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Autumn Fine Art Sale Hammer Highlights

20th November 2018.

Tennants Auctioneers’ Autumn Fine Art Sale saw strong prices, in the first major sale using the auctioneers’ new online live bidding system. This new service comes hot on the heels of the launch of Tennants’ brand new website in September, which updated the North Yorkshire company’s digital presence in a competitive market place.

In a strong sale for paintings, two works by Dutch seascape specialist Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831-1915) were much in demand. Mesdag’s atmospheric ‘Beached Fishing Boats at Sunset’ of 1869 sold for £22,000 (plus buyer’s premium), and his ‘Shipping in choppy waters’ sold for £5,500 (plus buyer’s premium). Mesdag started his career as a banker, but after inheriting family wealth, he took up painting full time, and moved to The Hague to pursue his fascination with depicting the waters around the Netherlands. A fine still life by a contemporary Dutch artist, Henk Helmantel, also sold well; ‘Still Life of a coffee grinder, metal bucket and a bowl of eggs’ (2004) sold for £15,000 (plus buyer’s premium). A further work by the artist, ‘Glass Vessels and a Bowl of Pomegranates’ sold for £10,000 (plus buyer’s premium).

Good British works of art sold strongly too, with a ‘Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Capel’, Circle of Sir Peter Lely, selling for £17,000 (plus buyer’s premium), and a companion ‘Portrait of Lady Diana Sidney, daughter of Robert, Second Earl of Leicester’ selling for £9,500 (plus buyer’s premium). Traditional sporting paintings of gamebirds by Lancashire-born William Woodhouse (1857-1939) saw competitive bidding, with ‘Grouse Shooting’ beating it’s £300-500 to sell for £1,200 (plus buyer’s premium), and a watercolour of a ‘Summer Kingfisher’ by Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935) sold for £6,000 (plus buyer’s premium).

However, the top lot in both the picture section and the whole sale was ‘Street Scene, Factory Gates’ by L.S. Lowry (1887-1976). Selling for £50,000 (plus buyer’s premium), the painting had been in a private collection and not seen on the market for twenty years.

In the Jewellery section of the sale, diamond rings performed particularly strongly, with many lots exceeding estimates. Notable lots included an Early 20th Century Old Oval Cut Solitaire Diamond ring, which sold for £13,000 (plus buyer’s premium), and a Diamond Solitaire Ring, which sold for £6,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £2,500-3,000. Items of jade jewellery from a Private Collection sold well above estimate. The jade was of very high quality, having been tested and certified by Hong Kong Jade and Stone Laboratory Limited in 2012; top lots of the collection included two Jade and Diamond Cluster Rings, which sold for £5,000 (plus buyer’s premium) and £6,000 (plus buyer’s premium), ten times their bottom estimates.

Elsewhere in the sale, an Italian School (late 19th century) White Marble Figure of a Classical Bather sold for £8,200 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £1,000-1,500, and a Bronze Group of Two Hounds by Pierre-Jules Mêne (1810-1879) sold for £2,500 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £600-800. Asian Art provided good prices too, with a Chinese Bronze Censer (Ding), bearing the six-character Xuande reign mark selling for £6,000 (plus buyer’s premium), and a Chinese Porcelain Vase bearing the six-character Qianlong reign mark selling for £5,500 (plus buyer’s premium).

Silver saw confident bidding throughout, with a George III Silver Twin Handled Tray, by William Bennett, London 1814 selling for £1,700 (plus buyer’s premium) and a Pair of George III Silver Entrée Dishes and Covers, by John Emes, London 1801 selling for £1,600 (plus buyer’s premium). The top lot of the section was a Charles II Provincial Silver Twin Handled Porringer and Cover, Marmaduke Best, York 1674, which sold for £4,000 (plus buyer’s premium).

Luxury and vintage watches continue to perform well, with a rare Stainless Steel Rolex Submariner, released to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the classic chronometer, selling for £9,800 (plus buyer’s premium). Amongst further strong results was the £4,800 (plus buyer’s premium) achieved for a Patek Philippe 2008 Calatrava. A Brass Striking and Repeating Carriage Clock, attributed to Paul Garnier, retailed by Silvani a Pari, c 1838 sold well above the £600-800 estimate for £2,200 (plus buyer’s premium), and a Mahogany and Brass Bound Two Day Marine Chronometer, signed French, Royal Exchange, London c1860 sold for £2,800 (plus buyer’s premium).

Towards the end of the sale, two rare Kashan Silk Souf Rugs, made in Iran c1920, lead the Rug section of the sale; from a private vendor and by repute from a Royal collection, the rugs sold for £4,800 and £7,500 (plus buyer’s premium). The cover lot of the sale catalogue, a 17th Century Silk Panel depicting lions in a floral landscape sold for £3,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against a £1,000-1,500 estimate.

Amongst a good offering of furniture, solid prices were seen for 17th and 18th century oak furniture, with 12 foot early 18th century oak trestle form dining table selling for £3,200 (plus buyer’s premium). Also of note were a Pair of George III Mahogany Foldover Card Tables, late 18th Century, which sold for £8,800 (plus buyer’s premium).

The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £764,190 for the 617-lot sale.

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