Tennants Auctioneers’ Country House Sale on 19th and 20th January saw bidders brave the snow and ice and flock to the Leyburn salerooms, tempted by the 1400 plus lots on offer. Combined with a strong national and international presence bidding online, the sale resulted in a very buoyant total hammer price of £465,435 and an 88% sold rate. The sale comprised an appealing mix of good period furniture, paintings, Asian and European ceramics, clocks, silver and unusual decorative items, with many of the lots having been sourced from Private Estates in the North of England.
One of the top lots of the sale was a Chinese Porcelain Bottle Vase, probably from the 18th century. Decorated in red with a dragon, a phoenix and flowers, damage to the neck of the vase had kept the estimate low, but a number of eager international bidders resulted in a hammer price of £9,500 (plus buyer’s premium). With the interest of Asian buyer’s piqued, further lots from the East also sold strongly, such as an 18th century gilt metal mounted Yixing red stoneware teapot which sold for £1,600 (plus buyer’s premium). From nearer home, a small Chelsea Porcelain Teapot and Cover, c.1755 led a strong selection of European ceramics, selling for £1,600 (plus buyer’s premium).
Highlights of the furniture section included a pair of Queen Anne walnut high back dining chairs (exhibited in an exhibition at Leeds City Art Gallery and Temple Newsam House), which sold for £2,400 and a 1920s oak centre table which sold for £3,800. This small octagonal table was designed for Liberty & Co. by Sir Robert Lorimer (1864-1929), the Scottish architect and furniture designer who was a leading light of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Traditional country house style pictures proved in demand too, with one of the top lots going to a charming oil on canvas of a pair of Jack Russell terriers by Alfred Duke (1863-1905). Entitled ‘Keeping Watch’, the painting sold for £2,300 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £400-600. Also selling well above estimate was a 19th century British School portrait of a prize heifer, which sold for £2,300 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £200-300.
Country House Sales always include unusual decorative items, and particularly popular examples in this sale included a Black Forest carved wood tobacco box from the early 20th century, modelled in the form of an owl, which sold for £3,500 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £350-450. A 19th century Sailor’s Valentine, comprising a mahogany case containing decorative coloured shells in the form of flowers and a message ‘Think of Me’, sold for £1,700 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £700-1,000.
Tennants are currently accepting lots for the next Country House Sale on 28th April 2018, please contact the saleroom on 01969 623780 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
A Chinese Porcelain Bottle Vase, probably 18th century – Sold for £9,500
(top left) Alfred Duke (1863-1905) ‘Keeping Watch’ – Sold for £2,300