Wednesday 23rd May, 2018
One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales, 
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales


Lawrences in Crewkerne offered one of their largest selections of pictures in a recent auction  and there was keen interest across the board, from Old Masters to Modern Masterpieces.

Two topographical watercolours reflected the demand for high quality names: a faded watercolour by William Callow, depicting a scene in northern Italy, made £7070 and a monochrome drawing by William Daniell of `The King’s Gardens, Allahabad` made £9270. A 17th Century Italian still life of fruit and flowers in the style of Giuseppe Recco made £9760 and a portrait of Thomas Pelham-Holles, Ist Duke of Newcastle under Lyne, by William Hoare of Bath made £12800. A Royal Academy exhibit by the little-known artist Everton Sainsbury entitled `The Lady Geraldine had strayed..` dated from 1882 and set a new high for the artist’s work by taking £10,400. An atmospheric watercolour of a farm at Garn Fadryn (Cardiganshire) by celebrated Welsh artist Sir Kyffin Williams was purchased at an exhibition of the artist’s work in 1998. It made five times as much as the buyer had paid by reaching £5360.

Four exceptional linocuts by Walter Greengrass dated from 1933-1935 and made record-breaking prices. Dynamic, colourful, inventive and highly distinctive, the four prints totalled £39,700 with the top price paid for `Seaside Morning` from 1935 that took £14640.


Lawrences’ recent Jewellery auction in Crewkerne yielded some very strong prices, especially for some fine quality lots from a private collection in the West Country.

An 18ct gold keyless minute repeating pocket watch by Patek Philippe had links in its provenance to Sir Henry Bernhard Samuelson, a Liberal politician from the Victorian era. This watch made £18300. A more modern timepiece was a Gentleman’s stainless steel pre-moon Speedmaster chronograph wristwatch by Omega that tripled expectations to take £9150.

Four outstanding lots from the end of the sale provided a suitable series of highlights: a black opal and diamond brooch made £9500; and a sapphire and diamond three stone ring made £14640. The lots from a private collection had belonged to the vendor’s mother and grandmother and had been kept in a safe deposit box in the bank for about the last 30 years: a diamond three stone ring doubled its estimate at £18300; and a Victorian diamond riviere necklace, set with 61 old brilliant-cut stones, also comfortably exceeded its top estimate to take £25600. The collection of nine lots totalled just under £77,000 with every lot sold.


Our recent sale of Decorative Arts and Ceramics saw strong prices for old and new, from East to West.

Lawrences has already sold a few of the rare Dunhill `Aquarium` lighters and a further example, decorated with fish amongst seaweeds in a watery `lucite` setting, made £4140. A bronze and ivory Art Deco figure of a child sheltering under an umbrella made £3410. The best prices within the ceramics section came once again from Oriental items: a Chinese famille rose bottle vase made £5120; another larger example made £3530; a small pale celadon jade screen, the size of a matchbox, made £3660; and a rose bowl, enamelled with peonies, made £11,220. But it was a Japanese Satsuma vase by Kinkozan Tsukuru, Meiji peiod (1868-1912), elaborately and decoratively painted with birds, flowers, poultry and processions, that took the day’s top price at £12800 against much eager and competitive bidding.


A recent busy day of sales saw nearly 700 lots of silver, vertu and snuff boxes go under the hammer.

Highlights included £1830 paid for a simple but imposing lidded tankard by Matthew Lofthouse from 1717; £2800 for a pair of George II `Rococo` candlesticks by Ebenezer Coker (1750); and £2440 for a Belgian coffee pot, possibly Bruges, c.1740.  Smaller items were similarly in demand: a novelty vinaigrette in the form of a walnut and barely an inch (2.5cm) long made £1460 whilst a Scottish hardstone vinaigrette from c.1840-1850 was a little smaller still and made £2190. A Regency miniature, approximately the size of a postcard, depicting a seated lady admiring a lover’s portrait as a black servant stands at her side, doubled hopes to make £700 whilst a lot of three small ivory items included a portrait of Louis XIV and made £1460.

A very good private collection of snuff boxes followed  and nearly all found buyers with top prices paid for an Irish example by Benjamin Stokes of Dublin (£3660), another Irish freedom box from c.1766 (£3660); a Charles II counter box with a couple of dozen counters also made £3660. The day’s top price was for a George II snuff mull made by Hugh Ross of Tain (Highlands), c.1750, 2” (5.5cm) high: this took £9760.


When John and Patricia McKenzie began collecting vesta cases in the 1960s, they could not have anticipated that they would eventually acquire over 2500 of the desirable little match holders. After half a century of keen buying (and having sold the first half of the collection last January), the second half of the collection went under the hammer and met with keen enthusiasm from a new generation of devotees.

There were 1500 individual cases on offer in an enormous variety of types and styles, divided carefully into 380 lots. “There were gold vestas, enamelled silver vestas, figurals, the so-called ‘go-to-beds’, book match holders, matchbox holders, combination vestas, trick-opening vestas, Japanese & American vestas, glass, porcelain, bronze, brass, tin, celluloid wrap-arounds and  French `naughty nineties` vestas - in fact just about every sort you can think of,” enthuses Alex Butcher, specialist who had catalogued each and every one. “The inventiveness of the designers was remarkable. There were vesta cases in the shape of violins, fishes, boots, revolvers, skulls, champagne corks, pianos, Egyptian sarcophagi, Prime Ministers, rodents, rocking horses and post boxes.”

Highlights included a box from 1887 with an enamelled coaching scene, a silvergilt and enamelled `Egyptian` figurine and an 1892 case enamelled with a mounted hussar that made £1890. This second sale total exceeded £90,000 with very few lots unsold.