Monday 18th June, 2018
One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales, 
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales


A very rare doll which has been hidden in a trunk in a West Dorset attic is to be sold by Lawrences auctioneers of Crewkerne.
Made by the famous Gebruder Heubach factory in Germany, the doll is an automaton with a clockwork mechanism which moves the doll from side to side and moves her arms. The doll originally would have rocked a baby to sleep in her arms, and although this original baby doll is missing it is still a very unusual example. The Heubach family purchased an existing porcelain factory in the 19th century, and from around 1910 began producing character head dolls of superb quality.
The doll was discovered in a trunk with a number of other porcelain head dolls by a West Dorset family, and have remained untouched for many years. Also in the trunk was a Simon & Halbig doll, two minature dolls in a miniature brass bed, and other examples.
Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "It is very rare to see an automaton doll with moving parts, particularly in such untouched condition. It should attract alot of interest from collectors both in the Uk and abroad. We have been very fortunate to sell some wonderful dolls in the last few years and unusual dolls still attract very good prices."
The doll will be sold in Lawrences Autumn Collectors Sale, for further information about this sale please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.

Rare Concertina Set to Strike the Right Note in Auction...


A wonderful concertina is to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.


Made by Charles Jeffries a famous maker of concertinas in the 19th century, this 39 button instrument comes complete with it's original leather case.


Jeffries was born in Middlesex and after starting life as a brushmaker, began mending and making instruments in the 1860's and soon became well known for his high quality instruments. This particular example dates to around 1890 and has survived in excellent condition.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "Early concertinas are extremally sought after by collectors, and examples by Jeffries appear rarely in auction. Some of his works have made several thousand in auction and i would expect a huge ammount of interest when the item comes up for sale"


The concertina will be sold in Lawrences Autumn Collectors Sale and is expected to make £800-1200 in auction, for further information please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.



A wonderful bronze of a dog by a leading Russian sculptor is to be sold by Lawrences auctioneers of Crewkerne.


The bronze was made by Prince Paulo Troubetzkoy (1866-1938), a member of the Princely Trobetzkoy family prior to the Russian revolution. Educated in Italy he worked in Russia, England, and America, and was a painter as well as a sculptor. He was particularly well known for his animal subjects, but perhaps is best known for the the monumental statue of Tsar Alexander III which was unveiled in St Petersburg in 1909.


Troubetzkoy was a friend of of Leo Tolstoy and George Bernard Shaw, with Shaw describing him as "the most astonishing sculptor of modern times"


This bronze depicts a bloodhound and is signed and dated for 1893.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "This is a wonderful bronze, and will appeal to both Russian collectors and dog enthusiasts. His items appear rarely in auction and it should attract a huge amount of interest."


The bronze will be sold in Lawrences Sporting auction on November 3rd, and is expected to make £2000-3000 in auction. For further information about this sale please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.

Private Train Collection To Be Sold...


A wonderful small collection of high quality locomotives are to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.


Entered for sale by a client in Somerset, the collection includes five high quality locomotives which a gentleman has collected over the last twenty years.


Included is a King George V Great Western locomotive and tender made by the Aster Hobby Company, and a locomotive and tender made by Ace Trains. Also included are three earlier Bassett-Lowke examples, two of which retain their original boxes.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "This is a wonderful group of model trains. The Astor Hobby Company and Ace train examples were extremely expensive to buy new, and as a consequence were only collected by very serious collectors. The Bassett-Lowke trains always command interest, and these examples are in very good condition"


These trains will be sold in Lawrences Autumn Collectors sale in a large train section. For further details please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.



A wonderful signed cricket bat is to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.


The bat includes 17 signatures from the 1948 Australian Cricket Team, and was won at a raffle in Lancashire at a Rugby Club which the team had attended during the tour. The signatures are signed in ink and include legendary names such as Don Bradman, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall, Neil Harvey, Lindsey Hassett, and many more.


This team was dubbed "The Invincibles" having completed a long tour without any defeats, and was the first Australian touring side after the second world war. This was Don Bradmans final tour with him famously recording a duck in his final test innings, and finishing with an average of 99.94. They are still considered one of the greatest teams in cricket history.


This bat passed to a friend in Somerset and is appearing in auction for the first time.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "This is a wonderful piece of Cricket memorabilia and should attract alot of interest in the UK and Australia. Cricket items continue to be extremally popular in auction with high prices achieved for early autographs, bats, and Wisdens"


The bat will be sold in Lawrences Autumn Collectors Sale and is estimated at £300-500. For further enquires please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.


