amount. 

The Scottish aristocrat was the great-grandmother of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and is the great-great grandmother of  the current Prince of Monaco, Albert II. 

The seal was given to Lady Mary to mark her second marriage to a Hungarian count, Tasziló Festetics de Tolna in 1880.

Both objects were part of The Matrix Collection, a hundred desk seals gathered over several decades by the late David Morris. 

Morris was an avid collector who amassed the seals for their historical interest as well as their beauty.

Lyon & Turnbull specialist, Kier Mulholland, said: ‘The auction was very  lively with interest from the UK and across the world. 

‘It was an exciting sale to be part of and very satisfying to see demand for these rare seals, each of which tell their own story. I’m delighted with the results.’

The total realised for the collection was around £100,000.

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