One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales,
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales
Lawrences’ enormous two day collectors’ auctions are consistently popular and the vast variety of lots on offer always ensures that the sales attract a crowd of bidders as well as many online buyers.
The 1100 lots on offer on one day on November 18th reflected this awesome diversity. Bidding was brisk: a large poster from a design by Terence Cuneo, printed in c.1959 for the centenary of the Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash just tipped over its high estimate to take £1520. A rare Parisienne fashion doll probably by Huret, from c.1860-1880, also exceeded its hopes to make £1580. Further variety included a fine `Coco de Mer` polished nut, 26 x 25cm, that appealed to many and made £910 whilst a gramophone and wooden horn made by the `Gramophone Company` was bid to £1760. Collectable taxidermy included a mounted lioness head, shot by Captain R. C. Prior-Wandesforde in 1930, was hunted to £1030 and other items such as a leopard’s skin rug (£200), three cased owls (£520) and even an unusual pangolin (South African scaly ant eater, £290) showed the breadth of this field. Sporting items included bronzes, riding crops, hunting clothing, jewellery, walking sticks and vintage luggage: an incomplete Louis Vuitton trunk made £500.
Amongst a large number of lots of vintage and collectable textiles and fashion, a 1960’s Couture Future Courreges `Space Dress` in blue wool made £730, a long vintage black mink coat made £480, and a colourful embroidered Chinese wall hanging (over 9 feet high) made £790. For the collectors of historic textiles, a 17th Century embroidered pillow sham with colours still in largely unfaded condition made £1830 A tiny pair of child’s velvet slippers with coiled metal purl work dated from the same era and skipped to £320.
The day’s top price was paid for a Beatles magazine, signed in mid-1960’s by all four of the group. This had been found tucked within a box of vinyl albums donated to a local charity shop. After verifying the authenticity of all the signatures (since fakes, signed by members of staff at the fan club and elsewhere, are not uncommon), Simon Jones was the auctioneer when the hammer fell at £6470.
Lawrences’ bi-annual auction of Militaria, Coins and Medals comprised over 750 lots and keen participation from internet bidders ensured that little was left unsold. Highlights included a Grenadier Guards sword in the 1822 pattern, that had belonged to Frederic Thesiger, later Lord Thesiger (1827-1905), a notable figure in the Zulu Wars (whose role was played by Peter O’Toole in the film `Zulu Dawn`). His illustrious army career ended not on the battlefield but at a snooker table in London when he collapsed with a seizure. This sword made £3780. Continuing the military theme, a 21st Lancers French grey jacket doubled expectations to take £1400. Amongst many lots of firearms, four lots were notable successes: a Queen Anne flintlock pistol made £1900. Another flintlock pistol with bayonet by A P Bond of Cornhill made £2070, an 18th Century Bavarian hunting rifle made £2440 and a brass barrelled flintlock blunderbuss by Walklate of London was bid to £1400
Medals also performed predictably well, with a Hertfordshire Yeomanry Tank Corps group awarded to Pte Ernest W Andrews making £2560, a DSO group of four to Colonel William B Ritchie of the South Lancashire Regiment took £3660, and a poignant group of seven Great War medals awarded to two Say brothers from South Petherton reached £4750. One brother had died at Gallipoli in 1915, the other at Passchendaele in 1917.
A wide variety of coins found eager buyers: a James I unite of c.1604-1619 made £1640, a Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee £5 gold piece (1887) made £1760, and a group of modern Krugerrands made up to £970 apiece.