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Costume, Accessories & Textiles Sale Preview

25th January 2019.

A fascinating and diverse array of items are coming up for sale on 9th February in the first of the quarterly Costume, Accessories and Textiles Sales of 2019, with everything from 17th century embroideries to Victorian quilts, 1920s dresses and modern designer handbags.

Examples of 17th century needlework are amongst the oldest items in the sale; dating from circa 1680 is a small needlework embroidery depicting a king and queen (estimate: £400-600 plus buyer’s premium). Worked in coloured thread on an ivory silk ground with applied sequins, the royal couple are surrounded by creatures, including a rabbit, squirrel, lion and tulips. There are also two 17th century silk stumpwork pictures, a type of three-dimensional raised embroidery. The first, estimated at £500-800 (plus b.p.), depicts the Five Senses in the guise of five ladies, surrounded by motifs including lions, birds, butterflies, silk and swans. The second depicts King Charles II and his wife Catherine in a cartouche of woven metallic threads, topped with the initials M and H, and surmounting a leopard chasing a stag (estimate: £600-800 plus b.p.). From the 18th century comes a pair of gold and green silk brocade shoes, sold with an associated pair of 18th century leather and pink brocade pattens (protective overshoes) with an estimate of £300-500 (plus buyer’s premium).

With strong provenance comes a small collection of interesting items relating to the Pye family and the Bell Busk Silk Mill. Sarah Eliza and James Pye lived at Wray in Lancashire, with James working at the Bell Busk Silk Mill in Leeds. In 1911 the family moved to Skipton, where James set up as a property agent and rent collector – indeed there is still a James Pye and Sons Estate Agents in Skipton today. The Bell Busk Mill was built in 1790, and after initially producing cotton yarn they switched to silk in the mid-19th century. The mill was bought by Charles Rickards in 1862. The collection includes a Victorian panel of crazy patchwork made by Sarah Eliza Pye from patches of silks and velvets, many of which are embroidered (estimate: £150-250 plus b.p.). Dated 1897, it is possible that it was made to celebrate her 40th birthday or commemorate Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and it is likely that the scraps of fabric were brought back from the mill by her husband. Also of note is an advertising display case for C A Rickards of Bell Busk Mill. The haberdashery display incorporates a chromolithograph of the mill, samples of fabrics, raw silk threads from around the world, and reels of coloured silk threads (estimate: £150-250 plus b.p.).

A collection of early 20th century Salvation Army hats and bonnets are being sold along with two circa 1940s red and white Salvation Army blankets (estimate: £100-150 plus b.p.).

Recently consigned are further items from the Estate of Hannah Hauxwell, which are to be sold alongside a collection of her family quilts. Including assorted costume belonging to both Hannah and her family, inscribed family bibles and more – the items are sure to appeal to fans of the much-loved Dales farmer and television personality. Of particular note are a small group of treen knitting sheathes – themselves highly collectable items. The sheathes were handed down through Hannah’s family, and include a 19th century chip carved example (estimate: £100-150 plus b.p.) decorated with a potted plan and the initials ‘EB’ for Elizabeth Bayles, Hannah’s grandmother and the maker of at least one of the quilts.

Modern luxury accessories are also on show, with silk scarves from Hermès and Liberty joined by designer handbags from makers such as Christian Dior, Mulberry, Prada and Louis Vuitton. Bags from the English designer Burberry are included too, with several of their distinctive checked leather bags up for sale with estimates of £70-100 plus b.p.

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