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A fine example of the work of the celebrated Daum crystal studio in Nancy (France) will be in Lawrences’ sale in Crewkerne next month. “The factory was founded by Jean Daum in 1878 and it flourished throughout the Art Nouveau era, producing skilful and complex works with the pate de verre (glass paste) technique” explains Lawrences’ specialist Simon Jones. “After winning a `Grand Prix` medal at the Universal Exhibition of 1900, Daum’s glass became even more experimental and the designers used carving, enamelling and engraving to embellish their work. The Daum studio became rivals to the illustrious Emile Galle and became leaders in the field of decorative glass after Galle’s death in 1904.”
The example in Crewkerne is Daum’s “Groseille” (gooseberry) pattern and it stands 21 inches (53 cms) high. Purchased by the Somerset owner at an antiques fair in France many years ago, it is now expected to realise £5000-8000.
Some fine pieces of jewellery are set to sparkle in Lawrences’ jewellery auction in January. There is a sapphire and diamond bracelet, formed with six oval-shaped sapphires each set with four diamonds and separated by baguette-cut diamonds. This is expected to make £8000-9000 whilst a diamond and cultured pearl bracelet from the same Midlands owner has a diamond-set clasp and is guided at £2000-2500. “Novelty pieces are always appealing to jewellery collectors and so we expect buyers to buzz round a diamond brooch in the form of a bee [see image],” says specialist Miranda Bingham. “It is set with cushion-shaped and rose-cut diamonds and has ruby eyes. It makes an eye-catching attraction at 5cm wide and is expected to make £5000-7000. A diamond solitaire ring from a local client is set with a brilliant-cut stone weighing 1.7 carats and we hope that that will make £7000-8000. For the less extravagant collector, a gem set ring is set with eight stones whose initials letters spell out the name `Victoria`. Obviously, it is the perfect gift for anyone of that name and it comes in its original box at £300-400.”
Two exquisite little watercolours give a welcome hint of spring in Lawrences' forthcoming Fine Art auction. They are by Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935), the fifth son of Robert Thorburn who was Queen Victoria's portrait miniaturist. Archibald developed a love of natural history and, under the tutelage of the artist Joseph Wolf, he illustrated `Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Isles` in 1887.
"He executed some 268 watercolours for this mighty work and thereafter his reputation was secure," explains Richard Kay at Lawrences. "He later illustrated numerous sporting and natural history books, including his own. In his final years, living in comfort in a grand house in Surrey, Thorburn scorned the convenience of electric light in his studio and preferred to work by daylight or by candlelight. He claimed that candlelight obliged him to observe animals more closely and so work more precisely. Detail and absolute accuracy were always his greatest concern and these two watercolours, showing a wheatear and a nuthatch, are executed with meticulous care and are depicted actual size. They were drawn when the artist was in his late sixties and he never showed any sign of losing his skills, even in his seventies. As prices for Thorburn's very best and largest works now exceed £250,000, these two little gems are tempting additions to any collection at £3500-5000 each."
Pictures and original prints by European artists are subject to a resale royalty if the hammer price exceeds 1000 Euros. This has now been extended to include living artists and all European artists who have died since 1942.
The buyers of such lots agree to pay Lawrences this royalty and we shall forward it to the artists' collecting agents. The rate is 4% of the hammer price between 1000 Euros and 50,000 Euros and the rate then varies up to 500,000 Euros. The Euro rate of exchange will be based upon the European Central Bank rate on the day of sale as all invoices are issued in Pounds Sterling. Please speak to Richard Kay (01460 73041 or [email protected]) if you have any questions.
A list of the artists in this auction to whom this applies is detailed below:-
1475 Austin (2000 Euros)
1483 Thornton (3000 Euros)
1485 -1491 Bawden. 1489 must make 3000 Euros to comply.
