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


The final day of Lawrences’ big autumn auction in Crewkerne comprised 550 lots of pictures, works of art and furniture.

There were many strong prices throughout the day, helped by considerable interest from live online bidding via the internet, but the room was also full of keen collectors from start to finish.

The print section began the day and a rare etching by Sir David Muirhead Bone, depicting the rebuilding of the roof at Charing Cross station in 1906, soared to £6930 whilst an original lithograph by L S Lowry made £3220. An exquisite little watercolour of a busy street scene in Cambridge by Louise Rayner was bid to £5130 and two modern works by John Piper and John Minton made £7760 and £8600 respectively. In the oil painting selection, a 1921 Royal Academy exhibit by Gerald Moira of boys ferreting had been consigned for sale by the artist’s family and was bought for £4900 whilst a deeply contemplative oil by French artist Etienne Piot, depicting a girl in prayer, made £7880. Similarly reflective in content was the highlight of the week: a magnificent Edwardian oil painting by John William Godward entitled “Summer Idleness: Day Dreams” made £382,000. Rediscovered after a long absence of over 55 years and consigned for sale by a Somerset lady, the picture attracted bids from British and American buyers and comfortably exceeded its estimate of £150,000-200,000.

In the afternoon, a painted carved wood model of a curlew by American master decoy carver A. Elmer Crowell fluttered up to £18160; and a magnificently crafted model of the French frigate `La Gloire`, fashioned from bone by French prisoners of war in c.1800, sailed to £17320 after keen interest from bidders across the world. Two further highlights were a fine George III mahogany commode with an elegantly sinuous serpentine front (£8600) and an exotic wood specimen cabinet with a marble top, the interior of which was fitted with twenty drawers for holding natural history discoveries, geological finds and similar curiosities. The outer doors were inset with numerous tablets of hardstones and the cabinet attracted no fewer than fourteen telephone bidders before being secured for £22700 [see image]. The day’s total exceeded £790,000 and the Crewkerne firm was delighted to report a sales total in excess of £1.5million from just four days of sales.


On the second day of Lawrences’ big autumn auction, jewellery and ceramics were on offer and the lure of the east led the day with the highest price. However, there were plenty of highlights elsewhere. Within the first twenty lots, a 108cm graduated amber bead necklace soared to £5000. A stainless steel `Reverso` watch by Jaeger Le Coultre also exceeded expectations to make £2620, whilst two gold and gem set bangles were pushed to £4900. Other strong prices included £3220 for a gold, enamel and gem set pendant; £6800 for a Burmese ruby and gold hinged bracelet; £5130 for a two stone diamond ring with 2.3 carats total weight; and £5000 for an emerald and diamond ring. The section’s top prices were for a 19th Century Colombian emerald and diamond bracelet (£14340, see image 1307) and a similar brooch at £7760. A beautifully crafted, eye-catching enamel portrait upon a gold and enamel bracelet was bid to £4420 to conclude the selection.

In the Ceramics section, a Royal Worcester coffee service decorated by James Stinton  made £2030; a collection of distinctive Troika, inspired by Cornish art and sorted into 19 lots, made £3650; a Derby `named view` tea service made £1790; two Meissen groups of children playing around a wine press and a barrel made £5130; a buyer took a stab at a fine quality Japanese bronze figure of a pikeman at £2270; and a small Chinese Chenghua bowl from the 15th Century made £1790. A Chinese famille rose vase was bid to £8120 but the day’s top price was for a pair of Doucai saucer dishes of the Kangxi period (1654-1722). The `doucai` term refers to complex blue and white underglazes overlaid with decoration in other colours after firing. The dishes, 32.5cm wide, were contested to £45400 (see image 1615) to provide a strong highlight for a successful day that exceeded £350,000.


A collection of Troika Pottery attracted huge interest at Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.

Entered by a client in South Somerset, the collection of 27 items had been collected by the couple over the last 20 years.

With interest from collectors in the saleroom and bidders on the internet, feverish bidding saw the collection make over £3000 on the day.

Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, “20th Century ceramics and glass continue to be extremely popular in auction, and our specialist sales always attract a huge amount of interest from collectors”.


The important re-discovery of a major Edwardian picture has delighted its Somerset owner when it was bought for £380,000 at Lawrences Auctioneers in Crewkerne [Somerset].

The 1909 picture, “Summer Idleness: Day Dreams” depicts a voluptuous Mediterranean beauty in a purple dress resting languorously upon a marble bench by an azure sea. It was painted with meticulous attention to detail by the celebrated but tragic artist John William Godward (1861-1922) and was last recorded at auction when it passed through Christies in London 75 years ago in 1937. It made just under £70 then, barely half of what the painting would have made during the artist’s own lifetime. After a short spell with London dealers Vicars Brothers, the picture was purchased by the vendor’s mother for £100 in 1957 from Harrods. Her daughter recalls that her mother had made an `impulse buy` after a lunch with her sister in London.

