Fine Paintings Auction, 1st February 2017
Our first Fine Paintings auction this year went off with a bang, with plenty of bidders both online and in the saleroom.
Six works by Charles Henderson Cooper were topped by a pair of works that were once in the hands of Richard Green, Mayfair’s top gallery. ‘Arriving at Ascot Races’, a scene with numerous horse-drawn carriages and figures, is a signed oil on canvas measuring 21 x 48in. Its companion piece, ‘Returning from Ascot Races’, formed part of the lot and together they fetched £32,000.
‘Coaching Scene’, showing a coach and four, inscribed ‘York House’, with a jockey and two horses passing alongside, has a provenance to two leading dealerships, Frost & Reed and Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd. The signed, 17 x 27in oil on canvas is inscribed to the reverse and carried hopes of £4,000 - £6,000. It soared to almost double it's top estimate when it fetched £11,000.
A selection of modern and contemporary Russian paintings, a number of them notable for their erotic content, with prices climbing to between £4,000 - £6,000 each for a trio of semi-clad beauties by Konstantin Razumov (b.1974). There were eight of his works in the sale and all sold for a total of £33,600.
‘Quene 1-AM’ (2004), by Damien Hirst (b.1965) is an etching in colours, signed and inscribed “for John Happy Christmas Love Damien xxx”, and numbered 92/100. Measuring 45.25 x 44.25in, it sold above estimate at £3,600.
Peter Blake’s ‘New Ways in History – 2’, a signed and inscribed drawing and collage dated ‘July 1966’, measuring 14.5 x 10.5in also sold well when the hammer went down at £4,800.
Our next Fine Painting auction will be on 1st March. Please contact us for any further details or consignments on 01428 653737.
Fine Antique Auction, January 26th 2017
The Liberty brand was the order of the day as bidders gathered for our Fine Antique auction on January 26.
First, a 4ft wide Liberty & Co oak table, carved with a Tennyson poem to the side, trebled the lower end of its £600 - £800 estimate at £1,800. It had once been the property of King Edward VI grammar school in Louth.
Then came a c.1903 Tudric design pewter Liberty & Co carriage clock by Archibald Knox, numbered 0721, with vibrant blue and green enamel dial. At just 4.5in high, it went for a top-estimate £1,500.
Performing even better was a Howard & Sons three-piece upholstered suite, comprising of a two-seater settee and pair of armchairs, all with low backs and curving arms on turned legs with brass castors. Stamped Howard & Sons Ltd, London, the suite left a guide of £800 - £1,200 far behind as the hammer fell at £6,200.
Among the works of art on offer, a c.1900 Norwegian silver and enamel "Dragestil" Viking long boat by Marius Hammer did very well indeed. Decorated with bands of ornaments, flowers and leaves in many colours, and stamped .925 to denote the sterling quality of the metal, the 10in long piece also carried the maker's mark.
A similar, larger vessel sold at Sotheby's in May 2014.?This one took a mighty £3,200 against hopes of £800 - £1,500.
A large gothic design gilt-bronze three-piece clock garniture, with eight-day movement, went considerably over estimate £2,800. Decorated with blue and white numbers, the clock case with masks, female heads, scrolls etc, the 30in high confection came complete with a pair of matching seven light candelabra and had been expected to fetch £1,500 - £2,000.
Three more clocks added significantly to the total.
The first, an 18th century walnut longcase clock, with eight-day movement, was signed John Davis, London. With an arch-shaped brass dial with silvered chapter ring, and in a well-figured case, 8ft 1in high clock had been pitched at £800 - £1,200 but sold for £1,800.
Another 18th century clock, this time a mahogany longcase with eight-day movement striking on five bells, was signed Nicholas, Daventry to the painted arch-shaped face. Slightly shorter at 7ft 5in, it more than doubled the top end of its £400 - £600 estimate to take £1,300.
Much smaller at just 14in high, but no less attractive was a brass lantern clock by Giles Lumbard of Ilminster that went for twice its upper estimate at £1,200.
Other highlights among the works of art included a fine bronze of a female torso after Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881-1919), the German sculptor. Signed W. Lehmbruck, 7/12, the 27.5in high piece had been expected to sell for £1,200 - £1,500 but ended up going for £1,800.
A 23in high pair of green onyx obelisks of Egyptian design was a decorative delight, with a bidding battle taking them considerably beyond their £600 - £800 guide at £1,600.
Finally, four German Musberg silver and ivory figures of a king and queen and two knights, each 4.5in high, sold together at £950, again outstripping their £500 - £600 estimate.
Our next Fine Antique auction will be held on 23rd February. Please keep an eye on our sales calendar for further sale details.
Fine Paintings auction, 21 December 2016
Following on from our very successful November auction, our recent Fine Paintings sale offered another bumper crop of fine art for bidders both online and in the saleroom.
Collections sold well, 12 lots by William Tatten Winter all sold along with a collection of 15 lots from the artist Arthur Netherwood.
Ary Scheffer's oil on canvas, ‘Dante and Virgil meet with Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Matalesta’, circa 1835, illustrates a famous episode from the fifth canto of Dante's Inferno, in which Dante and Virgil see Paolo and Francesca condemned to the darkness of Hell with the souls of the lustful. It reached its estimate of £8,000.
Two bidders, one over the phone and the other in the saleroom were locked in battle for an 18th Century Dutch School oil on copper of elegant figures on a terrace, signed with monogram ’FV’, in a carved giltwood frame, and three companion pieces. The room bidder won when the hammer went down at £3,200.
“An Accident in the Studio”, oil on canvas by British artist Edwin Hughes, depicts an interior scene with elegant figures and is signed and dated 1877. Provenance; Mitchell Galleries, fetched just over it's estimate when it made £2,200 hammer.
Another British artist did well. Robert Gallon (1845-1925) “On The Lledr, N. Wales”, A mountainous river landscape, with a figure on a path, oil on canvas and signed and dated 1876 fetched £3,800 against its estimate of £2,000 - £3,000.
Our next auction of Fine Paintings is on February 1st. Please keep an eye on our sales calendar for further information and preview times.
Oriental Auction, 16 December 2016
A late entry consigned on the morning the catalogue was due, proved to be the star of our Oriental auction on December 16.
The £2 charity shop purchase, an 18th century cloisonné period tripod censer. Of mark and period, dates to the reign of the Qianlong emperor, seen as the zenith of Chinese cultural development.
Weighing 445gm, it has sides decorated with formal scrolling lotus reserved on a turquoise ground, the base with scroll stemmed flowerheads encircling a gilded square plaque incised with a four-character Qianlong mark above a single character.
At 4.5in, the censer fetched £21,000 against a guide of £5,000 - £8,000.
Other Chinese highlights from the sale include;
A fine quality mirror pair of early 20th century Chinese Republic period Millefleur porcelain vases standing at 9in high, together with later fitted wood stands fetched £3,000 hammer.
