Rare desk seal owned by Sir Walter Scott fetches £13,860 at auction

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A rare desk seal which once belonged to Sir Walter Scott has been sold at an auction for £13,860.

The antique from Abbotsford House in the Scottish Borders was sold along with around 100 other seals with Scottish connections by Edinburgh-based auction house 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 the exact 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.

Sir Walter Scott’s seal had been valued as being worth between £12,000 and £18,000 before the auction.

It is believed to date from his knighthood in 1820 and is set in lapis lazuli, gold and amethyst stones.

This led to Scott organising a royal visit to Scotland, complete with tartan pageantry, which resulted in the elevation of the kilt to national dress.

Both objects were part of The Matrix Collection, 100 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, who was at the rostrum for the sale, 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 prices included buyer’s premium.

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

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