Wednesday 20th June, 2018
One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales, 
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales



A lovely collection of Matchbox model cars are to be sold by Lawrences of Crewkerne. Entered for sale by a client in Chard, it includes over 60 boxed Cars, Military Vehicles, and other items, most of which date to the 1950's and 1960's. The items have been very well looked after and boxes and models are generally in very good condition.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "This is a super collection which has been put together by a gentleman over many years. Toys such as Model cars, Trains, and Dolls continue to be extremally popular in auction, and always attract alot of interest from Collectors"


The Matchbox Cars will be sold in Lawrences Spring Collectors Sale, for further details please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041



An interesting collection of Hornby 0 Gauge Railway items are to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.


Entered for sale by a client in North Somerset, the collection includes a variety of Hornby 0 Gauge trains and accessories. Included are locomotives, boxed wagons and coaches, Engines sheds, signals, and a variety of other accessories.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "Trains continue to be extremely popular in auction and we have dealt with some very large collections in the last couple of years. These early Hornby items are always popular in auction and we expect alot of interest"


These Trains will be sold in Lawrences Militaria and Collectors sale on the 10th and 11 of May. For further details about buying or selling at Lawrences please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.




Three rare Doulton figures are to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.


Entered for sale by a client in Hampshire, these rare figures were produced in the early part of the 20thc when Doulton figures were first produced.


Amongst the figures is "Pussy", which depicts a yound girl holding a cat. This figure is HN18 and only five examples are known to exist of this figure. Also included are the figures "The Spook" HN51 and "Guy Fawkes" HN 98.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "It is unusual to see such early Doulton figures appearing in auction, and they are keenly sought after as a result. 20thc ceramics and glass continue to be extremally popular, particulary for well known firms such as Clarice Cliff, Moorcroft, Lalique, and Doulton"


These figures will be sold in Lawrences April Fine Art Sale, for further details about this sale please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.


A rare Jumeau doll is to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.


Jumeau was a French company which began in the 1840's, which designed and manufactured high quality dolls. Best known for it's high quality porcelain heads, it reached it's zenith from the 1870's - 1890's before competition from German Companies sent the firm into economic difficulties.


This doll dates to around 1880-1890 and has fixed blue eyes, a closed mouth and pierced ears, and stands at 15 inches high. The doll was recently discovered at a valuation morning in Crewkerne.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "These high quality dolls only appear occasionaly in auction and there is always a huge amount of interest. Dolls continue to have a strong following from collectors and always remain popular in our Collectors Sales."


The doll will be sold in Lawrences Militaria, Collectors and Sporting Sale on the 10th and 11th of May, and is expected to make £800-£1200 in auction. For further details please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.



A wonderful collection of model Steam Engines, Steam Plants, and Fairground models are to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.


Compiled at a gentleman called Peter Miles over a 30-40 year period, the collection includes models built by him and a range of items he purchased over that period whilst living in the Southampton area. The items are being offered for sale by his family.


The items include several large Stuart Steam Engines, a Mill Engine, large Stationary Traction Engine, Vertical Steam Boiler, many Steam Plants, Marine Steam Engine and many more. Also included are some Fairground models including two Ferris Wheels, Fairground Rides and Fairground vehicles.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "This is one of the most interesting Steam collections we have sold, and there is a huge variety of items for collectors. There is alot of interest for Steam Models when they come up in sale and we are expecting a great deal of interest.


The items will be sold in Lawrences Collectors Sale on May 11th. For further details please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.



Lawrences' bi-annual actions of books, maps and manuscripts regularly attract enquiries from collectors all over the world and the firm's recent 400-lot selection offered remarkable diversity.