Each vase is well painted with two quatrefoil panels of boys playing in garden settings and overlapping flower-heads and leafage. Each vase has a Qianlong seal mark on the base.
A 20th century Chinese hanging painting on paper, depicting a mountainous river landscape setting, with calligraphy and artist’s seal, the painting itself 59.5in x 15.75in, sold for £3,000.
A 20th century Chinese scroll painting on paper, 34in wide x 23.5in high and depicting a stylised mountainous river landscape, with artist’s signature and seal, the reverse inscribed ‘by C. C. Wong’, fetched £4,800 hammer.
Our next Oriental auction will be on 27th January 2017. Please keep an eye on our sales calendar for further details.
Fine Antique Auction, 17th December 2016
Our recent Fine Antique Auction generated lots of interest both online and via the telephone.
The main highlight from the sale was a superb set of four George III two-handled oval sauce tureens, covers and liners by Paul Storr. Each weighing 188ozs, with cast lidded handles with lion masks, acanthus and flower heads. Reeded shell mounted handles and lion masks on the base and supported on four bold legs with claw pad feet. Standing at 7.5ins high and 9.5ins long, they fetched £16,000.
Jewellery sold very well. A local gentleman bought a superb 18ct white gold and diamond line bracelet as a 25th wedding anniversary present for his wife. The bracelet fetched £11,000 hammer.
Two lots from the porcelain section soared well above the estimates.
An early Bow white glazed figure of a winged cupid, circa. 1757, sitting on a melon with fruiting vines fetched over 12 times its estimate of £200 fetching a hammer price of £2,400, and two Lizzie Siddal blue and white tiles, after Rossetti fetched £1,300 against an estimate of £100 - £150.
The Militaria section also did quite well, with a Shamshir defying expectations and reaching a hammer price of £2,000 against a £70 - £90 estimate. The hilt with silver plated guard with florally engraved overlaid panels, curved blade with three fullers, leather covered scabbard with silver chape, locket and sling mount engraved with foliage, overlaid with engraved copper panels, 36.5ins, 19th century, grip lacking, blade rusted, scabbard with some defects.
Our next Fine Antique auction will be held on January 28th 2017. Please call us on 01428 653727 for further information.
Books auction, 13th December 2016
Our dedicated Books, Maps and Manuscripts Sale on 13th December contained 350 lots. The sale, a traditional old-style non-internet auction, was very well attended by the trade and private buyers.
The best results of the day, came from first editions. Two Roald Dahl books, with the fine provenance of Dahl's literary agents, exceeded expectations.
The first of these was "The BFG". Published in 1982 and signed by both Roald Dahl and the illustrator Quentin Blake. In good condition and the dust-wrapper intact, it over doubled its estimate of £800 when the hammer went down at £1,900.
The second book was a copy of Dahl's first published work, "The Gremlins". A first edition of 1943, inscribed “With love from Roald 3/4/43” and priced at £300 - £500. This fetched £5,500 hammer.
Both prices would appear to be record prices at auction for equivalent copies.
Another interesting first edition was a copy of volume one (only) of Thomas Hardy's "The Mayor Casterbridge." Normally, an odd volume such as this is of little interest. However, this one was inscribed by Hardy on the half-title. It fetched a hammer price of £3,000.
Maps sold well, with Lamb's 18th century "New Map of East India," selling for £280 against an estimate of £100 - £150, and a group of European maps by Homan and others selling for £380, estimated at £100 - £200.
Overall, there was strong demand in all categories. Quirky, rare, or unusual material always sells well. For example, a small archive of early 20th material relating to the Pilgrims Way Motor Company, of Farnham, Surrey, fetched £500 and three 18th century diaries by the merchant David Plenderleith fetched £850.
We are already taking in interesting material for our next dedicated book sale, in the Spring of 2017.
Fine Paintings Auction, 23 November 2016
There wasn't a spare seat in the house at our recent Fine Paintings auction, and plenty of online bidders too.
Percy Robert Craft (1856-1934) was a member of the celebrated Newlyn School of art who drew inspiration from the Cornish coast and landscape in the late 19th century. But at our Fine Oil Paintings, Watercolours, Frames, Prints & Drawings sale on November 23, it was Craft’s view of Old Bosham that was expected to attract bidders.
Depicting the harbour wharf in a scene that remains very recognisable today, the 20 x 30in oil on canvas comes with an excellent provenance to Craft’s son, who had attached an inscribed label to the reverse of the picture. It reads: “I.H.B. Craft, son of Percy R. Craft R.B.C., R.C.A., certify that this picture was painted by my Father and was sold by me in his studio at No 77 Bedford Gardens, Kensington, W.8 in April 1935.”
A charming view, with a fisherman repairing nets in the foreground surrounded by lobster pots, its strong local associations helped it do well and went to an online bidder for £3,600.
Sir William Russell Flint (1880-1969) is perhaps the best known artist in the sale. More celebrated for his recurrent scantily clad gypsy girls, the signed and inscribed watercolour here is more serene, titled Peaceful Evening, Malta and showing a landscape with fortifications with figures in the foreground. At 10.5 x 13.5in, it fetched £5,000.
A striking landscape, Deer in Knole Park by Robert Hills (1769-1844) dates to 1839 and carries a provenance to a Mrs Lavinia Garle, possibly the wife or daughter of John Garle FSA, the executor of the artist. The 15 x 19.5in signed and dated pencil and watercolour composition fetched it's estimate of £3,000.
The sale included over 30 works by Dora Holzhandler. 'A Rabbi walking in a street' oil on board and signed and dated 2007 was pitched at £70-£100 but over doubled it's estimate when the hammer fell at £220 and 'The Kiss', watercolour, also signed and dated 2007, fetched £110.
The Holzhandler collection fetched over £3,000 in total.
Our next Fine Paintings auction will be held on December 21st. Please keep an eye on our website for further details.
Two-day Oriental Auction, 14 and 15 November 2016
Our recent two-day Oriental auction on November 14th & 15th proved to be a big success with 90% of the sales coming from online bidders.
An unusual Chinese wucai porcelain joss stick holder, moulded in the form of a brush rest, with an extended six-character Wanli mark in underglaze-blue on the base and standing at 8.5in wide & 4.5in high took four times it’s high estimate of £3,000 when the hammer finally dropped at £12,000.
A large good quality Chinese celadon jade brushpot, with an incised and gilded four-character Qianlong mark on the side and with another inscription, stands at 6.9in high and 5.2in diameter at rim. It sold for £6,000 against an estimate of £2,500 - £3,500.
A large 18th century famille verte porcelain bitong or brushpot, 7.75in in diameter and just over 6in high, sold for £2,000, as did a 11.75in high, 18/19th century gilt inlaid bronze vase with a retrospective archaic design.
A carved marble figure of a seated bodhisattva, sitting on a lotus plinth, is thought possibly to date to the Tang dynasty (618-907AD). At 16.25in high, fetched £1,500.
