Tue, 12th Sep 2017 10:00

The Autumn Country House Sale

Lot 17


Lots 17 to 49 A Single Owner Collection of Antique Cutlery Five ancient bronze and iron knives

Lots 17 to 49
A Single Owner Collection of Antique Cutlery

Five ancient bronze and iron knives,
four small blades, and
three further items (12)

Bill Brown is a renowned collector of antique cutlery, something he has done for more than sixty years.

Bill grew up as the second of nine children in Greenwich, and remained in London through the war years as he needed to work. After the war, he trained at Camberwell School of Art as a graphic designer. He worked in London for Harrison & Sons as a designer of postage stamps and it was during this time that he purchased his first items of cutlery, a Dutch knife and fork travelling set of c.1720. This purchase set off, what can only be described as, an obsession, not only to collect cutlery, but to discover everything there is to know about the subject.

For over forty years, he was a well known and popular figure on his stall at the famous Portobello Market. At the turn of this century he decided to compile an important and large collection of british cutlery which was taken on tour. It is now housed at Sheffield Museum as ‘The Bill Brown Collection’.

He has had many hobbies over the years. As a young man he was a very keen road racer (cycling), and a keen birdwatcher, which probably started to assist his art work. His biggest hobby is probably growing bonsai trees and he is still the President of Bonsai Kai. He has won many medals for his bonsai including some at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Sold for £580

Condition Report



To bid in person at auction for the first time please register for a bidding paddle in advance by filling out and submitting a registration form at our front desk. When registering in person we require photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence.


If you cannot attend the auction in person we can bid on your behalf. You can leave an absentee bid on our website.

The amount you bid should be your maximum bid. We will bid up to that limit for you, and remember you may end up paying less than your limit, depending on other bidding on the day.

You can leave an absentee bid up to half an hour before the start of any sale. Please note when we receive two or more absentee bids for the same amount, the first bid received will be the one taken.


If you would like to leave a commission bid on our website you can do so up until 30 minutes before the sale starts. Leaving a commission bid through sworder.co.uk is free for all registered clients. Thereafter you may register bank card details under your account in order to bid live. Click here to register an account.

BID LIVE ON sworder.co.uk

You can bid live at our auctions from the comfort of your home or office using bidding platform Sworders Live.  It is easy to register and you can watch the auction live as it happens.  A 'Bid Live' button will appear on the auction on our website homepage when a sale is live; simply click the button to sign in or register with your card details. There is no additional charge for this service. 

For further instructions on registering to bid live, please click here.


If you would like to bid by telephone please contact our team prior to the auction with your details of the lots you are interested in and your full name, address, telephone number(s) and email address. Once our team have entered your bid request you will receive an email confirmation. We will contact you during the sale and one of our team will bid live with you over the phone.

Please note that we normally offer this service for lots with an estimate of £500 or higher and all telephone bid requests must be received by close of business the day before the auction.

Auction: The Autumn Country House Sale, Tue, 12th Sep 2017

8 September 2017 By Appointment
10 September 2017 10am 1pm
11 September 2017 9am - 5pm
12 September 2017 from 9am

View all lots in this sale

Sorry, we cannot calculate a pre-sale automated shipping cost due to the items weight/size.

Should you be successful in buying this item, a specific shipping estimate can be requested after the sale by using the link in your invoice email; this also includes requests for international delivery.

If you would like further information about shipping and collection please see here.

Buying a pre-loved, antique, or vintage item not only provides you with unique style and value for money but it also helps to reduce landfill, and the annual emissions of an antique or vintage piece can be as little as one sixteenth of those of its new equivalent!

Sworders is proud to be supporting the work of Antiques are Green - the movement that was founded in 2009 to promote “a greener future created from the past”. Read their fascinating carbon footprint study of a Georgian chest of drawers versus a modern equivalent here


Antiques are Green


Request A Valuation

Here at Sworders, we are happy to offer a free online valuation service. Please fill out the form and press the 'Submit' button below.

To help us with your valuation please attach clear photographs of the item where possible. You can submit up to 5.

Approximate dimensions are also useful. Expect to hear from the appropriate valuer as soon as possible.


Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.