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The Curious Collector: Results

29th March 2021.

The Curious Collector Sale, an extraordinary single-owner collection of fine art, antiques, natural history, curios, and collectables attracted bidders from across the world when it sold at Tennants Auctioneers on 27th March. Despite not being open for public viewing, high levels of interest resulted in an impressive 95% sold rate and fantastic prices across the board.  

Assembled over a 15-year period by a Gentleman to furnish a private residence, the Collection had been curated with an eclectic eye and a great sense of humour. Each piece was carefully sourced and displayed in themed rooms around the Collector’s home with a touch of theatricality. Each room in the house was brought to life with unique decorative pieces ranging from antique maritime memorabilia to neon and vintage enamel advertising signs and anatomical models.

Both fine antiques and quirky collectables were in demand, but the top lot of the sale was a pair of George III Silver Wine-Coolers, Collars and Liners by Thomas and James Creswick of Sheffield that sold for £13,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Made in 1813, the coolers were engraved with the coat of arms for Admiral Sir James Hawkins-Whitshed (1762-1849) who had a distinguished career in the navy and commanded the HMS Temeraire, the ship later made famous by Turner in his masterpiece ‘The Fighting Temeraire’.  With a strong maritime theme running through the sale, a carved and painted wood figure of a Naval Officer wearing a uniform of the Napoleonic Wars sold for £5,500, and a 12-Bold Mark V MOD-1 Untied States Navy Diving Helmet by Desco sold for £3,500.

Further highlights include ‘Reclining Nude’ by Frank Dobson RA (1886-1963), which sold for £5,500, a late 19th/20th century Gharial Crocodile Head Mount, which sold for £4,500, and a George III Mahogany Drum Top Library Table, which sold for £4,500. A painted glass windscreen from Series 3 Land Rover by Brian Smallwood, depicting the Queen driving Prince Harry, sold for £4,200, and an early 20th century French Football Table labelled R Wolff sold for £3,800.

Amongst a good selection of paintings on offer, ‘Shipping on an estuary’ by Ronald Ossory Dunlop RA (1894-1973) sold for £3,500, and ‘Durham Cathedral from the River Wear by the Circle of Edmund John Niemann sold for £1,800.

 The sale achieved a total hammer price of £310,870 with an 95% sold rate for 423 lots.

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