Our next Oriental auction will be December 16th.
Fine Antique Auction, 2nd November 2016
This sale came with a few surprises, such as a small chinese jade vase with three ring handles. With an estimate of £100-£150, it realised ten times its estimate at £1100. Also a rare 19th century Meissen group of Diana in her Chariot surpassed its estimate of £500-£1000 and which fetched £4,000.
Jewellery also did well and it is positive to see that there is still a demand for good English clocks, such as the superb George III striking bracket clock, London, Circa. 1785 (shown here) Est. £5000-8000 and which fetched £12,000.
Please look out for our next Fine Antique sale which will be December 17th. For any enquiries please contact the office on 01428 653727.
Fine Painting Auction, 12th October
“Just like the good old days!” That's our verdict on the October 12th Fine Paintings sale.
What's got us most excited was the £10,000 bid for a pencil and wash design by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir John Everett Millais (1829-96). Titled Architectural Design for Window 1853 and inscribed ‘Sky Stars’, the unframed 9 x 7¼in picture had carried an estimate of £2,000-£3,000.
The full size drawing of this sold in Sotheby’s Belgravia in the 1970s for £150, so this was an excellent price for the smaller sketch, and was the result of a fierce three-way fight over the phone.
Another phone bidder – a US buyer – took the next most expensive lot, a charming 30 x 22in oil on canvas in the Victorian tradition of a young girl kneeling up in bed and saying her prayers. By William Henry Gore (active 1880-1927), it went more than five times over top estimate at £6,500.
Two phone bidders were eventually outbid by someone in the saleroom for the two Sidney Richard Percy (1821-86) landscapes, one with mountains, water and cattle, measuring 9 x 15in and dated ’72, the other dated a year later and titled Sound of Scalps, Isle of Skye.
Together they had been pitched at £3,000-£5,000, but rose to a hammer bid of £6,000.
Another pair of companion pieces, this time by Nicholas Pocock (1740-821) did well at £4,200.Two signed and inscribed watercolour views of geysers estimated at £1,500-£2,000, they had come from the hand of an artist and former merchant shipmaster better known for painting scenes of naval battles from the American Revolutionary and Franco-British conflicts of the late 18th century.
The same hammer price secured an impressionistic riverscape with cattle attributed to the 20th Century English School. Indistinctly signed, it had been guided at just £200-£300. At least two bidders clearly thought they had identified the artist.
Francis Boileau Cadell (1883-1937) continues to be a banker as one of the four celebrated Scottish Colourists.
A consignment of three landscaped by the artist to this sale followed the success at the September 7 auction of Cadell’s highly accomplished portrait of a woman thought to be Hazel Martyn, the second wife of the artist Sir John Lavery, whom Cadell is known to have depicted on a number of occasions.
The 1927 watercolour Cathedral Rock, at the North End, fared the best. Inscribed to the reverse: ‘No 9 Iona, at the North End, June 1927’ and measuring 10 x 14¼in, it came unframed with a guide of £2,000-£3,000. The winning bid, on the phone, was £4,000.
The previous lot, showing a nearby scene and inscribed to the reverse: ‘No 8 Iona, at the North End, June 1927’, left a matching guide behind to take £3,400, again on the phone.
And another phone bid won the final Cadell, View towards Lunga, inscribed, 'No 10 Iona, View towards Lunga, June 1927', on the reverse. Also unframed, it sold against the same hopes for £2,400.
A classic cardinal interior by Cleto Luzzi (1884-1952), depicting the typical sumptuous furnishings and clothing such scenes, was titled Recital for the Cardinal and showed a number of figures in 18th century dress watching a man and a young girl at the harpsichord.
These pictures, once so popular, now appeal to fewer tastes, but those who like them pursue them with vigour, as here. It went just under top estimate at £3,600.
Richard Ansdell (1815-85) captures the threatening aura of circling birds around sheep on a mountain top in ‘The Anxious Mother’, a signed and dated oil on canvas from 1882.
Inscribed on a label on the reverse and measuring 44 x 34in, it had been estimated at £1,500-£2,000 and sold for £2,400.Girl in a White Dress, a highly atmospheric impastoed picture with a darkly contrasting background was an 18½ x 14½in oil on canvas attributed to the Russian painter Tatiana Nilovna Yablonskaya (1917-2006). The signed work has been expected to fetch just £400-600, but keen bidding helped it soar to £2,200.
Oriental Auction, 5th October 2016
Our recent Oriental auction generated a lot of interest both online and in the room.
Leading the highlights was a rare 18th century Chinese Qianlong period official bronze seal, retaining much of its original gilding. Dated 1760, one side is inscribed December in the 25th year of the Qing Emperor Qianlong, while the other side carries the inscription Qian and the number 12381. The reverse is inscribed The first clan family of the second white banner and is also inscribed Department of the Ministry of Rites. At just 6cm square and 10cm long, the seal fetched £10,000.
Another highlight from the sale was an early 19th century Chinese lime green ground famille rose porcelain vase. Standing 15½in (39cm), the vase is formed of an ovoid body rising to a waisted neck moulded with pierced elephant-form handles painted in iron-red and gilding. The sides and neck of the vase are painted with formal arrangements of European-inspired flowerheads and scrolling stems reserved on an incised sgraffito ground. Guided at £10,000-15,000, it fetched £14,000.
A good large pair of early Japanese Imari porcelain vases and covers, circa 1700 soared past their estimate of £500 - £800. Together with fitted wood stands and standing at 29.5in high overall, bidders were competing until the hammer finally fell at £2,600.
Keep an eye on our Sales Calendar for information regarding our forthcoming auction of Max Lowenson's private collection on November 11, followed by an Oriental auction on November 12.
Fine Antique auction, 8th October 2016
A top-estimate £6,000 bid secured a vase by Dame Lucie Rie at our October 8th Fine Antique auction. A 11.5in (29cm) high speckled pottery vase with volcanic glaze, it was just one of three strong prices for the doyenne of 20th century British studio ceramics in the sale.
The other two were £5,000 for a 10in (25cm) high stoneware vase with manganese glaze and an 8.5in (22cm) diameter footed circular bowl with volcanic glaze that shot to £3,900.
With 500 people registered to bid across three websites, plenty of phone bids and a good turnout in the saleroom, a wide range of other lots also fared well.
A circular pottery bowl from the Quentin Bell Pottery in Fulham (1910-96) had carried hopes of just £50 - £100, although similar items have made a little more in the past. However, the better works from this workshop, set up by the nephew of Virginia Woolf, are still highly sought after, and this one ticked all the right boxes, selling at £1,200.
Clocks, which have been a little erratic on the market recently, performed strongly here, the pick of them a mahogany-cased grandmother clock that doubled top estimate at £1,600.
Although Victorian and earlier furniture remains sketchy, a George III mahogany serpentine commode left expectations of £800 - £1,200 well behind when it captured a bid of £2,600.
