One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales,
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales
The forthcoming auction of jewellery at Lawrences in Crewkerne on January 16th comprises the usual wide variety of rings, necklaces, brooches, cufflinks, pocket watches, wrist watches and attractive mixed lots with estimates from about £80 upwards.
Highlights include an Art Deco sapphire, diamond and rock crystal brooch of understated geometric elegance, estimated at £6000-7000; a ruby and diamond sunburst brooch, with gemmological report from The Gem & Pearl Laboratory, London, stating that the stones are Burmese natural and untreated rubies, estimated at £4,000-5,000; and a remarkably large (25mm) spinel cabochon of warm pink colour, polished and uncut, weighing a mighty 38 carats. This would possibly have originally been set in an Indian Mughal piece of jewellery called a bazuband. Ornate bazubands were worn on the upper arm by men and they were regarded as another way of denoting rank. This is expected to make £18000-25000. Two of the more affordable lots include a sapphire and diamond cluster ring (£300-500) and a sapphire and diamond bracelet (£400-600), each of which formerly belonged to the actress Margaret Lockwood CBE (1916-1990).
In the afternoon of the same day, a wide selection of Decorative Arts, glass and ceramics will include an impressive pair of cloisonne enamelled elephants. Each elaborately caparisoned beast is surmounted by an urn, the bodies are embossed with `jewelled` pendants and there are chains of pearls and elaborate scrolls upon a ground of foliage and scrolls. This lot has been consigned for sale by a collector in South London and each animal stands an impressive 18 ins (46cm) high. The two together are guided at £4000-5000 but interest from the Orient often yields an unexpectedly good result for such decorative pieces.
If you were to imagine that candlesticks were intended to be primarily functional rather than decorative, then a pair at Lawrences in Crewkerne could make you change your mind.
The pair, each just under 10 inches (25cm) in height but weighing a mighty 76 ounces, are cast in silver and finished with gold plate (`silvergilt`). They are each modelled as two cheerful cherubs with a spouting dolphin and have a part-polished and part matted finish. The hallmark reveals that that they were made by Robert John Harvey for J. Harvey and Co of Regent Street in London in 1850.
“However, a reference book for the period indicates that Harvey and Co had a rather successful show of their work in 1851 and that these candlesticks may have been in that show,” says Lawrences’ silver specialist, Alex Butcher. “It was no ordinary fair but London’s internationally famous Great Exhibition of 1851, the enormously ambitious display of the best work created by manufacturers and designers from 28 countries across the world. The whole enterprise was overseen by Prince Albert and comprised engineering and design in all mediums, including diamonds and daguerreotypes, pianos and pistols, mighty machines and minuscule marvels.”
From May to October 1851, over six million visitors went to the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park to gaze in wonder at man’s inventiveness and the work of top quality silversmiths was as much admired as the inventions of the most skilful engineers. Harvey and Co showed a candelabrum, a claret jug, a water jug, a silver statuette of Mercury, a tea and coffee service and “a pair of silver-chased candlesticks [of] Boys and Dolphin.” The chance to own an item that was probably a focal point of Harvey and Co’s stand in 1851 will be offered to bidders when these candlesticks come under the hammer with 600 other lots of silver and vertu on January 14th. The estimate will be £2500-3000
Lawrences in Crewkerne have auctioned over 50,000 lots in 2013 and there has been a huge variety on offer, including rare and ancient amber necklaces, an Aboriginal throwing club, coins from the period of Julius Caesar and Rolex watches. However, one item in the firm's New Year sale on January 17th is a little unusual, even for Lawrences: it is a brown painted Edwardian dog kennel with shaped gables. "It's a perfect period residence for a pampered pet," suggests Richard Gold, the firm's furniture specialist (who is more accustomed to selling items that satisfy a human need rather than a canine one). "As you see in the photo, little Scrappy fits in beautifully. We expect it to make £300-400 but auctions can often yield unexpected results. If two dog lovers decide that they want it, the price could go through the woof..." Bidders should be aware that Scrappy is not included in the sale.
AS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED, THERE WILL BE NO GENERAL SALE ON WEDNESDAY 8th JANUARY 2014.
THE OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED ON THIS DAY FROM 12.00 NOON FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY.