One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales,
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales
With over 300 years of combined experience, our Specialist Valuers will be available to value your antiques at our Head Office and Salerooms in CREWKERNE, EVERY MONDAY - 9.30am - 12.30pm.
Simon Jones (General Valuations & Collectors Items) and one of our Jewellery Specialists, will be available to value your items EVERY FRIDAY - 9.00am - 11.30am at The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, TAUNTON.
FREE HOME VISITS - Chris Flower will be in MINEHEAD on the LAST THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH to value your antiques. Complete house contents and attic clearances arranged. Please call to make an appointment. Tel: 01460 73041.
Over 570 lots of silver were on offer at Lawrences in Crewkerne recently and, after a very busy view with scores of viewers and hundreds of enquiries, the auctioneers found buyers for most lots, reporting a keen level demand that reflects a bustling and buoyant market.
The sale was notable for a number of small private collections within it that proved to be just what buyers wanted. A collection of modern sculpted animal figure groups by Patrick Mavros of Zimbabwe all sold, with the top price being £1000 for a pair of bull elephants, just under 7-inches across.
A collection of modern silver items by celebrated designer Stuart Devlin did well, with £700 paid for a silvergilt quaich from 1972. A small collection of cream jugs saw a double estimate £410 paid for an 1831 example by Charles Fox and a rare group of silver by the Courtaulds, a Huguenot family of silversmiths, also sold well with a George II `rocaille` kettle on stand boiling up to £1950. A private collection of snuff boxes and snuff mulls was led by a William & Mary snuff or spice box from c.1690 set with a polished agate that made £1700. An appealing group of fine portrait miniatures from a private collection made strong prices, with a dashing portrait of a young gentleman by George Engleheart doubling hopes to take £2070.
Three further items from other sources helped the sale to an impressive total: an 18th Century Armenian saucer with enamel decoration made £6100; a beautifully crafted tiny silver vesta case in the form of a skull made £2400; and a small enamelled silver vesta case in the form of a Hussars officer within a sentry box made collectors stand to attention when it was bought for £4140.
Lawrences' auctions of Jewellery are always keenly viewed and demand from private buyers has been rising but results from the firm's recent sale show a great strength right across the board and there were many high prices to indicate that gold and diamonds are more popular than ever.
A lady's diamond and gold wristwatch by Boucheron ticked over expectations to make £5120 and a jade and diamond pendant was just the right balance of quality and colour to make £10,900. A gold micromosaic necklace decorated with birds and flowers in minutely cut `tesserae` took £9270. A Victorian diamond cruciform pendant set with cushion-shaped old brilliant-cut stones attracted determined bidding to make £7320 but a trio of high prices at the end of the sale proved to be amongst the highest of the sale: an emerald and diamond cluster ring exceeded hopes of £4000-6000 to make over £9200; a Georgian diamond tiara with rose-cut diamonds exemplified elegant style and made £15,250 whilst a 5.5 carat emerald-cut diamond solitaire ring sparkled brightly as the price reached just over £22,500.
Nearly 300 lots of pictures and prints were under the hammer at Lawrences in Crewkerne recently, spanning five centuries of art.
With vigorous bidding across the board, the sale was over 85% sold and there were many high prices, notably from collections with good private provenance.
A bracing, breezy watercolour by Charles Napier Hemy, entitled `The Little Trawler` had been a Royal Academy exhibit in 1917 and sailed to £8540 whilst a rather different selection of twenty works of paper by celebrated illustrator and cartoonist Henry Mayo Bateman included a humorous drawing of `The Old Mountaineers`. This showed old retired climbers in a club seated atop chairs in the form of craggy pinnacles and the work reached its summit when it was bought for just over £4000. The collection of twenty drawings realised £24000.
A good group of 19th Century Continental pictures from a collection in the Channel Islands made a total of over £56000 and the top price was the £10,900 paid for a busy beach scene by Charles Leickert and the £10000 paid for a superbly detailed small oil of a minerals collector by Austrian artist Johann Hamza. Another collection from a London vendor included a big, bright still life by Mary Fedden. This 1988 oil led the collection by making £12800 (and the collection realised just over £39000.
Lastly, the studio of the late artist Ronald Jesty (1926-2016) comprised 25 lots of his work, some of it offered in big folios of unframed watercolours and sketches. Much admired by collectors in Somerset and Dorset for the neatness of his draughtsmanship, the inventiveness of his subject matter and the quality of his art teaching, Jesty’s work is nonetheless little known at auction. Every lot exceeded expectations but the top price was not paid for a typical landscape but for a remarkably detailed small picture of matchbook souvenirs. This was the most popular lot in the collection and one local private collector decided to strike out other bidders by bidding it to £730. The studio realised £9700 and introduced many new collectors to Jesty’s skills.
Lawrences’ Winter Fine auction spanned four days and comprised 2700 lots so it was a joy to see that the week’s highest price was reserved for the very last lot.
Following on from the pictures auction, works of art, clocks and furniture finished off a busy Friday (20th). A French gilt metal and glass mantel clock featured a winged god in a chariot pulled by swans: this elegant piece made £2800. A bronze of the infant Hercules with serpents was based upon a known variant by Francesco Fanelli (1590-1653) and this attracted many bids to make £8780. With a provenance from Limington House in Somerset, a Regency rosewood breakfront wardrobe, nearly 250cm wide, made just over £3000, selling in line with expectations, and an 18th Century Dutch marquetry bureau bookcase far exceeded hopes and made £14760. From further afield, a Chinese export black lacquered cabinet on stand made £3900. The day concluded with a small selection of rugs and carpets that included a large, room-sized Ziegler Mahal carpet from West Iran. Discovered in an out-house by Lawrences’ Director of Valuations Chris Flower during a routine home visit, there were some issues with its condition. However, these didn’t deter two determined internet bidders, from either side of the Atlantic, who ensured that the carpet topped the day with a multiple-estimate £19500 - perhaps a reflection of the strength of the American Dollar against Sterling.