Strong prices across the board were achieved in Tennants Auctioneers’ Spring Sale on 18th March, with good results for traditional ceramics and furniture reflecting encouraging levels of interest. The curated sale had been kept to a slightly smaller offering, ensuring a focus was kept on the top lots across all the sections in the sale which were reflected in the buoyant results.
It was a particularly good sale for British and European ceramics, proved when a Sèvres Porcelain Etrusque Tea Service made in 1827 sold for £35,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Very finely painted, it sold for over ten times the bottom estimate. From good private collections in the sale came a Meissen Porcelain Cris de Paris Figure of the Lottery Seller, which sold for £5,000, a Whieldon-Type Creamware Bull-Baiting Group made circa 1770, which sold for £1,500, and an English Delft Blue Dash Charger, probably made circa 1690 in Brislington, which sold for £2,800 despite repairs. The latter was from the Estate of Stephen Hamilton Rawlings of Scarborough, from which a large collection of Toby Jugs was also offered. Sold in fourteen lots, the jugs sold well throughout, with the top lot being a Yorkshire Prattware Toby Jug, made circa 1810, which sold for £1,800.
Notable results from other sections of the sale included a Chinese Porcelain YenYen Vase of the Kangxi period, which sold for £11,000, an English Enamel-Mounted Gold Box and Cover made circa 1780, which sold for £3,200, and a Fine Ghom Silk Carpet from Central Iran, which sold for £4,800. Highlights of the clocks in the sale included a rare Blue Guilloche Enamel Bell Push Timepiece, signed Cartier and made circa 1930 (sold for £7,000), and a circa 1730 Ebony Veneered Quarter Chiming Table Clock by William Webster of Exchange Alley, London (sold for £4,200). Unusual lots in the sale included two late 19th century green sea turtle shells, pained with coats of arms of the Tyerman family and the Warren family, which sold for £4,000, and a 16th Century Mexican Feather Mosaic Picture, which sold for £18,000. Having flourished as an Aztec art form in pre-Columbian Mexico, the Spanish colonists prevented the Amantecas, or feather artists, from continuing to produce their traditional indigenous subjects, however they did encourage them to produce Christian subjects. In the 16th century many such pieces were sent to Europe to show the quality of this exotic art and also to represent the progress made in the conversion of the New World to Christianity.
Good quality and traditional 18th Century furniture was much in demand, with a late 18th Century George III Chippendale Style Mahogany and Oak-Lined Chest on Chest selling for £15,000 against an estimate of £2,000-3,000. An early 18th Century Queen Anne Walnut, Featherbanded and Crossbanded Bureau Bookcase also sold well at £4,800, a late 18th Century George III Mahogany Library Desk in the manner of Gillows sold for £6,000, and a George III Carved Mahogany Gainsborough-Style Library Chair sold for £4,800.
Dating from the 19th century were a fine Gillow & Co Exhibition Quality Victorian Specimen Wood, Marquetry, parquetry and Gilt Metal-Mounted Side Cabinet that sold for £9,000, and a Gillows of Lancaster & London early 19th Century Mahogany Serving Table that sold for £3,200. Engendering much interest too, was a Pair of Late 19th Century Japanese Shibayama, Hardwood and Parcel-Gilt Two-Fold Dressing Screens of the Meiji period, which sold for £6,800.
The sale achieved a total hammer price of £406,065 with an 80% sold rate for 373 lots.