The Animals Came in Two by Two....

A wonderful 19thc Noah's Ark is to be sold by Lawrences of Crewkerne.


Probably made in Germany, the Ark is made in pine and hand painted with windows and doors. It also comes with a number of animals and even includes Noah and his wife!


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "We rarely see Noah's Ark's in auction and when 19thc examples appear there is always alot of interest from collectors. Our collectors sales are growing ever more popular with prices for toys and collectables continuing to be high"


It will be sold in Lawrences Autumn Collectors Sale, for further information please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.

Animal Magic at Lawrences...

A love of animals encouraged a Wiltshire lady to collect `animalier` bronzes and metalwork and, over a period of years, she amassed a remarkable diversity of items. Over fifty lots will appear in Lawrences' autumn auction in Crewkerne and the auctioneers hope that most collectors' tastes will be met by the variety on offer.


There is a cold painted bronze fox to catch a huntsman's eye (£60-100), an Austrian desk bell mounted with a bronze model of a French bulldog (£250-350), a trumpeting elephant in bronze (£250-350), an elegant Russian wolfhound on a marble plinth (£200-250) and a French inkstand modelled with two horses (£300-500). In addition, there is an inkwell in the form of a tortoise, an Italian paperclip set with a grouse, bronze cats, horses, stags, metal ducks, pheasants, a pair of bronze spring hares, a silvered model of a pigeon and a further pair of bronze pigeons.


Dogs were acquired keenly: bidders can choose from all manner of working dogs and toy dogs ranging from pugs, whippets and greyhounds (see image, £150-250) to fox terriers, a Manchester terrier, retrievers and setters in the £50-250 range. A Jennens and Bettridge signed papier mache dish is adorned with a charming portrait of a pug dog (£60-100) and there is even a tin tray painted with a dog portrait (£50-70). There are also walking sticks from the same owner with elaborate handles of dogs' heads (£100-150), bookends in the form of bronze horses (£100-150), a bronze matchstriker of a horse's head (£150-200), a handsome inkwell in the form of a boar's head (£100-200) and -  should you have run out of space to display anything more  - three small portrait miniatures of dogs will not take up much room (£80-120). Estimates for the collection are mainly in the £50-500 range.

Silver Soars in Sensational Sale...

Lawrences in Crewkerne offered nearly 1500 lots of silver and vertu over two days last week and some enthusiastic bidding yielded over £900,000 towards the week's total of over £1.6 million.


Highlights were many: one unexpected price was for a rare`cannon-handled` serving spoon by Anthony Nelme which dated from 1686. The unusual design pushed bids to a remarkable £13,800 (estimate £2500-3000). A rare Charles I stump top spoon, c.1625-1630, took £9800; a suite of six spoons by Jeremy Johnson and Daniel Cary dated from 1630-1652 and made a mid-estimate £7100; a Guild of Handicrafts green glass inkwell with silver mounts made £2300; and a fine quality Chinese tea set from c.1900 more than doubled expectations to take £6200.


Two very different bird-related lots ruffled the feathers of excited collectors. A Victorian novelty inkstand in the form of a long-eared owl flew up to £4700. This was dwarfed by a mighty 18" high cast model of a Gyr falcon upon a bronze base by Messrs Reily and Storer that dated from 1846. The silver alone in this lot weighed 99oz and it soared above its £8000-12000 estimate to make £20,500 (see image). Ounce for ounce, though, top honours went to an exquisite Victorian nutmeg grater in the form of a strawberry. It was just 1.5" long and weighed 0.6oz but was gobbled up at £7170: that's just under £12,000 per ounce.


This tiny item set the tone for the following day when the auctioneers offered a collection of novelty silver that included many similarly small items of superb quality and design. Gordon Bramah made his first purchase in 1983 and amassed 800 lots of rare and intriguing silver: amidst a mass of four-figure prices in the auction, top lots included a William III counter box with 36 engraved counters (£4400); a Charles II `penner` for holding quills, c.1670-1680 (£4300); a French pocket dial from c.1730-1750 (£3500); a rare box-shaped nutmeg grater (£7800); a pocket `game` counter for recording kills on a day's shoot (£5600); a George III Irish snuff boxby Joseph Gibson of Cork (£3700); and another from 1805 commemorating Nelson's death at Trafalgar (£5600). All fitted easily in the palm of a hand but one of the smallest items of all was a tiny stamp case, its cover little bigger than the sixpenny lilac stamp that adorned it. It was under 1.5" long and weighed barely half an ounce but was bought for just a few pounds under £900. 