Scholars had only known of the serene image from a 1910 print but the painting on canvas, measuring 59 by 75cm (23 x 30 ins) swiftly exceeded its estimate of £150,000-200,000 and was bought by a London dealer after some determined telephone bidding from other prospective buyers in Britain and America.

“Godward would be astonished by this price,” observed the firm’s specialist, Richard Kay, after the sale. “Even his very finest works were making just £150 at auction during his lifetime, which equates with barely £10000 in today’s money. However, when faced with the relentless forces of Modernism in art in the 1920’s, Godward despaired of retaining his market and gassed himself to death over his own stove. His family was so shamed by this act that they cut Godward’s face out of all their photograph albums. It is marvellous to see his work re-assessed afresh and received with such enthusiasm by collectors.”

Price quoted includes buyer’s premium levied at 19.5%


Lawrences in Crewkerne began a busy recent week of sales with nearly 900 lots of silver and objects of vertu. As usual, there was considerable variety on offer and bidding was keen throughout the  8 ½ hour auction.

A rare Commonwealth/Charles I spoon from c1650-1670 made £4900 and a pair of seal top spoons, c.1630, made £5370. A superb quality coromandel dressing box was in unusually complete condition and contained everything from mirrors and brushes to  a medicine spoon and pencils. It made £6200. An elaborately scrolled pair of George II sauce boats by Ayme Videau, 1737, made £5850, whilst an Edwardian rose bowl and goblets with ornamental decoration exceeded expectations to take £7170. A George III snuff box in 18 carat gold made £8000 and a Swiss gold and enamel snuff box in its original case, c.1830, was bid up to £8720. 

One third of the sale was composed of a private collection of vesta cases from Wales in an extraordinary range of shapes and sizes. These little novelty cases for matches were carried in the pocket so some were made of hardwearing, inexpensive copper and brass whilst more fancy examples were made of silver and enamel. Few were larger than a modern matchbox but the scope for the collector was awesome: there were cases shaped like pistols, crowns, tankards, rams’ heads, dogs, insects, bulls, fish, babies, clowns, rabbits, bottles, shoes, suitcases, gauntlets, elephants, snakes, padlocks, cigars and seashells. The collection was warmly received by buyers and top prices included £760 for a case shaped like a car radiator; £650 for a brass case from Japan shaped like a cat holding a rat; and £430 for a 4cm high brass post box clad in red leather. The highest price was the £2090 paid for a small 5cm silver vesta brightly enamelled with numerous small yachting pennants. The collection contributed over £75000 to the day’s substantial total of £340,000.


The Sales Results for our October Fine Art Sale may be viewed by selecting the 'Auctions' tab above, 'Past Sales' and then by viewing the catalogue for the relevant sale.   The sales results are listed next to each item.


If you have any queries, please telephone 01460 73041.


Two scratch built locomotives made by a Bournemouth man, are to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.

Made by a Mr W J Welch, a member of the Bournemouth and District Model Engineers Club, these two large 5 inch gauge Locomotives were used at Kings’s Park in Bournemouth to take children around the Park. The sale includes a Great Western Locomotive ‘Pansy’, and a Great Western Locomotive ‘Torquay Manor’, which has a tender. Both locomotives have purpose built cases, which were used to transport the Train to exhibitions.

Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, “These are truly wonderful locomotives of exceptional quality. These large gauge locomotives are extremally popular with collectors, and they should attract alot of interest.”

These locomotives are to be sold in Lawrences Autumn Collectors Sale, on Friday 2nd of November, part of a large two day sale. Both trains are expected to realise £3000 – 4000 in auction. For further details please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.

November Militaria, Coins & Medals Sale - Viewing Times

Viewing Times:-
9.00am - 1.00pm - Saturday 27th October
9.00am - 4.30pm - Monday 29th October 
9.00am - 7.00pm - Tuesday 30th October
9.00am - 4.30pm - Wednesday 31st October
9.00am - 10.30am - Thursday 1st November

November Collectors and Sporting Sale - Viewing Times...

Viewing Times:-
9.00am - 1.00pm - Saturday 27th October
9.00am - 4.30pm - Monday 29th October 
9.00am - 7.00pm - Tuesday 30th October
9.00am - 4.30pm - Wednesday 31st October
9.00am - 4.30pm - Thursday 1st November
9.00am - 10.30am - Friday 2nd November