One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales,
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales
Lawrences’ auction of Decorative Arts, ceramics and glass comprised lots spanning 500 years and there were some good results in all sections of the 240 lots on offer.
Two pieces of Lalique glass set the tone: an opalescent plate in the `Ondine` design showed five nymphs swimming around a central vortex and made £1580; whilst a spherical vase in the `Druides` design showed leaves and berries and was bid to £1640. A Martin Brothers vase from the 1890’s more than doubled expectations to take £2070 and a small Arts & Crafts glass roundel by Agnes Bankier Harvey (1874-1947) dated from 1901 and made £790.
Porcelain sold well with few lots unsold: a Coalport tea and coffee service made £950; a Sevres oval dish with other pieces of Continental ware made £910 and two Meissen figures of `Winter` and `Summer` took £1120. Glassware was a clear success: a large goblet with a `teared` droplet in the stem stood 24cm high and made £510. Two highlights in the group of Oriental items included £5490 for a Chinese yellow jade carved tiger the size of a thumbtip; and there was a terrific surprise for the seller of a Chinese bronze censer that was sold with a turquoise dish. This had been bought for £50 at a market and returned him a substantial profit when it was bought for £25,000 to lead the day.
A host of highlights in Lawrences’ jewellery sale in Crewkerne saw the total exceed £290,000 and demand for the most elegant pieces set with the finest stones resulted in may lots exceeding expectations.
Strong prices early on in the sale included £3,780 for a gold and gem set compact decorated with sapphires; a pair of sapphire cufflinks sold with three matching dress studs for £3,660; and a sapphire and diamond cluster ring that made £4,270. The popularity of sapphires was to be repeated later in the sale but there were also keen bids for a pair of ruby and gold cluster earrings at £2,560; a tourmaline and diamond cluster ring at £5,730; and £3,780 for a Van Cleef & Arpels diamond clip.
Three striking diamond lots showed the strength of demand for these stones: an Art Deco solitaire ring took £11,460; a Victorian three stone ring made £6,340; and a stylish Art Deco ring with a 1.8 carat brilliant cut stone made £6,100. An Edwardian diamond brooch was bought for £6,580.
Sapphires stole the show with a series of lots making very strong prices: a sapphire and diamond cluster ring made £4,270; a sapphire, diamond and pearl bracelet took £5,240; a Belle Epoque sapphire and diamond pendant made just over £9,000; and the sale’s top price was the £15,250 paid for a sapphire riviere necklace.
The traditional and the modern were both in demand at Lawrences’ recent auction of 300 lots of pictures in Crewkerne.
A rare engraving of `The Blackwell Ox` from 1780 made £730 and a collection of 38 caricatures and illustrations from the 1770-1950 era, divided into nine lots, exceeded hopes to make £9880. A damaged portrait of a Knight of Malta met with keen interest from Malta to make £2920 and a further group of portraits also sold well: a portrait of King Henry IV of France made £4880; a portrait of Admiral Sir John Leake, ascribed to Sir Godfrey Kneller, made £3660; and a portrait of Lady Katherine Erskine, daughter of the Earl of Buchan, proved to be decorative and good enough quality to take £12200.
A pair of views of Valletta (Malta) by Gerolamo Gianni made £4500, despite one being in damaged condition and a fine view of HMS Royal Adelaide at Devonport had good provenance so made £5490 against hopes of £3000. A collection of pictures from a West Country collection, assembled by the vendor between 1955 and 1985, yielded three special highlights when a fine quality moonlit landscape was bid to £6220, a charming portrait of a Hereford cow by the little-known H. J. Quintin was bought for £5120 and a superb 19th Century still life by the very scarce Calcutta-based artist Alfred George Palmer made £6340. The collection totalled just over £35000
A commercial offering of Modern British pictures produced a string of four-figure results, thanks to valuable contributions from the collection of the late lady Isabel Throckmorton and from a private collection in Staffordshire: a large watercolour by contemporary Welsh artist Peter Prendergast made £7560, the second highest recorded auction price for the artist; a spin painting of a skull with excellent provenance by Damien Hirst made £8290; and a superb 1954 canvas entitled `Portland Trio` by John Piper finished the sale on a high note at just under £10500.
Our October Fine Art sales began with silver and vertu and the 600 lots on offer were greeted with enthusiasm by bidders. A host of high prices throughout the day ensured a high overall total with relatively little unsold.