A collection of antique dolls are to be sold by Lawrences of Crewkerne.


Compiled by a collector in the South West over the last 30 years, the collection includes over 20 bisque head dolls, dolls clothing, and dolls reference books.


Highlights include two rare SFBJ Character Head dolls, a Simon & Halbig Oriental doll, and a variety of other bisque head dolls, and wax and composition head dolls. Other factories included in the sale include Armand Marseille, Kammer & Reinhardt, Max Handwerck, Gebruder Knoch, and many others.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "This is a very interesting collection and includes some rare examples which appear rarely in auction. Unusual dolls still attract very high prices and we have been fortunate to sell some very good examples in the last few years."


The dolls will be sold in a large Doll and Teddy Bear section of Lawrences Autumn Collectors Sale. For further information about this sale please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041. 


The image shows a Simon & Halbig Oriental Doll



A wonderful rare Parisian doll by Schmitt, is amongst the highlights of Lawrences Of Crewkerne Collectors sale in November.


Made around 1860-1880 the doll has a porcelain swival head and leather body and limbs. It comes in it's original clothing, which appears to be a wedding dress, and is carrying a posy in it's hand.


The doll is part of a large section of antique dolls in the forthcoming collectors sale, on the 3rd and 4th of November.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "This is an extremally rare doll and comes in excellent condition considering it's age. Parisian dolls are highly sought after and we are expecting alot of interest from collectors"


The doll is estimated at £2000-3000, for further information about this sale please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.

Addenda and Errata for our November Militaria & Collectors Sale...

To view the Addenda and Errata for our Miltaria and Collectors Sale on the 3rd and 4th November 2011, please select the 'Auctions' tab above and then select 'Current Sales'.  The addendum can then be viewed by selecting the appropriate sale date.


Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne will be selling a huge number of Trains in their Autumn Collectors sale.


Compiled mostly from three private collections, the sale will include 200-300 lots of assorted Trains and accesories. Factories represented in the sale include, Hornby, Wrenn, Bassett-Lowke, Lima, Bachmann, Mainline, Airfix, Scratch built locomotives, and many more. Estimates range from £50- £2000 with items to suit everyones pocket.


The trains are part of a two day Militaria and Collectors Sale on the 3rd and 4th of November, with over 1000 lots over the two days.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "We have been inundated with trains for this sale and after the success of our Spring collectors sale in May, people have been keen to enter items for our Autumn sale. Trains continue to be extremally popular in auction, and our collectors sales attract a huge number of buyers"


For further enquiries please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.

Diamonds Still in Sparkling Form...

An 800-lot selection of jewellery and ceramics, offered recently at Lawrences in Crewkerne, produced a wealth of strong bidding and high prices. With diamonds and gold continuing to perform well, top honours went to a pair of diamond stud earrings, the stones weighing approximately 4.03 carats in total: they made £9560. A diamond two stone crossover ring doubled expectations to make £6690 and a 1.2 carat solitaire ring with a baguette-cut diamond upon each shoulder made £4660.  A two row graduated necklace was composed of cultured and natural pearls and made over three times its estimate at £4420, whilst a carved shell cameo bracelet made £3340 and a superb keyless Swiss minute repeating pocket watch made a mid-estimate £4300.


Top lot in a well-received selection of Decorative Arts was a `Ceylan` vase by Lalique decorated with parakeets in distinctive opalescent and frosted glass (£4300). A Liberty Arts and Crafts mantel clock in a domed pewter case and with an enamelled copper dial made £1050 and a Doulton Lambeth `tyg` (a large three-handled cylindrical mug), decorated by Edgar Wilson and Mary Aitken was bought for £1050.


Amongst the other ceramics, a pair of Meissen tea bowls and saucers were bought for £2270 and a first period Worcester guglet and basin in the Willow Bridge Fisherman pattern made £810. Oriental works of art continue to sell keenly when rarity and flawless condition come together in a beautifully made piece: a 13-inch piece of carved bamboo depicting Shou Lao made £1790; a Qianlong blue and white charger made £2980; a Kangxi famille verte bowl decorated with a cavalry skirmish fought its way to £4060; a barrel seat painted with fruiting pomegranate and exotic birds made £4300; and a large famille rose vase of onion shape painted in a glorious turquoise green, possibly Jiaqing (1760-1820), made £2980 (see image).

A set of four Chinese hardwood panels with intricate carving were framed together within a hardwood frame. It was the frame that proved to be the greater attraction as it was made of the rare zitan wood. Zitan is extremely scarce because it is unusually slow growing. It is a pale purple colour in its natural state and so was reserved for imperial items only in the Qing dynasty. It is also very dense (it sinks in water) and its hardness means that it can be finely carved. The panels in their 26 by 38-inch zitan frame made just under £11,000 to end the day on a high note.

Clock Makes Striking Price...

The final day of Lawrences’ enormous, 2800-lot Autumn Fine Art sale in Crewkerne saw a further plethora of high prices. The sale began with pictures and prints: highlights included £3940 for two Elisabeth Frink prints of owls; £5370 for two rare lots of Edward Wadsworth prints, no examples of which had appeared at auction for over 20 years; £5000 for a small watercolour of Assouan on the Nile by Edward Lear; £20,000 for two watercolours by John Piper from his rare, earlier period in the 1930’s and 1940’s; £35,250 for two oils by Edouard Cortes of French landscape scenes from a Bristol vendor; and £26,200 for the impressively decorative 17th Century still life that adorned the front cover, by an artist in the style of Abraham Brueghel (1631-1690). A fine view of Newlyn by the little-known Robert Borlase Smart set a new high for the artist’s work when it was contested to £7400. There was under 15% unsold.


In the subsequent selection of clocks, an ebonised and brass mounted bracket clock by Samuel Mortlock of Clapham made £7520 (see illustration); a chronometer by McGregor and Co of Glasgow, Liverpool and London made £6090; and a fine stick barometer by R. Adie of Liverpool made £5610. Other highlights from the furniture section included an Indian teak table box (£2620); a painted plaster bust of Machiavelli (£3100); a collection of moths and butterflies contained in 20 drawers of a mahogany cabinet (£2740); a George III oak dresser (£3580); a mahogany breakfront sideboard from the same era (£7880); a George I burr walnut chest of drawers (£7400); and a large Chinese-pattern carpet, possibly woven in Persia (£4660). The day’s total exceeded £450,000.


Van Gogh Link In Crewkerne Auction...

It is rare to find anything to do with Vincent Van Gogh in a provincial auction room but Lawrences in Crewkerne have four pictures for sale that give a glimpse of the great artist's final weeks. A Dorset descendant of Dutchman Anton Matthias Hirschig (1867-1939) has consigned four pictures for the firm's October auction.


Hirschig was a friend of Vincent Van Gogh, to whom he was also related via Anton Mauve, a mutual kinsman and fellow artist. "For about six weeks, the young Hirschig - just 23 years old - lived in the room next door to Van Gogh in the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers and was even mentioned in Van Gogh's very last letter to his brother, Theo," explains Lawrences's specialist, Richard Kay. "Hirschig and Van Gogh conversed in Dutch at the inn (as Hirschig's French was poor) but Van Gogh felt that the younger painter was too quickly distracted by pretty girls and was not very serious about becoming a dedicated professional artist. After Van Gogh committed suicide in July 1890, family anecdote relates that Hirschig walked through the night from Auvers to Paris in order to inform Theo of his brother's death and subsequently assisted with funeral arrangements before leaving Auvers for good. Despite this apparent loyalty, Hirschig is nonetheless recorded as writing `tout etait terrible chez cet homme.. je ne l'ai jamais vu sourire` (`everything was awful in that man's room ... I never saw him smile`) and it seems that the two artists' friendship was rather strained, regardless of their blood ties. The link with Van Gogh was undoubtedly a formative element in Hirschig's style but, of course, Van Gogh died almost unknown so Hirschig was not aware of how illustrious his distant cousin was to become until some years had passed. These are delightful subjects, quite calm in comparison with Van Gogh's fiery Post-Impressionism, and I expect that they will be appreciated on their own merits. We hope for interest from the Netherlands and France as Hirschig's work is rare at auction."


The pictures on offer were painted after Van Gogh's death in about 1910-1920 and show hints of Van Gogh's Pont Aven style. A serene image of a lady seated by a river is guided at £500-700, a contemplative oil of a lady before a mirror in a bedroom is expected to make £400-600 (see image) and two smaller oils are gauged at just £300-400. The sale closes for entries in early September.


A very rare `maquette` (or bronze model) for Dame Elisabeth Frink's famous tribute to the Dorset Martyrs in Dorchester is to be auctioned by Lawrences of Crewkerne in October. The 1983 bronze stands just 13" (33cm high) and depicts two of the Catholic martyrs being approached by the cowled figure of Death. Only eight of these bronzes were ever made and none has appeared at auction for over 20 years.