Glass also had its highlights, among them a pair of late Victorian ruby glass trumpet-shaped vases pitched at £100 - £150 that took £800 and an Apsley Pellatt Minerva cut-glass scent bottle with the same estimate that went for £380.
A Dresden ‘Trambleuse’ cup and saucer, along with five others had hopes of £100 - £150 as a mixed lot but went to £550, while a 19th bronze of a standing woman by the French artist Auguste Moreau went over a top estimate of £1,200 to take £1,500.
Another standout lot among the works of art was a c.1875 gilt Egyptian domed box by Giuseppe Paravis of Milan that went over an £800 - £1,200 guide to sell at £1,400.
Two lots by the pre-eminent Victorian taxidermy company, Cooper & Sons showed that there is still a healthy market for cased fish. A large cased pike, measuring 33in long, went over mid estimate at £650, while a pair of Rudd almost trebled the top estimate when they sold at £1,700.
Fine Paintings Auction, 7th September 2016
A highly accomplished portrait drawing by one of the Scottish Colourists created quite a buzz – and an air of mystery – at our September 7 Fine Paintings auction.
The head and shoulders side view of a woman apparently in a reverie is signed in the top right corner by Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell (1883-1937), one of the four highly sought-after Scottish painters, along with Peploe, Fergusson and Hunter, who comprise the movement that developed its own form of Impressionism in Scotland and on the Continent.
Beneath it is an indistinct date that would at first appear to indicate that it was drawn in 1898. However, at that time Cadell would only have been 14 or 15 and the woman’s dress and hair point to a later date.
What is more, the family who consigned the drawing for sale have owned it for more than 50 years and say that they have always understood it to be a portrait of Hazel Martyn, the second wife of the artist Sir John Lavery, whom Cadell is known to have depicted on a number of occasions.
If so – and the portrait does bear a striking resemblance to other images of her by Cadell and Lavery, for whom she frequently sat as a model – then the date would have to be much later as she and Lavery did not meet until 1904 nor marry until 1909, the year after Cadell staged his first one-man show in Edinburgh.
Lady Lavery, the daughter of a wealthy American industrialist, and her husband had close connections to the movement for an independent Ireland, hosting the Irish delegation led by Michael Collins for the Anglo-Irish Treaty talks at their South Kensington home in 1921.
When the Irish Free State invited Sir John Lavery to create an image of the personification of Ireland for the new Irish banknotes, he modelled his creation on his wife, and so it is Lady Lavery’s face that looked out from Ireland’s banknotes from 1928 until 1970. Today they are still referred to by collectors as Lady Lavery notes.
This detailed and atmospheric portrait, which measures 23¾ x 17½in fetched £3,000.
Other highlights in the sale included a signed lithograph by L.S. Lowry (1887-1976), Two Brothers. At 25 x 12¾in, it comes with a blindstamp from the Fine Art Trade Guild. Bidders battled and eventually the hammer fell at £3,200.
Mary Fedden (1915-201) has featured prominently in our recent Fine Paintings sales. The long-lived painter of colourful still lifes and intriguing figures in landscapes used bold colour to convey a sense of light and heat in her Mediterranean views. The consignor to this sale bought the study of a man holding a rope attached to a boat directly from the artist in Malta. At 10 x 15in, it was expected to fetch £2,000 - £3,000 but it sold for £3,400.
Oriental Auction, 2nd September 2016
Signs that the market for Asian art may stabilising after a relatively volatile period were evident at our September 2 auction.
While prices as a whole stayed close to their estimates, specialist Mark Grant noted that many more items reached their reserves and went on to sell than has been the case in recent months.
Added to this was a greater number of bidders in the room and online, with several hundred registering to bid across the three online bidding platforms that we use.
Top lot of the sale, as expected was a Chinese Ming Dynasty inlaid bronze You vase and cover. Modelled on the design of an early Western Zhou original, with overhead swing handle, it was well cast and decorated in gold and silver inlay with Taotie masks and vertical flanges.
The underside of the cover and interior each carried an archaic inscription and the vase stood 16½in (42cm) high to the top of its swing handle. It came in just under the top estimate at £29,000.
A bid of £6,500 went over top estimate to capture the top Japanese lot, a pair of 7½in (19cm) high Meiji period shibayama and lacquer vases and covers.
Of the numerous other lots that sold for thousands of pounds, highlights included two Meiji period figures: a 6½in (16.5cm) signed ivory okimono of a puppeteer sold for £2,600 and, at the same price, a large ivory figure of jurojin, weighing 7.78kg, the base with a red stained seal mark, standing 22½in (57cm) high.
A 4ft 6½in (1.38m) wide Chinese hardwood altar table took £2,400, while a 13½in (34cm) large 19th century Chinese famille rose-verte porcelain jardinière took £1,700.
Bids of £1,600 secured a 15¾in (40cm) high pair of 19th century Chinese canton porcelain vases and covers and, separately, a 2ft high (61cm) high pair of 19th century Chinese canton famille rose porcelain vases.
A Chinese hanging scroll painting, with ivory end pieces, possibly an original 16th century work by the Ming Dynasty artist Sun Kehong (1533-1611), made £1,500.
Two other star lots among the Japanese wares were a 3in (7.5cm) high, 18th century Edo period carved ivory netsuke of a Tata archer, which sold for £1,000, and an unusual signed Meiji/Taisho period wood and ivory sectional group of a man standing on a boat. At 8in (20cm) long, it took £1,100.
Fine Antique Auction, 3rd September 2016
Tribal art, silver and Indian works were among the highlights at our Fine Antiques and Collectables sale on September 3.
While the top lot was a 48-carat diamond line necklace set in 18ct white gold that came in just under estimate at £27,000, much of the excitement came in the mid range, where a number of pieces outstripped their estimates.
Perhaps the most fascinating was something you rarely see this side of the Atlantic. That was an 8in (20cm) long Hudson Bay trade Celtic cross by Robert Cruikshank (1774-1808) that had come from the deceased estate of a dealer who died some years ago.
Cruikshank was a leading Montreal silversmith who created the crosses to supply fur traders of the Hudson’s Bay Company with something valuable to take West and exchange with the native trappers for furs. The crosses soon became status symbols among the North American tribes and can be seen adorning tribal chiefs in early photographs.
Some of these crosses were highly decorated, with inset gems, with Cruikshank and fellow silversmiths like Michael Arnoldi (1763-1807) and Ignace-François Delezenne (1718-90) refining their craft as time went by. Although older by some 11 years, it is thought that Arnoldi might well have been an apprentice to Cruikshank.
Stamped RC, Montreal, the comparatively plain example at John Nicholson’s was given an estimate of £1,000 - £1,500, but two overseas bidders took a shine to it and one, bidding from Montana in the United States, secured it at £2,400.
Other top lots included a 42in (1.07m) long, 19th century Tongan apia paddle club, with sinnet grip of coconut fibre, went more than twice over hopes at £3,300.
