Rare 17th century stumpwork casket amongst fine traditional antiques up for auction this spring

A 17th century Needlework Casket is one of the rarest lots in Tennants Auctioneer’s Spring Fine Art Sale on 17th March. Dating from c.1670, the rectangular box intricately decorated in raised stumpwork embroidery. Stumpwork is a style of embroidery in which the stitched elements are raised into a 3D design; particularly popular in England from 1650-1700, aristocratic young ladies would master the craft as part of their education. Due to the inherently fragile nature of stumpwork, examples of this age are few and far between and greatly sought after by collectors. On the top are two figures, thought to be Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, standing either side of a stylised vase of flowers with heraldic animals and tulips, whilst the couple is repeated on the front panel watched over by Cupid and the sides are populated with classical scenes. The casket is being offered with an estimate of £6,000-8,000 plus 24% buyer’s premium.

Two early longcase clocks lead the horological section of the sale. The first is a fine example from the Golden Age of English clock making – a month going clock made by Joseph Windmills of London c.1695, one of the master clockmakers of the age. Housed in a finely made burr walnut case with a precisely engineered movement, the clock is offered with an estimate of £10,000-15,000 plus 24% buyer’s premium. The second clock again dates from the late 17th century, and was made by Peter Walker of Wild Street End, London. Of particular note is the well-proportioned and attractively sized mulberry wood case; the clock is offered with an estimate of £5,000-7,000 plus 24% buyer’s premium.

Asian ceramics are well represented in the sale, with one of the highlights being a Chinese Guan Type Mallet Vase, probably Yuan or early Ming period. The 24cm high vase has a delicate pale blue glaze and good provenance. The base bears paper labels for Mathias Komor, New York and Seifu, Kyoto, Japan; it was purchased by the owner’s grandfather from Rare Art Inc., New York, in 1967 and is being sold with a copy of the original invoice (estimate: £18,000-25,000 plus 24% buyer’s premium).  Also of note is a Chinese cloisonné enamel bottle vase (Qianlong), decorated with scrolling lotus and incised with a four character reign mark and with fifth character below (estimate: £2,000-3,000 plus 24% buyer’s premium). A number of lots of Chinese Armorial Porcelain from the P.B. Cooke Collection will also be included, with interesting family names and estimates ranging from £300-400 to £1,000-1,500 plus 24% buyer’s premium.

Elsewhere in the sale, items of note include a silver figure of a Putto holding a basket of flowers, made by W.A. Bolin of Stockholm in 1919 after a sculpture by Auguste Moreau. W.A. Bolin were once jewellers to the Russian Imperial Court in St Petersburg, but relocated to their founder’s native Sweden after the Russian Revolution. The figure is offered with an estimate of £800-1,200 plus 24% buyer’s premium. Items of Fine Furniture include a late 19th/early 20th century Amboyna, Mahogany and Gilt Metal Mounted Vitrine in the Louis XVI style (estimate: £4,000-5,000 plus 24% buyer’s premium), and an impressive pair of Mahogany and Parcel Gilt Serving Tables from the late 19th century in the George II style (estimate: £3,000-5,000 plus 24% buyer’s premium).

A strong section of 20th Century Design is led by a William De Morgan Lustre Charger, painted in ruby and decorated with two serpents, lizards and leaves (estimate: £2,000-3,000 plus 24% buyer’s premium), and a Cold Painted and Gilt Patinated sculpture of a pair of ballet dancers by the Ukrainian Bruno Zach (1891-1945) which is offered with an estimate of £2,000-3,000 plus 24% buyer’s premium.

A fully illustrated catalogue available here.

Entries are now invited for the Summer Fine Art Sale, and to enquire about entering items for sale please contact the salerooms on 01969 623780.

A Chinese Guan Type Mallet Vase – Estimate: £18,000-25,000

A William De Morgan Lustre Charger – Estimate: £2,000-3,000
(top left) A 17th Century Needlework Casket – Estimate: £6,000-8,000