Amongst many others, seven Catholics are known to have died for their consciences and their beliefs on that spot at South Walks in Dorchester, now a leafy residential avenue. Thomas Pilchard (priest), William Pyke (carpenter), John Cornelius (priest), Hugh Green (priest) and Thomas Bosgrave, John Carey and Patrick Salmon (three Royal servants) were all hanged between March 1587 and August 1642. 


"Pilchard, Pike and Green are recorded as being tortured, imprisoned, hung on the gallows, then cut down, butchered cruelly upon a block, their limbs ripped from their bodies, the guts spilled and their maimed corpses paraded before a barbaric crowd," says Richard Kay at Lawrences. "Cornelius was judged to be too holy a man to be so brutally dismembered. He alone was permitted to pray, but then he was hanged, cut down when dead and finally disembowelled. His head was then nailed to the gallows for 15 days, so his treatment was still cruel beyond belief."


The inspiration for the bronze came from the persistent request of nuns in the Convent of St. Genevieve in Dorchester who had sought a martyrs' memorial for years. The County Museum in Dorchester then commissioned Frink. It was this grim and evil episode from Dorset's darkest history that inspired convent-educated Frink but the finished large bronze group on display in Dorchester differs from this maquette as Frink's understanding of the theme developed.

"This solemn figure group has a serene grandeur that belies its relatively small size," adds Richard. "Frink's sculptures are able to embrace simultaneously the conflicting themes of vigorous strength, seen in the determined figure of Death, and the delicate vulnerability of the humbly pious martyrs. Here, the quiet nobility of Auguste Rodin's famous "Burghers of Calais" meets the subtly stylised forms of Diego Giacometti. Even in this small maquette, the space between the figures imparts a tension. That is more impressively magnified in the large finished group amidst which the modern observer can stroll and connect afresh with the tragic deaths of Dorset martyrs four centuries ago." 


The bronze, purchased by the vendor's mother from an exhibition of Frink's work on Portland in May 1991, is expected to realise £25000-35000.

Rare Prints Should Be A Blast...

Two rare prints by a distinguished British artist are to be offered in Lawrences' autumn Fine Art sale. Edward Wadsworth (1889-1949) was a member of the British Vorticist movement (the subject of a major exhibition at Tate Britain this summer) and one of the first British abstract artists.


"Having been invalided home in 1917, he travelled between Liverpool and London during the Great War  and was inspired by the industrial wastelands and belching factories he saw in the West Midlands that reminded him of the scenes he had witnessed on the battlefield," says Lawrences' specialist, Richard Kay. "His drawings from the tour were exhibited in London in 1920 and a book of prints entitled "The Black Country" was published in 1920." The copy at Lawrences contains a fine woodcut and is from an edition of just 50 that were signed by Wadsworth. No copy has appeared at auction for over 35 years. In addition, a very rare woodcut entitled "Blast Furnaces" (1919) is signed and titled by him. Wadsworth added a pale orange wash to capture the redness of the sky over industrial factories. No version of this print has been seen at auction for over 20 years. The two lots are expected to make over £2500 on October 14th. In addition, the sale includes rare prints by Goya, Wenceslaus Hollar, Salvador Dali, Elisabeth Frink, Eric Ravilious, Stanley Hayter and Francis Dodd.


The Bramah Collection Catalogue Now On-Line...

To view the catalogue for The Bramah Collection on the 11th October 2011, please select the 'Auctions' tab above and then select 'Current Sales'.  The catalogue can then be viewed by selecting the catalogue link to view. 

Silver Collection Is A Goldmine...


A remarkable collection of silver will be offered at Lawrences in Crewkerne on October 11th. The 800 lots were assembled with an appetite for curiosity by Gordon Bramah over a period of twenty eight years. Bramah's background in engineering and metalwork lent a sense of wonder to his admiration for a window display in London's Burlington Arcade in 1983. He was in an expansive state of mind following a visit to his Savile Row tailors and made a purchase that began a three-decade fascination for small items of silver that appealed to Bramah's love of good design and ingenuity.