Among the works of art, a highly decorative cold painted cast brass tent light by Bergman, showing an Arab sitting inside the tent, shot over a £1,500 - £2,000 guide to take £2,500. At 13½in (34cm) high, it was signed Geshutzt & b.
Two pieces from India did particularly well. The first, a 19th century circular shield, etched overall with flowering decoration and carrying traces of gilt koftgari decoration, and measuring 18in (46cm) in diameter, trounced hopes of £80 - £120 to reach £380. The following lot, 19th century a Kula Khud helmet with similar decoration, with some rust, reflected in its £100 - £150 guide, realised £600.
A heavy early 19th century Russian silver salver with engraved body came with a provenance to Countess Benckendorff, whose father Alexander Konstantinovich Benckendorff was Ambassador to The Court of St James's from 1903 until the revolution in 1917. Sold with a letter of confirmation, the 10¼in (26cm) diameter salver, which weighed 28oz, left a pitch of £800 - £1,200 behind when the hammer came down at £1,400.
Along with Stuart Devlin and Anthony Elson, Gerald Benney (1930-2008) is the leading light in post-war British silver design. Although prices have not been as strong in recent years as previously, the rarest and best always commands a premium, as was seen here when a silver and glass storm lantern made in London in 1979 and carrying a modest estimate of £100 - £150 sold for £1,100.
Scent bottles are proving to be among the more popular collectables at the moment, and here a 6in (15cm) long Webbs cameo glass scent bottle with silver band and top, made in London and dating to 1859, went over double mid estimate at £1,400.
Another lot by Webbs also did well, a suite of crystal glass, comprising ten tumblers, one water jug, six finger bowls, nine champagne glasses, ten sherry glasses, nine wine glasses and six pedestal salts. Deeply incised with fruiting vines and engraved with a family coat of arms, the suite carried hopes of £500 - £1,000 but went to £1,300.
Glass continued to make its mark when an early Victorian silver claret jug, fluted body with four panels of flowers, took £1,300. Dating to 1841 and made in London, it was marked for the unidentified makers JD & GD.
Other highlights included a black painted Victorian pennyfarthing bicycle, with 51in large wheel and 16in small wheel that was expected to fetch £1,500 - £2,000 and made £1,800.
A 3½in (9cm) Fabergé silver and blue enamel circular box and cover, marked 84, giving it a silver content slightly below sterling, and AH for the workmaster August Hollming (active 1880-1913), pitched nicely at a mid-estimate £1,700.
With our dedicated jewellery and gold auctions launching on October 1, it was reassuring to see this field performing well here. Top lots featured an 18ct gold three stone diamond ring of 2.65cts selling for £2600 and a lady’s Cartier 18ct gold wristwatch and bracelet, in a suede box, which took £1,100.
An American amethyst eagle stick dating to 1920 displayed a solid piece of amethyst in the form of an eagle’s head to the top. Silver mounted with a spiral turned band on an ebonised shaft and almost 3ft long, it sold close to its top estimate at £950.
Finally, a French white marble and ormolu three-piece clock set, the clock with eight-day movement, column sides, surmounted by two doves, took a mid-estimate £1,200.
Oriental Auction, 29 July 2016
The main highlight from our July 29 Oriental auction was an interesting group of ten large Chinese paper bonds dated 1913, each entitled ‘Government of the Chinese Republic 5% Gold Loan of 1913 Lung Tsing U Hai Railway’, all numbered and with an attached sheet of £20 bonds. Estimated at £1,500 - £2,000 they sold for over four times that when the hammer went down at £8,600 to a German bidder.
A fine quality 19th century Chinese embroidered silk picture in a 22in x 19.25in frame left its estimate of £500 - £800 behind as bidders battled it out. It eventually fetched £4,500.
Also selling way above estimate was a fine 17th century Chinese Shunzhi period Wucai porcelain vase for £3,600.
A large, fine quality and signed Japanese Meiji period ivory Okimono of Fukurokuji by Seizan with an engraved signature on the base and standing at 14.5in high fetched £4,800.
Our next Oriental auction is on 2nd September 2016 and starts at 12 noon. Please keep an eye out for the catalogue which will be posted online nearer the sale date.
Fine Antique Auction, 30th July 2016
Our recent Fine Antique auction on Saturday 30th July saw around 300 people registered to bid online. It’s a good indicator of the changing times. It seems it's all about internet shopping now!
Leading the way for the highlights was an 18ct yellow gold gentleman’s Rolex Oyster perpetual Datejust wristwatch, superlative chronometer officially certified and in its original box. Selling for over its estimate when the hammer went down at £6,200.
A good quality, 19th century Black Forest carved oak casket, with a velvet interior and carved with game and fruiting vines, doubled its estimate of £500 - £600 when a bidder took it away for £1,000.
Furniture sold well. A set of seven George III mahogany dining chairs in the manner of Thomas Chippendale, with well carved cresting rails, pierced vase shaped back splats and drop-in seats on stretchered square legs. Bidders couldn’t resist the £400 - £600 estimate and battled it out online and over the telephone until the hammer fell at £3,200 to a telephone bidder.
Lastly, a George II lidded tankard with repousse decoration, C scroll handle and a heart shaped thumb piece fetched £1,500.
Our next Fine Antique sale is on 3rd September 2016 and starts at 10.30am. Please keep an eye on the website for the full catalogue of lots which will be published nearer the sale date.
Fine Painting Auction, 20th July
There was a definite increase in visitors to bidding across the board with the recent Fine Painting sale on 20th July. Whether it was the weak pound or not, it brought the buyers out of their shell! Some great prices were realised and in particular:
This 20th Century European School oil on canvas, indistinctly signed and dated ’69 and estimated at £200-£300 fetched a surprising £2,800.
Also a Study of a Man, with a Beige Waistcoat, oil on canvas, 25” x 18.5” from Czech artist Vlastimil Benes (1919-1981). Estimated at £100-£200, the hammer fell at £3,000.
Lot 121, attributed to Samuel Dixon, Two Birds in a Tree, embossed, in gouache and painted frame, 14.25” x 11”, and two others by the same hand, a set of three (3). Estimated at £200-£400, it fetched £1,600.
Also on offer was a Donald Hamilton Fraser (1929-2009) British. “Seascape Composition 2”, mixed media, signed, and inscribed on the reverse, 12.25” x 15”. Provenance; Leonie Jonleigh Studio – Mr & Mrs Brigland. The Barry M Keene Gallery. Estimated at £1,000-£2,000, it finally fetched £2,800.
Lastly, Manner of Bronzino (1503-1572) Italian. Head of a Young Man, wearing Brown, with a white ruff, oil on panel, and estimated at £100-£200, fetched £2,700.
The next Fine Painting Sale will be September 7th. Entries close August 8th.
