At a traditionally quiet time of the year, Tennants Auctioneers achieved an impressive hammer total of just under £500,000 for a trio of sales on Saturday 11th January. The Country House Sale, along with the Sporting Art Sale and the Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale drew hordes of bidders to the North Yorkshire salerooms.
Tennants’ Country House Sales are amongst the most popular on the auction calendar, combining antiques, collectables and curios such as might be found in the English Country House. With strong prices across the board supported by an engaged audience of online bidders, a few sections of the sale really stood out. Firstly, the carpets and rugs in the sale saw particularly encouraging results, with the majority selling above estimate including a good Kashan Carpet from Central Iran, which sold for £2,000 (plus buyer’s premium), a 1930s Kashan Pictorial Rug from Central Iran depicting Shah Ahmed Qajar, which sold for £1,900 (plus buyer’s premium), and a good pair of circa 1900 Kirman Pictorial Rugs from South East Iran, which sold for £1,300 (plus buyer’s premium).
A raft of good Asian works of art sold strongly too, attracting bidders from across the world; highlights included a pair of Chinese silkwork panels from the late 19th or early 20th century that sold for £5,200 (plus buyer’s premium), a Japanese Meiji period vase that sold for £3,800 (plus buyer’s premium), and a Chinese Jade libation cup in the form of a peach that sold for £1,700 (plus buyer’s premium). Rare and unusual lots caught the eye of bidders, too, with a large marble foot, in the Grand Tour Style, selling for £850 (plus buyer’s premium) – well over the £150-200 estimate.
One of the surprise lots of the day came in the form of a 19th Century English School miniature of a Naval Officer. Offered with a modest estimate, the sitter was subsequently identified during the sale viewing as Admiral Sir Henry d’Esteterre Darby KCB, who was depicted wearing the Nile Medal. The miniature went on to sell for £5,200 (plus buyer’s premium).
Vernacular and period oak furniture was in demand, with a good selection of Windsor and Thames Valley chairs drawing strong bidding, such as a late 18th Century Thames Valley Fruitwood Armchair, which sold for £500 (plus buyer’s premium), against an estimate of £200-300. Also of note was a Fruitwood Low Dresser (sold for £1,500 plus buyer’s premium), a George I Walnut and Featherbanded Straight Front Chest of Drawers (sold for £1,000 plus buyer’s premium), and a Victorian Mahogany Wellington Chest (sold for £1,000 plus buyer’s premium).