Silver Harrods cigar box estimated to make $169,000 at Christie's



2015-06-26 13:50:02

Silver Harrods cigar box estimated to make $169,000 at Christie's

The silver cigar box in the shape of Harrods department store was made following a bet with Selfridges

A silver cigar box in the shape of Harrods department store is among the headline lots in Christie's September 3 Out of the Ordinary sale.

The lot, which carries an estimate of 70,000-100,000 ($118,440-169,200), was presented to the owner of the store by the head of London rival Selfridges after hewon a bet.

Harrods silver model The model was made forRichard Woodman Burbidge of Harrods after he won a bet against H Gordon Selfridge

A contemporary letter by Gordon Selfridge (1858-1947) lays out the terms: "Jan. 4th, 1917 Wagered Mr. Woodman Burbidge that within six (6) years after declaration of peace we would overtake and pass Harrods Ltd. in annual returns. The stake is to be a silver miniature replica of the loser's store. H. Gordon Selfridge."

By1927, Harrods was up and Burbidge wrote to Selfridge to claim his prize. He alsopolitely asked for a model of his own store rather than his competitors.

It was made in Harrods' own silver workshop (the 400 invoice was sent to Selfridges) and stood for many years on Burbidge's desk .

Other pieces in the eclectic sale include an exceptionally rare Royal Navy Nordenfelt four-barrelled anti-torpedo gun, which is expected to make 60,000-70,000 ($101,520-118,440).

The lot dates to circa 1880-1885 and was designed for rapid fire against the new breed of fast-moving torpedo boats. It was quickly superseded by quick-firing guns and fell into obscurity, with only a handful known to have survived.

The sale will also feature an 11th century Viking broadsword and a rare leg-locking oak capture chair.

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