Fine Antique Auction, 2nd July
One of the main highlights from our recent Fine Antique auction was an important George III bracket clock with eight-day movement by William Webster, Exchange Alley, London, Circa. 1750.
With a silvered dial, double fusée movement, and silent and striking action on a single bell and standing at 18ins high, 11ins wide and 7ins deep and with brass carrying handles on the case, glass panel sides, and brass mounts and feet. Here it was expected to fetch between £5,000 - £6,000, but bidders kept going until the hammer fell at £8,000.
Also in the sale were a good pair of Royal Worcester oval upright porcelain plaques, shown here, with a highland scene and cattle painted by John Stinton which exceeded expectations when they sold together for £3,600.
A superb quality Victorian silver mounted Tortoiseshell tea caddy, octagonal shaped, with an inner lid and complete with a caddy spoon, over tripled its estimate when the hammer went down at £1,900.
Lastly, an ivory standing at 5ins x 3.25ins, carved in high relief by Richard Cockle Lucas (1800-1883), After Albrecht Dürer Lucas “Christ Healing the Blind”. Signed on the reverse and dated 1851. Provenance: The Fine Art Society Ltd, London, Feb. 1970, was expected to fetch between £250 - £500 but bidders fought competitively until the hammer finally fell at £1,100.
The next Fine Antique Auction is 28th July. Please keep an eye on our website for the catalogue.
Fine Paintings auction, 15th June 2016
A selection of maps kick-started our recent Fine Paintings auction on June 15, with Dutch cartographer Johannes Van Keulen’s (1654-1715) hand coloured engraving leading the highlights.
‘West-Indische, Paskaert’, ‘Tropicus Caneri’, with North America, South America and Africa was pitched at £200-£400. Bidders fought competitively and the hammer finally fell at £950.
Frames sold extremely well with a 17th century Italian carved black and giltwood frame, 35.5” x 20” selling for £850, against an estimate of £80-£120 while an English 17th century pre-Raphaelite gilt frame fetched £1,100, over doubling its estimate of £300-£400.
HM Bateman’s “The Favourite Who Took the Wrong Turning at Tattenham Corner” is a fine example of work from his celebrated The Man Who… series of cartoons devised while working for The Tatler in the 1920s and ’30s. Here it took £3,600.
The Maltese capital Valetta also featured among the highlights. Anton Schranz (1769-1839) was a German painter and father of the celebrated marine artist John Schranz. He passed his final years in Valetta, which inspired the watercolour in this sale, ‘The Grand Canal, from Ricasoli’, with Valetta Harbour, and Fishermen in the foreground. Inscribed on the reverse and dated 1833, the 8¼ x 11¼in work saw a long battle between two telephone bidders. The hammer finally went down at £4,200.
British artist John Emms (1843-1912), best known for his depictions of horses and dogs. ‘A Sportsman with his Spaniels Resting in a Moorland Landscape’ is a fine example of his skills. A signed 24 x 20in oil on canvas, it is one of two works by Emms in the sale and was expected to fetch £5,000 but eventually sold to a telephone bidder for £7,600.
Our next Fine Paintings will be held on July 20th. Please keep an eye on our sales calendar for further information.
Fine Antique Auction, 2nd June
Our recent Fine Antique auction generated a lot of interest both online and in the room.
Leading the highlights from our June 2nd sale was an early 15th – 16th century carved stone Madonna and child. Pitched lower at £600 - £800, due to its condition, bidders saw a good opportunity and it quickly left its estimate as the hammer fell at £3,400. The buyer has since said he will be restoring it to its former glory.
A George III Mahogany cased bracket clock by Bonington & Thorpe, London, with an eight-day movement and standing at 20ins high, fetched its higher estimate of £3,000.
Another highlight was a 19th Century mahogany bow-front stick barometer by W & S Jones, London. Pitched at £800 - £1,200, it more than doubled its top estimate when the hammer went down at £2,500.
A superb Gallé silver-mounted circular bowl, signed Gallé Nancy Déposé which carried hopes of £1,500, sold just over estimate for £1,700.
The jewellery selection did well with good quality jewellery also included in the auction. Here, a superb natural yellow diamond single stone ring fetched £6,000, a single stone diamond pendant made £2,200 with an estimate of £2,000-£2,500 and a good large emerald ring took £1,300 hammer on an estimate of £1,000-£1,500.
Our next Fine Antique auction is on 30th June. Please keep an eye on our sales calendar for further details.
Fine Paintings Auction, 11th May 2016
A pair of portraits by Sir Godfrey Kneller lead the highlights at our recent Fine Paintings sale on May 11th.
Portrait of Mary Finch (1690-1764) is attributed to the Circle of Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723) and shows the sitter wearing a pink satin dress with white edging, surrounded by flowers. Inscribed on a label on the reverse and presented in a Lely panelled carved giltwood frame at 29½ x 24¼in, it is the companion piece of the portrait of her sister, Elizabeth Finch (1694-1720), shown in a similar dress, with a black feather headpiece, and holding a dove, with peacock feathers on the table. They were offered together at £2,000 - £3,000 but keen bidding on the internet and in the room saw them sail past estimate. The hammer finally went down at £9,000 to a private buyer in the room.
Another highlight from the sale, oil on canvas of A Sybil in the manner of the Italian painter Guido Reni (1575-1642). The 33 x 28in octagonal picture, in a fine carved giltwood frame fetched £4,000.
HM Bateman (1887-1970) provided as non-PC a cartoon as it is possible to conjure these days. The Larynx Preservation Committee Fail to Detect the Slightest Suggestion of Throat Trouble, In A Man Who Has Chain-Smoked One Thousand Cigarettes is another classic from one of the finest British cartoonists of the 20th century. Unframed and measuring 6¾ x 8¾in, it was estimated at £500 - £800. but sold for an impressive £1,100.
Our next Fine Paintings sale will be on 15th June. Please keep an eye on the website for further sale details.
Oriental Auction, 27th April 2016
The Victoria and Albert Museum placed the winning bid for a large Japanese Meiji period cloisonné plaque at our recent Oriental sale.
The 30in diameter plaque, showing various scenes against a turquoise ground, took £4,100 hammer in a sale that threw up a number of highlights.
They included okimono from the Meiji period, decorative figures that can come in a number of materials. An unusual and fine quality 6in high signed ivory example of a multitude of oni, or demons took £1,800, while a 6¾in high ivory bijin, or beauty, changed hands at £1,000.
As predicted, a Japanese woodblock print by Hasui Kawase (1883-1957) proved to be one of the most sought-after items. Carrying hopes of £300-500, the stunningly decorative, colourful and accomplished c.1924 view of Kozu in Osaka took £1,000. Part of Hasui’s third travel series is printed in oban size (10 x 15 inches), it demonstrated his accomplished realist style and his ability to create a sense of place and atmosphere.
