Tennants Auctioneers’ Spring Fine Art Sale saw confident bidding, particularly from private buyers, with top prices going to rare works of art and pieces with provenance from private estates.
One of the stand-out lots of the sale was a late 17th century South German turned ivory pedestal cup of rare lobed ovoid form, which sold for £32,000 (plus buyer’s premium). The cup is similar to an example in the collection of the V&A and with good provenance from the vendor’s family it sailed above the £5,000-10,000 estimate. Other works of art from the 17th century also saw strong bidding, with a c.1670 Quillwork Diorama selling for £5,400 (plus buyer’s premium), and a mid-17th century Needle and Stumpwork Mirror Frame selling for £8,120 (plus buyer’s premium).
An impressive white marble bust of Napoleon as Mars Pacificus, by the School of Antonio Canova (1757-1822) sold for £25,000 (plus buyer’s premium). The bust was derived from the colossal marble statue of Napoleon as Mars Pacificus, currently in Apsley House, London, which was rejected by Napoleon because of the statue’s nudity. Canova then produced a bust derived from the full-length original which is now in Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.
Asian works of art saw strong bidding with the top lot going to a Chinese porcelain green and aubergine Dragon Dish, marked and dating from the Kangxi reign (1662-1722), which sold for £28,000 (plus buyer’s premium). The dish is painted with a dragon chasing the flaming pearl, and a similar example is held in the Hallwyl Museum in Stockholm. During the reign of the Emperor Qianlong, the regulations of the Palace of the Qing Dynasty specified which designs were allowed for use by Imperial household members, and dishes with green ground and aubergine dragons, as in the present lot, were assigned for use by the Fifth Rank Concubine. A Chinese Gold Splashed Bronze Tripod Censer, Qing Dynasty also attracted interest from the Asian market, selling for £7,500 (plus buyer’s premium).
Amongst some encouraging results for English ceramics was a Royal Worcester Porcelain Reticulated Cabinet Cup and Saucer, by George Own, c.1876, which sold for £4,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Silver saw strong prices too, with the first lot of the sale, a set of five William IV Cast Silver Wine Labels by Charles Reily and George Storer, London, 1830 selling for £1,600 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £400-600, and an Arts and Crafts Silver Wine Goblet by Omar Ramsden selling for £2,600 (plus buyer’s premium).
A strong selection of collector’s watches saw exceptionally strong results, with Rolex continuing to be the name to beat. The top lot of the section was a rare 1958 Rolex Explorer, which sold for £16,500 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £6,000-8,000. The next lot, an 18ct gold Rolex GMT-Master II also drew attention when it sold for £12,000 (plus buyer’s premium). A very rare and early 1962 Omega Pre-Professional Moonwatch drew attention too, selling for £13,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
Jewellery sold to a packed saleroom, with top prices achieved for pieces by elite makers. The top lot of the section included a Platinum and Diamond ‘Raindance’ ring by Boodles, selling for £22,000 (plus buyer’s premium), an 18ct gold 1960s Ruby, Emerald and Diamond Novelty Bird Brooch by Cartier, selling for £3,600 (plus buyer’s premium), and a Turquoise, Sapphire and Diamond Clip Brooch, by Cartier, selling for £7,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Lots by 20th century society jeweller Andrew Grima were much in demand too, particularly a pair of 18ct Gold Diamond Earrings, which beat the £2,000-2,500 estimate to sell for £8,200 (plus buyer’s premium).
The furniture section was led by a George II Oak Desk, with provenance from Pepper Arden Hall, North Yorkshire, which sold for £8,500 (plus buyer’s premium). The desk was a rare model, in good, untouched condition. Selling well above estimate was a Regency carved mahogany and brass strung Stilton cheese coaster from the early 19th century, which sold for £5,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
Finally, Old Master paintings proved in demand, with top prices going to a ‘Portrait of a Lady’, Attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (c.1561-1636), which sold for £11,000 (plus buyer’s premium), ‘A Basket of Poppies, Roses, Tulips and Other Flowers’, Circle of Nicolas Baudesson (c.1611-1680), which sold for £9,200 (plus buyer’s premium), and ‘A Still Life of Oysters, Lemon Peel, Grapes, Vine Leaves and a Glass of Wine’, Attributed to Thomas de Paep (1630-1670), which sold for £7,500 (plus buyer’s premium). 20th century works of note included ‘Worthy Down’ by Eliot Hodgkin (1905-1987), which sold for £5,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £964,210 for the 658-lot sale, with a strong 85% sold rate.
View Part I Results
View Part II Results