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’ two-day auction of Militaria and Collectors’ Items in Crewkerne last week was a great success with a vast variety of the 1700 lots finding keen buyers.

On the first day, the auction began with arms and armour and a sidelock ejector by Charles Boswell shot to £4540; a rare and early Scottish backsword sliced through its estimate to make £3700; and a percussion or hunting rifle by Alexander Henry of Edinburgh made £4540.  A highlight in the selection of medals was a Naval DSO/DSC group awarded to Lt Commander Peter Withers that made £4060. An exceptionally broad survey of world coinage included an 11th Century Cnut penny from the Guildford mint at £1610 [image 739] and a George II two guinea piece at £1020. Two Golden Jubilee sovereigns from 2002 took £3940 whilst the day’s highest price was paid for two foreign orders (Order of Osmanieh and an Ottoman Award); these made £10,150 [image 916].

The Collectors’ sale on the following day comprised all manner of things to catch collectors’ eyes and included an album of Australian postcards (£1250); a Jules Steiner `closed mouth` doll (£2150, see image 1243); a 1960 camera Leica camera (£2330); a carved wood and painted Noah’s Ark with numerous pairs of animals (£2600, image 1333); a rare tribal loom from the Solomon Islands (£930); a cold painted bronze of a magpie by Franz Bergmann (£1900, image 1491a); a cabinet of butterflies (£3220); and a tiger skin rug by Rowland Ward (£2030, image 1641). The day’s top price was paid for a Louis Vuitton trunk that travelled off in style to its new owner at £7880 [image 1594]. The total for the two days exceeded £380,000


Lawrences in Crewkerne rounded off their major 2200-lot Autumn Fine Art week of sales with a selection of clocks, works of art, furniture and rugs. Bidding was keen for the lots on offer and the auctioneers reported brisk business, even for the unfairly maligned Victorian mahogany pieces that have been out of favour for a few years.

A mahogany bracket clock by Laidlaw of London (£2980) and a Boulle bracket clock (£3100) performed well in the clocks section, whilst a Scottish walnut longcase clock by David Craig doubled its high estimate to chime with a buyer at £2860. Within a huge group of `works of art` (covering all manner of artefacts from jelly moulds and crucifixes to chess sets and chandeliers), high prices were paid for a bronze group by Moreau entitled `La Reconnaissance` (£1430); and fourteen puzzles in a black lacquer Chinese games box (also £1430). Amongst a host of four-figure prices in the furniture sale, a walnut writing desk from the era of King Charles II made £3700, despite showing signs of its years; a gilt metal occasional table climbed to £8120; a pair of four-fold leather screens with `Chinoiserie` decoration made £5970; four massive Louis XV ormolu three-branch wall lights effected heated bidding to make £10,500; a room-sized Persian carpet, covering nearly 200 square feet, made £1310; and a near pair of George III mahogany library armchairs offered comfort and a masculine elegance of design at £13,380.

One lot that attracted keen bidding for its rarity, its condition and its exquisite Carolean charms was a looking glass surrounded by a `stump work` frame depicting Charles II and his Queen, Catharine of Braganza, as well as a lion and a leopard within wreaths. The moulding was of faux bamboo and the imposing size (39 by 22 inches overall) ensured that a keen group of bidders contested it to £10,750. The sale brought the firm’s total for the week of sales to just over £1.1million.


Treasures from the East and West in Lawrences’ recent sale of Ceramics and Decorative Arts in Crewkerne ensured a keen response for the 300 lots on offer.

The auction began with a selection of furniture by contemporary designer Matthew Burt that had been made on commission for the Russell Cotes Museum and Art Gallery in Bournemouth. Following a refurbishment of the museum’s cafeteria, the furnishings were sent to Lawrences and sold very readily to eager bidders. Tables and chairs, made in elegant designs in English Ash, totalled £2460; a large tapestry of Hengistbury Head by Wendy Barber made £710; and even the cafe’s pottery (made by John Hinchcliffe with Wendy Barber) made £440.

Other highlights included £1490 paid for a small Moorcroft box and cover; £1250 for an opalescent dish in the `Oeillets` design by Rene Lalique; and £500 for a large Newlyn copper bowl.

Amongst the best prices in the European ceramics, £3100 was paid for a pair of Bow vases and £1190 for a small white Meissen bowl and cover. From further east, a Japanese bronze elephant (42cm/16 in long) trumpeted its sale at £2150; a Satsuma incense burner and cover was squeezed to £3940; a meticulously carved Chinese tusk section took £1550; a pale grey jade `pebble` snuff bottle, just 6.5cm high, made £2620; a Doucai cup stand decorated with peony scrolls and emblems made £1790; and a pair of Chinese celadon garden seats of hexagonal barrel form will allow their buyer to sit prettily at £3100.