Chinese wares also did well. A late 18th century redwood artist’s table, measuring 6ft 6in x 3ft 7in, sold for £2,700, while a 9¾in long jade-handled magnifying glass, possibly of the Ming period and repaired, took £1,900 and an 8½in long, early 20th century enamelled and inlaid silver hand mirror, fetched £1,100.
A Tibetan or Nepalese gilt-bronze multi-headed deity, possibly 18th/19th century, 10¾in high, sold for £1,400.
The sale also reinforced the notion that a healthy market exists for later reproductions among Asian works of art.
A bid of £3,000 secured a 7¾in high Chinese purple ground Tibetan market porcelain ewer, which featured a Qianlong seal mark to the base. An even higher bid of £3,700 came for a 15in high Ming-style blue and white Meiping porcelain vase, while pair of 18½in high reproduction wucai porcelain gu vases sold for £1,200.
Our next Oriental sale is on May 25th.
Fine Antique Auction, 28th April 2016
Cartier is a welcome name in any auction room, none more so than ours. So it proved at our April 28 Fine Antique sale when a superb Cartier carved rose quartz ashtray sold for £9800.
At 5 x 3¾in and in its original box, the piece was set with with six carved chalcedony and quartz dogs. Bidding was so competitive, it soon left its £500-600 estimate behind.
Jewellery with a classic modern touch is very much a la mode, as a pierced 18ct yellow gold bracelet proved. Weighing in just short of 92gms, it more than double its top estimate to take £3100.
Another example of how the right sort of amber can bring huge prices because of its attraction to Far Eastern buyers came with large necklace with 17 graduated beads.
It was not just the size of the beads that helped the necklace soar over its £50-100 guide, but that essential quality: colour. Close to the deep, almost butterscotch hue that proves especially popular, the final price was £3200.
That was also the price for an 18th century bracket clock by Thomas Vernon of London. In a later walnut case, with an eight-day movement and standing 17in high, the price was comfortably above its £2500-3000 pitch.
Art glass has crossover appeal to collectors, sparking interest among both glass collectors and those who favour interior design. A strong offering here was led by a 13in wide signed Gallé hanging light bowl, with yellow ground and cameo flowers. Guided at £500-1000, it sold for £1700.
A 6¾in high, signed Daum Nancy cameo glass oval vase with blue cornflowers in relief that carried hopes of £250-500 went as high as £1200.
With more than 300 people registered to bid online and in the room, considerable interest arose in a Persian Tabriz carpet, with pink ground within a single blue ground border and stylised floral decoration. It was sizeable at 13ft 7in x 11ft 2in and keenly priced at £200-300. The result was a wining bid of £1400.
Among the furniture on offer, a 4ft 6in long Regency mahogany side cabinet, with bow front central section and brass grilled doors went for more than three times its low estimate when it took £1600.
Works of art included a 19th century Italian carved bone casket in the manner of the Embriachi workshop, guided at £1000-1500, that took £1800.
Our next Fine Antique sale is on June 2nd.
Fine Paintings Auction, 6th April 2016
Our recent Fine Paintings auction on April 6th generated much interest both online and in the room, with Australian artists leading the highlights.
Australian William Delafield Cook’s ‘Cabbages’. Signed and inscribed and dated 1972 on the reverse. Provenance; The Redfern Gallery Ltd. Fierce bidding took the oil on canvas past the estimate of £5,000 - £10,000 and sold for a very positive £12,500!
A collection of works by another Australian artist, Brett Whiteley also headlined the sale. Over half of the collection sold to bidders both online and in the room.
Works by French/British artist Dora Holzhandler also generated a lot of interest with more than 90 of the 150 plus Lots selling.
‘Gorky Street, Moscow’, watercolour, signed and dated 1944 by Russian artist Aleksandr Gerasimov had bidders in an online battle with the hammer finally going down at £8,500.
Oriental Auction, 18th March 2016
Leading the lots at our recent Oriental auction on March 28th was a very rare Chinese hand coloured wood cut map of Peking following the boxer rebellion, circa 1900, mounted as a scroll, showing the division and occupation of the city by foreign powers in the year following the ending of the Boxer rebellion, the laid down map itself 24in high x 20.7in wide.
A similar example is held in the Library of Congress.
According to the vendor this map was acquired by his grandfather Captain Oswald Tuck in the early 1900’s around the time when he was a naval attaché at the Tokyo Embassy in the Far East; also around that time he was an official observer in the Russo-Japanese war. References to Captain Tuck can be found via an internet search. The map fetched £1,100.
Other Chinese highlights included a fine quality 17th/18th century Chinese pale celadon jade libation cup, which fetched £1,300 hammer. While a good 17th/18th century Chinese three-handled celadon jade libation cup sold for £1,500.
Japanese Meiji period ivory figures were in high demand at the sale, highlights of which included a fine quality signed Japanese Meiji period Tokyo school ivory Okimono of a fisherman & his son. Standing at 8.75in high, it fetched £4,400. Another fine quality signed Japanese Meiji period ivory Okimono, this time of a woodcutter standing 9.1in high, sold over the top estimate and took £3,800 hammer.
Other ivories included a large unusual and fine quality signed Japanese Meiji period Tokyo school ivory Okimono of a standing Samurai, which fetched £2,200, whilst a fine quality signed Japanese Meiji period Tokyo school ivory Okimono of an elderly man, standing at 7.75in high sold for £2,400.
Our next Oriental auction will be April 22nd. See our website for further details.
Fine Antique Auction, 19 March 2016
Our March 19th Fine Antique sale at saw many lots trouncing their estimates.
Spring was in the air as many people filled the room and phones were buzzing with online bids. The sale had a real mix of lots starting with a rare heavy plated ‘duck’ press. Four phone bidders were all trying to stake their claim, but in the end one of them claimed the prize. Estimated at £150-£300, the 21in high, screw-top press fetched a whopping £3,600.
Yet again the sale showed that you can take good money for a decent piece of furniture, despite all the gloom and doom of recent years in this sector. A rare c.1815-20 Regency mahogany metamorphic concertina double pedestal dining table, in the manner of Thomas Hope, with three leaves and a pair of rounded ends, sold to a US bidder for £5,000. With plain top, bold end supports with claw feet and platform base, it was 9ft 6in long x 5ft wide x 2ft 5ins high.
Clocks are still in demand too and here a Regency rosewood brass-bound bracket clock by Brockbanks & Atkins, London, No. 1872 (1815-1835) took £1,900. It had a pineapple finial, eight-day movement striking on a single bell and stood on four brass ball feet that took it to 26in high overall.
A rare early 18th century walnut cased pillar longcase clock by L. Tuton, Bristol Keys, came with an eight-day movement, silvered chapter ring and a face engraved with two cottages and trees in a landscape setting. Contained in a walnut case with ormolu mounts and sunburst inlaid door, the 7ft 5in high piece with 12in dial sold for £5,200.
Also very popular, was an Art Deco gilded bronze dancing woman on a marble base. At 18in high, she attracted phone and online bids, leaving her £250-500 well behind to sell at £1,100.