1518 Widgery 2000 Euros
1542 Hansen 2000 Euros
1546 Birch 2000 Euros
1558 Ardizzone 5000 Euros
1559, 1560 Fry
1562 Wakeford 3000 Euros
1563 Wakeford 3000 Euros
1567 E B Smith
1568 Gorg 2000 Euros
1571 Knight 3000 Euros
1632 date of death unknown
1650 date of death unknown
1662 Somerville 2000 Euros
1665 Gutahazy 2000 Euros
1670, 1671 Peterson
As usual, there will be plenty of variety in Lawrences’ auction of pictures on January 20th and the 210 lots on offer will include prints by artists as varied as Rembrandt, Edward Bawden and Victor Vasarely; watercolours of subjects in Scotland, Rome, China and Israel; and oil paintings by artists of Italian, Polish, Dutch, Czech, French, Irish, Hungarian and American origins. The largest picture is 194cm (76 inches) wide, the smallest just 10cm (4 inches) wide and they span nearly six centuries. A fine 1905 work by Otto Pilny (1866-1936) depicts Muslims at prayer in the desert. Despite visiting Egypt only twice in his 70 years, Pilny’s art was produced in Switzerland and comprised numerous skilful variations of Arab themes, painted in a distinctive palette of pinks and yellows. This example is expected to make £5000-10000. On a very different theme, a beautifully fresh watercolour of a Scottish croft with children working is by the collectable Victorian artist Myles Birket Foster (1825-1899). Found by the owner in a box of cheap prints in a Scottish auction room, this evocative and well-composed picture is guided at £7000-10000 [see image].
Nearly 2500 lots are coming under the hammer at Lawrences in Crewkerne in their first Fine Art catalogue of 2012 and the Somerset auctioneers hope that there will be sufficient variety and quality to attract a crowd of collectors. A pair of William & Mary candlesticks from 1690 are just 16cm high but are guided at £9000-12000; a fine Art Deco sapphire and diamond brooch is expected to make £2000-3000; a large Daum glass vase in the Groseille (gooseberry) pattern is estimated at £5000-8000; a pair of Oriental cloisonné enamel candlesticks in the form of cranes could fly away at £3000-4000 whilst a mottled jade celadon boulder with intricate carving could make £2500-3000.
Elsewhere, a fine watercolour by Myles Birket Foster could top £10,000; a set of five George I walnut chairs should make £3000-4000 and a Yomud Asmalyk hanging for a Turkmen wedding is estimated at £500-800. Alex Butcher, the firm’s silver specialist, selects a humble but early apostle spoon as his highlight [see image]. “It dates from 1513 during the reign of Henry VIII and will be of interest to collectors as a very early example of English hallmarked silver – the date letter system to identify the year of manufacture was only introduced in 1478 and marked pieces from the early 16th Century are scarce at auction,” he explains. For the more modest collector, a handsome bronze bust of Charles Dickens is expected to make just £150 – and 2012 is the bicentenary of his birth in 1812 [see image]. The sale runs from January 17th-20th and nearly 500 lots of books, maps and manuscripts will follow on February 2nd. See the whole sale online at www.lawrences.co.uk
Jewels look set to sparkle again at Lawrences’ auction in Crewkerne next week. Estimates start at just £100 and there are hundreds of lots on offer, including appealing mixed lots of costume jewellery; wrist watches by Breitling, Omega, Rolex and others; pocket watches in gold and silver; scores of rings set with diamonds, emeralds and sapphires; bracelets, brooches and necklaces; and tiepins, cufflinks and dress studs.
Highlights include some fine pieces of Art Deco jewellery: a diamond double clip brooch, set with diamonds in platinum, is guided at £800-1000; a sapphire and diamond brooch should make £1500; and a Viennese circular brooch set with diamonds and a large sapphire is estimated at £2000-3000 [see image 1180]. The Art Nouveau style is well represented by an enamel and gem set swallow brooch (£5000-6000), an enamel winged scarab brooch (£300-400) and a pair of enamel and silver earrings by Liberty & Co at just £60-80.
Animals abound: there is a diamond brooch in the form of a monkey (£200-300), an enamel and gold horse and jockey brooch by Lacloche (£1500-2000); another gold and enamel brooch of a bird at a nest (£250-300), an emerald and diamond brooch in the form of a glistening frog(£800-900) [see image 1071], an insect brooch with moonstones for its body (£40-60), a gold pendant depicting a horse’s head (£200-250), a gold and gem set bracelet in the form of a snake (£1000-1200) and an enamel and gold brooch with a pheasant (£200-300).
A fine group of rings includes an Edwardian solitaire diamond ring, with a 1.92 carat stone (£6000-7000); a 4.62 carat Sri Lankan sapphire and diamond cluster ring (£6000-8000); and an emerald and diamond three stone ring (£3500-4000).
Finally, a silver and silver gilt cigarette case by Cartier set with the coronet for Elizabeth and Albert (later George VI and Queen Elizabeth) is tempting at £300-400 whilst a parcel gilt brooch by celebrated contemporary sculptor Philip Jackson is entitled “The Don” and carries a similar estimate to bring the sale right up to date. See it all online at www.lawrences.co.uk and viewing for the auction begins on Friday January 13th.