Created centuries apart, the two top lots of Tennants Auctioneers’ Summer Fine Art Sale on 13th July could not have been more different – a 1979 Rolex Daytona ‘Big Red’ presented to a pilot by the Sultan of Oman, which sold for £120,000 (plus buyer’s premium), and an English joined oak clamped-front chest dating from the 13th to 15th century, which sold for £22,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
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Ancient & Modern: Summer Fine Art Sale Results
The Rolex Daytona lead the way amongst a very strong offering of collectors and vintage watches; unusual watches, those in original condition and Rolexes were much in demand with international bidders joining in from around the world. Further highlights of the watch section include a rare 1958 Rolex Explorer (ref. 5504), which sold for £11,500 (plus buyer’s premium), and a rare World War II RAF ‘Weems’ Pilot’s watch made by Omega c1940, one of the most collectable RAF watches on the market, which sold for £3,200 (plus buyer’s premium).
Clocks, too, saw strong results across the board with encouraging results for longcases, which has proved a difficult market the last few years. Early clocks, or those with unusual features sold strongly, such as George III Mahogany Quarter Striking Table Clock, signed J Hawthorn, Newcastle, c1770 that sold for £2,600 (plus buyer’s premium), and an unusually ornate inlaid and heavily carved chiming longcase clock, signed John Lewis, London, c1900 that sold for £4,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
Recent sales have seen good prices for early English oak furniture, which continued in the Summer Fine Art Sale led by the early and rare clamp-fronted chest. The 13th to 15th Century chest was identified as such when brought to Tennants, having been previously purchased by the vendor as 19th century following miscataloguing. An ornately carved 17th century joined oak settle, on which was carved ‘Thomas Rerersby, 1621’, also sold strongly at £2,300 (plus buyer’s premium) against an £1,000-1,500 estimate. Elsewhere in the furniture section good decorative pieces sold well such as an 18th century walnut and parquetry bureau cabinet (South German or Austrian), which sold for £6,800 (plus buyer’s premium), and a Louis XV style marquetry and gilt metal mounted bureau plat, c1870, which sold for £5,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
The sale also saw good results across the picture section, which included family portraits and a collection of portrait miniatures from the Estate of Mary, Countess of Gainsborough. Highlights from the estate included a charming ‘Portrait of Sir Walter Vavasour, Bt., when a young boy with a Greyhound’ by Philip Mercier (1689-1760), which sold for £12,000 (plus buyer’s premium), a miniature ‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Philip Cross (c1650-1724), which sold for £5,500 (plus buyer’s premium), and miniature ‘Portrait of a Gentleman’ by Christian Friedrich Zincke (1683-1767), which sold for £5,200 (plus buyer’s premium). Away from the Gainsborough Estate, animal and sporting art saw much interest, with an appealing drawing of two slumbering dogs by Cecil Aldin (1870-1935) selling well above estimate for £5,000 (plus buyer’s premium), and an impressive hunting scene by Heywood Hardy (1842-1933) selling for £13,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
However, some of the most competitive bidding of the day came right at the end of the sale, with five phone lines competing for three watercolour on vellum studies of amaryllis, iris and guava by Georg Dionysus Ehret (1708-1770). Ehret was a German botanist and entomologist, who started out life as a gardener in Heidelberg and went on to collaborate with the likes of Carl Linnaeus. The watercolours sold for £14,000, £15,000 and £12,000 (plus buyer’s premium) respectively.
Elsewhere in the sale, good results were seen for early silver, including a William and Mary Silver Tankard by Anthony Nelme, London, 1693 that sold for £4,500 (plus buyer’s premium) and a William and Mary Silver Twin-Handled Wine Taster by George Gibson, York, 1677 that sold for £4,200 (plus buyer’s premium). A diamond four-stone cluster ring sold for £18,500 (plus buyer’s premium), a Cantagalli Faience Bowl, circa 1900 sold for £4,200 (plus buyer’s premium), and a Chinese porcelain moon flask, Qing Dynasty, probably Qianlong sold for £5,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £854,870 for the 687-lot sale.
7th August 2021, 09:30
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