The age of computers has not been friendly to the diminutive sloped tops of davenports, which have seen prices slide substantially over the past decade or two. However, a fine 3ft high Regency example in pollard oak did well here to go over its top estimate at £1,300.
The jewellery section had its stars too. Eyes were certainly drawn to a superb large tanzanite of approximately 6cts, with a diamond surround of around 2cts set in 18ct white gold. It sold at £3,000. Meanwhile a fine aquamarine and diamond flexible bracelet, of approximately 7cts and set in 18ct white gold, fetched £1,500.
Finally, a large American silver baluster tankard by Benjamin Burt of Boston, c.1760-70, added to the mix. With scroll handle and acanthus thumbpiece, the 5in high tankard took a double-low-estimate £2,000.
We have a bumper month in April and will be holding their next General auction on Saturday, April 2, followed by an Antiquarian Books, Prints and Maps sale on April 5 and a Fine Paintings auction on April 6. For viewing times and future dates please view our sales calendar.
Fine Paintings Auction, 9th March 2016
It was a very good Fine Paintings March sale with phone bidders battling it out for ‘The River Dee, near Eaton Hall’, by artist Richard Wilson (1714-1782) which was just one of the highlights on offer. The view of the River Dee in Cheshire looks upstream to the south-west and the distant hills of Wales. It was painted for Sir Richard Grosvenor, the owner of the nearby Eaton estate. The Welsh artist Wilson had recently returned from Italy where he began to concentrate on landscape painting. It reached its top estimate of £20,000.
Beryl Cook’s ‘Dining Out’ lithograph, signed and numbered 294/300 in pencil and fetched £360 was one of 37 works by the artist in the sale, all of which sold.
‘The Shoe Lace’, a signed oil on canvas by William Stephen Coleman (1829-1904) reached the top estimate and sold for £7,000.
Charles Stanley Peach (1858-1934) British. ‘Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, Watercolour over Pencil, signed, 24” x 33.5”, together with related signed prints and photographs, made over estimate at £5,200.
Please view our sales calendar for the next Fine Paintings auction.
General & Fine furniture and Antiques from important collections, 20th February 2016
Keen hopes for a selection of fine 18th century French furniture came to fulfillment at our February 20th auction of General & Fine Furniture and Antiques from important collections. And prices across the board paid testament to the accurate valuations of our team of specialists.
The expected star lot, a 4ft 2in (1.27m) wide Louis XV (1710-74) boulle commode featuring a marble top, highly decorative gilt inlay and mounts, as well as three deep graduated drawers, sailed past its £20,000 low estimate to take £26,000.
It came as no surprise that a huge and fascinating selection of desk seals did well too. One, belonging to Admiral Collingwood, fellow officer and close partner of Nelson in so many battles, including Trafalgar, trounced a £1,000-£1,500 guide to take £3,400.
Another seal, made from gold whalebone and lapis lazuli and purported to have belonged to George III, left hopes of £1,000-£1,500 behind at £1,700.
Completing the trio was a carved ivory desk seal with gold mounts and bloodstone intaglio of a prancing horse (purported to belong to Oscar Wilde), the handle carved as the bust of a man, which beat a £500-£600 guide at £1,000.
Much of the remainder went within, above or considerably above estimate.
Keen hopes for a selection of fine 18th century French furniture also came to fulfillment.
At £17,000, a Louis XVI period (1754-93) secretaire à abattant with marble top and rich ormolu mounts didn't quite make the pre-sale guide but nevertheless set a strong price.
Meanwhile, a pair of Louis XVI straight-front commodes with marble tops did well at £9,500, and a pair of 19th century French kingwood cabinets also went over low estimate at £10,500.
A 23in (58cm) long kingwood, Sèvres and ormolu table, the top inset with a Sèvres porcelain dish, was also Louis XVI, and went over the mid estimate at £5,600.
At 4ft 5in high, a 19th century French ebony and pietra dura stand, the front with a panel door with pietra dura panel, mounted with rich ormolu mounts, attracted quite a bit of interest, taking £2,600, just over the mid estimate.
Completing the French furniture highlights was a pair of demi lune commodes with marble tops that carried off a bid of £8,000.
Beyond the furniture, a Wedgwood circular Fairyland lustre porcelain dish, in the fairy gondola pattern, and bearing a gold painted mark, by Daisy Makeig-Jones, carried a punchy estimate of £6,000-£8,000 and came in at £5,600.
As expected, there was a lot of interest in a royal Worcester two-handled pot pourri vase and cover. Numbered 1428 and painted with highland cattle in landscape setting, probably by John Stinton, it too went over the mid estimate at £3,600.
And finally, carrying a lower estimate of £1,500-£2,500, a 12½in high Royal Worcester two-handled urn shaped vase and cover painted with storks standing in a pool, in a landscape setting, took £2,100.
Fine Paintings Auction, 28 January 2016
Our recent Fine Paintings auction generated lots of interest both online and in the room.
Famous for his The Man Who… series of created for The Tatler in the 1920s, H.M. Bateman (1887-1970) is arguably the pre-eminent British humorous cartoonist of the first half of the 20th century. While even limited edition prints of the cartoons from the period are rare these days, original signed watercolours from the Tatler series are a real find and we had two to offer in our fine paintings sale;
The first is a 13 x 19½in view titled The Passenger who dared to feel sea-sick on The Queen Mary, showing a green-faced unfortunate heading for the rail under the furious scrutiny of his fellow passengers and the ship’s captain.
The second is a 13¼ x 20in interior scene showing a stricken schoolboy dropping his dessert at a children’s party, entitled The Etonian who was asked to play ‘Nuts and May’.
Both appeared in the Exhibition of caricatures by HM Bateman at the Leicester Galleries in London in 1974. With respective estimates of £3,000-£4,000 and £2,000-£3,000, they sold above estimate for £4,400 each.
James Pollard’s “Elephant and Castle”, oil on canvas and companion piece, “The Peacock Inn, Islington”, provenance; The Hanson Collection, number 086 – St. James’s Galleries ltd, London sold together for £9,000.
A bidder ignored the guide price of £4,000 for Ken Howard’s signed and inscribed oil on canvas, “Sennen Beach, August ‘90”, and took it home for £6,200.
Other highlights from the sale include two signed watercolours by Mary Fedden (1915-2012), a mainstay of British art fairs in recent years whose long career yielded a huge body of work that has attracted a considerable following and strong prices to match.
Study of a Girl on a Beach, with a Sailing Boat, and a lighthouse beyond, dates from 1988 and has a strong graphic quality to its composition and use of blocks of colour, fetched £3,600.
A Flock of Gazelle, with a Shepherd, a 5½ x 5½in view of similar style and quality, fetched £2,200.
What makes both of these pictures especially attractive is that this is the first time they have been on the open market since the owner bought them directly from the artist’s studio.
Please take a look at our sales calendar for forthcoming sales.