Despite the less than seasonal snow and ice, bidders’ flocked to Tennants Auctioneers’ Spring Fine Art Sale on 17th March; a very busy saleroom and lively atmosphere resulted in strong bidding and high prices achieved across all disciplines.
News & Insights
Bidders brave the snow to boost sales of traditional antiques and jewellery
A private collection of antique dog collars inspired some of the most competitive bidding of the sale, and the 29 lots fetched a total of £23,230 (plus buyer’s premium). With plenty of international interest, highlights of the collection included a William and Mary Silver Dog Collar from 1691 which sold for £2,500 (plus buyer’s premium) and a large Victorian Silver Dog Collar by Robert Garrard of London (1859) presented to L Denison by Lord Londesborough, which sold for £4,200 (plus buyer’s premium). Elsewhere in the Works of Art section a rare Stumpwork Casket c.1670 depicting possibly Charles II and Catherine of Braganza sold for £9,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
Particularly encouraging results were seen for clocks, a market that has struggled somewhat in recent years, with a larger than usual number of bidders competing for strong lots. Two longcase clocks from the same consignment headed the section; a burr walnut month going clock, signed Joseph Windmills, London, c.1695 sold for £11,000 (plus buyer’s premium), and a mulberry eight day clock, signed Peter Walker, Wild Street End, London, c.1695 sold for £15,000 against an estimate of £5,000-7,000. An 18th century ebony veneered chiming table clock, signed Benj. Shuckforth, Diss, c.1750, which was in its original state with no conversions sold for £4,800 (plus buyer’s premium), and a George III mahogany bowfront stick barometer, signed J Ramsden, London, c.1790 sold for £3,400 (plus buyer’s premium).
A Chinese Guan Type Mallet Vase, probably Yuan or early Ming period with good provenance led the Asian section of the sale selling for £36,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £18,000-25,000. A strong interest from bidders in China helped a Chinese Cloisonné Enamel Bottle Vase, with a Qianlong four character mark and of the period sell for £10,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £2,000-3000, and Chinese porcelain brush pot sell for £6,000 (plus buyer’s premium), ten times the top estimate.
Provenance is always key at auction, and three lots linked with the pioneering Gertrude Bell, Queen of the Desert, generated much interest before sale. Bell was a writer, traveller, mountaineer, photographer, political officer, archaeologist and explorer who had a significant influence on British imperial policy in the Middle East – for a woman of the Victorian era her accomplishments were extraordinary. Two carpets given to Bell by King Faisal I of Iraq sold for £1,900 (plus buyer’s premium) apiece and a quantity of original William Morris-designed curtains and furnishing fabrics from Bell’s family home, Rounton Grange in North Yorkshire, sold for £3,500 (plus buyer’s premium).
Selling strongly in the furniture section were a Victorian mahogany Carlton House desk, 3rd quarter of the 19th century, which sold for £2,300 (plus buyer’s premium), and an early 18th century giltwood and gesso pier glass, in the manner of James Moore and John Gumley, which sold for £4,200 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £1,500-2,000.
Good prices were achieved all round in the silver section, with the top lot going to an intricately decorated silver twin-handled tray by Mappin and Webb, London, 1894 which was presented to Mr Emerson Crawford Herdman and Miss Olive Herdman by the employees at Sion Mills on the occasion of their marriage in 1895. The tray sold for £4,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Also of note were an oversized German silver cow creamer from the Ruby Red Collection of Cow Creamers, which sold for £2,800 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £1,000-1,500, and an unusual early Victorian silver mounted and frosted glass ‘Askos’ jug by Charles Reily and George Storer, London, 1844, which sold for £2,500 (plus buyer’s premium).
20th Century Design was well represented, with the top lot going to a Guild of Handicraft Limited silver and enamel box, which sold for £5,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £2,000-3,000. Furniture and furnishings by Yorkshire favourite Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson continued to sell strongly, with a pair of oak bookends in the form of squirrels selling for £3,500 (plus buyer’s premium), and a carved oak Fox by Stan ‘Woodpeckerman’ Dodds, who worked for Robert Thompson, selling for an astounding £5,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
Collector’s watches saw some good prices too, with an Omega British Military Royal Air Force watch from 1953 in good original condition selling for £2,500 (plus buyer’s premium), and a Duo Dial Reverso Night and Day watch by Jaeger LeCoultre selling for £2,100 (plus buyer’s premium). At the higher end of the market was a Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse watch, with sought-after blue sunburst dial, which sold for £5,000 (plus buyer’s premium) and a Lady’s 18ct gold and diamond set Patek Philippe watch, which sold for £3,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
In the Jewellery section of the sale, coloured stones and mid-century design fared well. Single stone solitaire diamond rings performed strongly as expected, but impressive multi-stone diamond pieces were particularly in demand; a diamond bow brooch consisting of old cut diamonds around a central 3 carat (approx.) old cut stone, which sold for £11,000 (plus buyer’s premium against an estimate of £3,000-5,000, a diamond tremblant floral spray brooch, sold for £9,000 (plus buyer’s premium), and a graduated diamond necklace, which sold for £16,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £8,000-10,000. Unusual pieces sold strongly too, such as a group of black opal and diamond Art Deco style jewellery; a graduated bead black opal necklace sold for £5,500 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £2,000-3,000 and a clip brooch sold for £4,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £800-1,000. However, the highlight of the section and the top lot of the whole sale was a multi-gemstone and diamond bracelet which sold for a staggering £140,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Boosting and already strong section, the jewellery contributed £500,250 to the sale hammer price.
The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £1,474,590 for the 918 lot sale, with an 85% sold rate.
Tennants are currently accepting lots for the Summer Fine Art Sale on 21st July 2018, please contact the Salerooms on 01969 623780 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
A Diamond Tremblant Floral Spray Brooch – Sold for £9,000<
A Chinese Guan Type Mallet Vase, probably Yuan or early Ming period – Sold for £36,000
A Mulberry Eight Day Longcase Clock, Peter Walker, London, c1695 – Sold for £15,000
30th January 2019, 10:30
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