There was interest in such `traditional` items as a Charles II spoon made by Stephen Venables in 1666 (£1340) and a George II coffee pot made in Exeter in 1731 (£2800). A rare Scottish tea pot made in Edinburgh in 1722 doubled its top estimate to brew up bids of £2940. A handsome brass bound oak case, neatly fitted with a salver, tea and coffee service and a wine ewer (1823-1876) took £6860.
The highest prices in these sales are often paid for items of rarity and distinction or for novelties that catch collectors’ eyes. In this sale, two of the greatest names in English silver were on offer: a four piece tea and coffee service by desirable Regency silversmith Paul Storr (1771-1844) was bid up to £3300 and two lots by the celebrated 18th Century master Paul de Lamerie (1688-1751) sold well. A two bottle cruet frame made in 1735 made £8080 and a superb quality pair of 1747 waiters (small salvers) tripled hopes to make £11270, despite some old repairs.
Three small lots showed well the demand the novelty: three decorative `Lady Bountiful` wine labels for sherry and Madeira made £1830; a small (6cm long) Victorian vesta case with an enamelled figure of a guardsman in a sentry box made bidders stand to attention as they bid it beyond the estimate to £3300 and a saucy tortoiseshell box hid a salacious and sexy secret within its cover in the form of an ardent couple in an explicitly intimate embrace. This stirred up interest to take £1960.
Having trained as a General Practice Surveyor, Neil fine tuned his training by studying the Fine Art Valuation Degree at Southampton Institute, during which time he worked as a Porter at Bonhams, Chelsea. Upon completing his degree, he joined Bonhams' Ceramics and Glass Department, where he became joint Head of Department before moving to their Midlands Valuation Office. Two years in the East Midlands were followed by seven years developing and running an Auction Room in Bakewell, Derbyshire, as well as qualifying as a Chartered Antiques and Fine Arts Surveyor. The last five years have seen Neil working as an Independent Antiques and Fine Art Valuer and Auctioneer, carrying out Professional Valuations for Insurance, Probate and Sale at Auction as well as working on a consultancy basis for a number of Midlands Auction Houses.
Neil is in the process of relocating to Sherborne with his wife and two children and enjoys swimming and sailing and hopes to take up tennis again, having been in the youth training squad for Kent as a teenager. Neil has owned several classic Triumph cars and would love to own a Jaguar XK140 or XK150.
Harriet Cunningham has followed a passion for fabrics and textiles for many years and has a qualification in Fine Art & Printing. In 2005, she opened a small vintage clothing shop in the front of her house in Lyme Regis. ‘Sublyme Vintage’ which was a treasure trove of antique clothing and offered beautiful 1930’s and 1940’s dresses. In 2012 Harriet moved on to set up a Vintage Clothing department for a Dorset auction house, selling labelled couture clothing for high prices in the collectables market. Harriet is currently accepting entries of clothing, lace, embroideries and tapestries. It is surprising what may be found in wardrobes, trunks and attics!
The final day of Lawrences' recent Autumn Fine Art auction in Crewkerne comprised clocks, furniture and carpets.
The clock section was led by the £3530 paid for a George III bracket clock but a rather more modern Jaeger Le Coultre mantel clock from c.1981 also sold well at £2250. A typically diverse selection of works of art included a pair of conch shells carved with Neo-Classical scenes (£750), a pair of carved yellow marble lions (£2440), and a hefty pair of lignum vitae door `porters` (£530). Lignum vitae is the tough and heavy wood of a South American tree, noted for its unusual density and durability.
Other highlights within the furniture section included an oak dresser dating from the 17th Century (£2800), a Flemish/German iron strong box of the same period (£870), a pretty Victorian rosewood bonheur du jour (£1520), a pair of ebonised and boulle pier cabinets (£3660) and a finely inlaid 18th Century North Italian walnut centre table by Giuseppe Moreni of Brescia (£4390). A good selection of carpets was led by a Caucasian Karabagh Chelaberd rug that was bid to £1950.
Simon Jones (General Valuations & Collectors Items) and Miranda Bingham (Jewellery) will be in LYME REGIS, CHARMOUTH & BRIDPORT on the FIRST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH. Please call to make an appointment - Tel: 01460 73041