"Wherever possible, Bramah focused upon items of British origin," explains Alex Butcher at Lawrences. "He preferred good craftsmanship and design to mere ornamentation and he realised that he had to limit his collection's size by concentrating upon small pieces to hold in the hand. There are no tea services, no salvers, no candelabra and no punchbowls. Instead, there is a myriad variety of novelty pieces that delight the eye. With excellent judgment, Bramah's area of interest coincides perfectly with the greatest strengths of the market today: many collectors seek small, beautifully made silver curios but supply cannot meet demand." On October 11th, many collectors' appetites will be satisfied by the sheer variety on offer: there are bookmarks, card cases, nutmeg graters, vinaigrettes, snuff boxes, whistles, scent bottles, inkwells and a great deal more besides.


Bramah's determination to find the most unusual pieces yielded some rarities. Highlights are many but attention will focus upon small and relatively affordable  but functional items such as a "Forbes Patent" bookmark which has spring-loaded arms and a stem for insertion into the spine of a book (£150-200); a card case with a spring action to release the card with a squeeze (£100-150); and a simple little egg topper for snipping the top off a boiled egg (£90-120). The inventiveness of the silversmith's mind never ceases to amaze the browser: there is an ivory-handled orange peeler (£150-200); a double-ended egg cup for a hen's egg or a goose egg (£150-200); a travelling inkwell in the form of an egg, less than 2" long (£300-400); a novelty pepper in the form of a walnut upon tiny bun feet (£250-300); a hairpin tray in the form of a minute pig at a trough, the whole just over 3" long (£200-300); a smoker's compendium modelled as a punt with a silver stick-back chair and an enamelled flagon aboard (£1200-1600); and a stamp box in the form of a miniature two-drawer side table, less than 2.5" wide (£300-350).


Amongst these (principally) Victorian and Edwardian pieces, there are beautifully engineered lots by earlier masters. A rare William IV self-filling fountain pen (£2000-2500); a George III bosun's whistle by Samuel Godbehere (£1200-1600); an exceptional vinaigrette commemorating Nelson's victory at Trafalgar (£3000-4000); a cased churchwarden's pipe once that belonged to a president of "The Smoking Society" (£2000-2500); a late 17th Century mace-shaped thimble and needle case combined (£1500-2000); and a Butterfield-type pocket sundial from the late 18th Century showing latitudes for 24 European cities (£1700-2000) will all appeal to the wealthier connoisseur collectors.


Some designs are very rare indeed such as a scarce Victorian snuff box that allows the user to dispense a pinch of snuff with one hand and with no mess (£1200-1600) and scent flask in the form of a tulip (£2500-3000) but only a handful of items are of too mysterious a design to be `deciphered` today. A curious but elegantly shaped late Victorian box has a pointed end with a small roller, a flip-up cover at the other and is less than 2" long. It may be for dispensing pills but its rarity could push the price beyond its estimate of £250-350.


Bramah's storage solution for his amazing collection was solved with his acquisition of the very final lot in the sale: a neat but solid Victorian mahogany two door surgeon's cabinet fitted with seven internal drawers that stands 28.5" high and 25" wide. It holds all 800 lots and is expected to add £600 to a collection that may exceed £400,000.


Image shows a selection of items from the collection with estimates ranging from £300-3000 each.




Porcelain Packs a Punch at Auction...

A good selection of Chinese armorial porcelain is expected to attract interest from the Far East in Lawrences' auction next week. "These impressively decorated items were often commissioned by Directors of the East India Company, Governors of Madras or Bombay, Captains of the East Indiamen ships sailing to China, their managers and even by Lord Mayors of London," explains Lawrences' director, Richard Gold. "In the 18th Century, two in every three Governors of Madras owned or commissioned a huge service of decorated porcelain, each piece carefully painted with their family crest or coat of arms. Within those families where the elder son inherited a title and land, the younger son needed to seek his fortune in commerce and so joined the East India Company and commissioned a service for himself. Inevitably, these services were dispersed down the generations but we have a delightful teapot emblazoned with the arms of Cholmondeley quartering Wentworth (£800-900), another with the arms of Cowper (or Cooper) with a printed armorial in a frame (£600-700), a pair of plates with the arms of Lowndes (of Lowndes Square, London, see illustration) estimated at £600-800 and a pair of octagonal plates with the arms of Fecher impaling Beale (£800-1000). In addition, there is a chocolate cup (£100-200), a meat plate (£1000-2000), a vegetable tureen and cover (£500-600), a coffee cup, a tea cup and a sauce tureen with cover, all decorated with the arms of illustrious families from the 18th Century. These exquisite pieces of porcelain offer a glimpse of the gilded lifestyles and extravagance of wealthy families of the period as well as the superb skills of the Chinese craftsmen who made and painted them." Enquiries to (01460) 73041.