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Results: January Country House Sale

12th January 2021.

Tennants Auctioneers’ Country House Sale on 8th and 9th January got the auction year off to a good start, achieving a sold rate of 88% and a total hammer price equalling the top estimate. The auction took place behind closed doors, but bidders were eagerly joining in the sale from home, increasingly confident with online bidding.

The sale began with Glass and Ceramics, which saw confidant bidding with good results seen for 18th and 19th century glass. Amongst the top lots in the section was a rare circa 1833-36 Herculaneum Pottery Robert Stephenson Commemorative Frog Mug that sold for £2,200 (plus buyer’s premium), well over the presale estimate of £500-700. The mug, which had a realistically modelled frog sitting in the base, is decorated with a scene of the Exchange Buildings and Nelson’s Monument in Liverpool flanked by locomotives. The locomotives are Stephenson’s Rocket and Northumbrian, and it is also adorned by an image of Braithwaite and Ericsson’s Novelty locomotive. Stephenson’s Rocket and Braithwaite and Ericsson’s Novelty rang at the Rainhill Steam Trials on 6th October 1829.  A Meissen Style Porcelain Elephant Group, after the 18th century model by J J Kandler and P Reiniche sold well, too, at £2,200.

Highlights of Asian Art included a Chinese Huanghuali Table Stand from the Qing Dynasty, which sold for £3,000, and a Japanese Bronze Figure of a Tiger from the Meiji Period beat the £200-300 estimate to sell for £950. Day One of the sale was rounded off with Works of Art, the top lots of which included a Miniature Bust Portrait of Jean Bon Saint-Andre by Louis-Francois Aubry (1767-1851), which sold for £3,000. Saint-Andre served in the National Convention during the early years of the French Revolution and suggested that the Tricolour replaced the Golden Fleur de Lys as the French Flag. Further highlights included an Iron Bound Turned Lignum Vitae Mortar from the late 17th/early 18th century, which sold for £900, and a ‘Bois de Spa’ Painted Writing Slope in the manner of Antoine le Loup, which sold for £850 against an estimate of £150-250. The slope was made for Thomas Fitzherbert of Stubbington Lodge, Hampshire; in 1775 and 1782 Fitzherbert obtained contracts for supplying wagons for the army in America, ironwork for gun carriages, musket stocks, small arms and gunpowder, and for the hire of horses employed in the fortification of Portsmouth.  It is possible that the scenes on the present box are fanciful interpretations of the landscape around Portsmouth harbour. 

Day Two of the sale kicked off with Pictures, which saw strong selling rates. Notable results included ‘Foxes in the snow with their kill’ by Charles Whymper (1853-1941) that sold for £2,000, and ‘Village on the Seine’ by Alexander Jamieson (1873-1937) that sold for £1,100. The top lot of the Clock Section selling for £1,700, was a Mahogany Eight Day Longcase Clock signed W.Young, Dundee which was made circa 1820. Also performing well above estimate was a Vienna Oak Quarter Striking Table Clock signed Rubertus, Potsch, Wienn from that late 18th/early 19th century that sold for £800; this clock was a ¼ striker, and buyers were drawn to lots with unusual complications. An interesting selection of rugs was led by a Very Fine 20th Century Kashan Silk Rug from Central Iran, which sold for £3,200, and a Modern Tabriz Carpet from North West Iran, which sold for £1,400.

Furniture proved in-demand, and the section achieved a 91% sold rate. Period oak furniture was amongst the top performing styles, with strong prices going to a George III Joined Oak Dining Table from the late 18th/early 19th century that sold for £2,800, and a Late 17th Century Oak Side Table that sold for £1,900. The section also provided the top lot of the whole sale – a set of Fifteen Victorian Mahogany Armchairs from the late 19th Century that sold for £3,800 and were part of a consignment of items removed from West House, Gomersal, West Yorkshire. 

The sale achieved a total hammer price of £288,190 with an 88% sold rate.


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