Clocks were the stand-out stars of Tennants Auctioneers’ Autumn Fine Art Sale on 16th November, which saw a strong selection of both table and longcase clocks selling to a packed saleroom. Clocks from the North East were particularly evident, with fine pieces from the Eric Morton Clock Collection grabbing attention. Indeed, the section made a combined hammer price of £89,650 for 42 lots, with an 86% sold rate.
The top lot of the section was a mid-18th century quarter striking table clock made by Henry Hindley of York c.1750, which sold for £11,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Hindley, who was born near Wigan, was a very fine and talented clockmaker who made a clock for York Minster in 1750, and an almost identical clock to the present lot is on exhibition at Fairfax House in York. Selling strongly at £7,200 was a good George III Eight Day Dutch Striking Alarm Tableclock with Moonphase Display by Paul Rimbault of London, circa 1770, and a Rare Walnut Seaweed Marquetry Quarter Chiming Eight Day Longcase Clock, signed David Hubert, Londini, Fecit, circa 1710 sold for £5,200.
Fine clocks from the Eric Morton Clock Collection were led by a fourteen-tune musical eight-day longcase clock made by Hugh Lough of Penrith in 1773, which sold for £9,500. The clock also features an unusual dial display for lunar and solar equation and comes with provenance from the Lough family. Hugh Lough was born in Penrith in 1739 and worked as a clockmaker until his death in 1790. Only around twenty clocks have been documented by Hugh Lough and these are usually eight day and thirty-hour brass dial examples. This must be one of his masterpieces - a true reflection of his outstanding workmanship. Further highlights from the collection were a good mid-18th century Chinoiserie Drop Dial Tavern Clock by Mark Hawkins of Bury St Edmunds, which sold for £7,000 against an estimate of £2,500-3,500 and a rare late 18th century Year Going Mahogany Calendar and Zodiac Display Clock by Jno. Walker of Newcastle, which sold for £6,000. More fine examples from the collection will be sold in the Spring Fine Art Sale in March, and the Country House Sale in January.
Jewellery drew a high level of interest, particularly from private buyers, and a busy saleroom contributed to strong overall results. A fine selection of diamond rings contributed to the top lots of the sale, topped by a stunning circa 1935 diamond ring that was purchased by the vendor’s grandfather in the 1930s from S.J. Phillips. The 3.74 carat has E colour and VS1 clarity and was sold for £56,000. Also of note was a classic princess-cut diamond and platinum ring, which sold for £12,000 against an estimate of £7,000-10,000, an 18ct gold diamond solitaire ring, which sold for £11,500, and an early 20th century three-stone diamond ring, which sold for £5,000. Period diamond brooches also sold well, with a circa 1900 diamond brooch with later pearl choker selling for £7,500 and a further circa 1900 example selling for £6,000.
One of the most striking lots of the sale was a ‘Portrait of Lady Armatrude Waechter de Grimston’ by Hungarian born artist Philip de László (1869-1937), which sold for £18,000 after numerous bidders drove the price well above the £6,000-8,000 estimate. De László is one of the finest portrait painters of his day, and this example was boosted with provenance from the sitter’s estate. Also selling well above estimate was Susan Isabel Dacre’s ‘Choir of Children’, which sold for £7,000, Charles Moreau’s ‘Reading Time’, which sold for £5,200, and Herbert Royle’s ‘Dales Farm in Winter’, which sold for £4,200.
Amongst a good offering of fine silver was a George II Silver Basket by Robert Brown of London, which sold for £5,800, a George III Silver Stirrup-Cup by Henry Tudor and Thomas Leader of Sheffield, which sold for £5,000, and an attractive pair of William IV Silver Wine-Coasters stamped with the maker’s mark KG & Co., of Sheffield, which sold for £3,500.
A 19th century Chinese Porcelain Vase, which by repute was sold at the estate sale of Prince Henry Bourbon, the Count of Bardi in Venice in 1905 sold for £3,800. Also selling strongly above estimate was a Tibetan Painted Gilt and Copper Alloy Figure of Shadakshari Avalokiteshvara, likely dating from the 17th or 18th century, which sold for £3,400. A very unusual late 19th century mahogany and narwhal tusk cabinet was the top lot of the furniture section. Constructed with five impressive tusks, the cabinet sold for £16,000. A 19th century six-piece suite of George III style seat furniture, with provenance from the Christie’s 1975 sale at Swinton House, Masham sold for £5,200, and a pair of late 19th century kingwood and gilt metal mounted vitrines sold for £4,100.
Watches performed consistently well, with interest from international buyers contributing to solid prices. The top lot was a 1960 Rolex Explorer ref:6610, one of the most collectable watches on the market at present, which sold for £7,800 against an estimate of £4,000-6,000. A further Rolex to perform well above estimate was a 1964 Datejust ref: 1600, which sold for £1,600 against an estimate of £800-1,200. Collectable contemporary watches were evident too, with a Lady’s 18ct white gold and diamond set ‘Baignoire Joaillerie’ watch by Cartier selling for £7,000, an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Master Chronometer selling for £3,200.
Tennants are currently accepting lots for the Spring Fine Art Sale in March 2020, please contact the Salerooms on 01969 623780 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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