Well illustrated works are always in demand and there was a good selection: an atlas of Amsterdam by Pierre Fouquet, comprising 104 views of the city, was published in about 1787 and made £5130 whilst Sir John Hill's "The British Herbal" from 1756 contained 75 beautiful hand-coloured plates. This made £3940. Edward Topsell's "The History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents" from 1658 contained numerous remarkably vivid woodcuts and made £2860


Signed and autographed works were also keenly contested. Thomas Hardy's first edition of "The Dynasts" from 1904 contained a hand-written note to Albert Kinross and made £670. Sir Winston Churchill's presentation copy of his major work entitled "The World Crisis" contained a lengthy inscription to General Sir John du Cane and made £4300. The demand for Churchill items was also shown in a 1951 letter from him to Sir Sam Fay detailing an obscure matter concerning pension arrangements on the Argentinian railways but took £500 nonetheless whilst a very scarce place card signed simply by the remarkable triumvirate of Churchill, F. D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin exceeded its £5000-6000 estimate to make £9320.


As expected, the top price was paid for Samuel Gurney Cresswell's rare and fascinating volume detailing the voyage of HMS Investigator in the Canadian Arctic in 1851-1853. The eight colour plates showed the escape of ill and under-nourished men across the ice to the safety of a ship 160 miles away. It was estimated at £10000-15000 and was bought for £18,160 by a Canadian collector biding on the telephone against four other collectors. Appropriately, the sale took place on one of the coldest days of the winter so far.






A collection of leather gilding and book binding tools attracted huge interest at Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne last week, grossing over £26,000 on the day.


Formed by the company J C Player & Co, which was based in London, the firm serviced the top leather goods suppliers in the country, undertaking work for Aspreys, Dunhill, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Purdey & Sons, Smythson and Swaine Adeney Brigg. In addition, there were distinguished Royal and aristocratic commissions: Players decorated the seat backs in the Houses of Parliament, the case for the Ascot Gold Cup and the famous red cases used by every Chancellor of the Exchequer and Cabinet minister since the Victorian era.  Players was the pre-eminent name in this precise and prestigious field from 1860’s onwards. Three generations of the family ran the business until the 1970’s and then the firm was re-located to the West Country until the 1990’s.


The lots on offer comprised metal headed stamps, lettering of all sizes and fonts, stamps for minute punctuation right down to a humble comma, metal number stamps, stamps for the Armed Forces, British and foreign coronets, cyphers for HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales, stamps for impressing small marks of animals and birds and much more besides.


The collection attracted a huge amount of interest from specialists in this field. Highlights included the original sample books (£600), a collection of decorative tools (£2100), tools with animal motifs (£1550), a collection of rollers (£2100), Monarchy tools (£520), Military Regiments (£540), and a collection of decorative motifs (£2400).


Buyers included the Goldsmiths Company, who have purchased the sample books and monarchy tools for an upcoming exhibition.






Sales Results now on-line...

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



There were strong prices throughout the day at Lawrences’ recent auction of jewellery and ceramics. In the jewellery section, gold performed with predictable strength once again: a 111gram bracelet set with precious stones and coins made £2330 and an 18ct gold flat link bracelet exceeded expectations to make £2030. A good quality 18ct gold pocket watch by Lupton of Cornhill made four times its estimate to take £1790 whilst a beautifully elegant silver and silver gilt cigarette case by Cartier (made with the initials of Albert and Elizabeth, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) made £1100.  Jewels sold well, too, with interest focusing upon diamonds: a full eternity ring made  £3220; a pair of diamond cluster earrings made £2860 and an impressive solitaire ring (1.92 carat stone) was bought for £7170. Another slightly smaller solitaire ring made £5370. An appealing novelty item – a diamond bee brooch – made £6570 and two Art Deco sapphire and diamond brooches also exceeded hopes to make £6570.


Modern ceramics and applied arts attracted keen bidders for Wemyss, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Lalique, Clarice Cliff, Royal Worcester, Moorcroft and other factories. A Chamberlains Worcester plate from Sir James Yeo’s celebrated 1822 service exemplified Regency extravagance: the painting of the crests and mottoes cost more than the rest of the entire service and resulted in a delay that meant that Sir James died in 1820 before seeing it all completed. It made £740 [see image 1321, attached]. Amongst items of Continental porcelain, a pair of Paris Deroche urns were bought for £1100. Oriental wares yielded keen bids: a large Kraak Porselain blue and white saucer dish made £2500; a good-sized (45cm high) blue and white lidded jar of the Kangxi period made £2150; a powder blue brush pot from the same era made £2620; and a pair of Cantonese famille rose vases took £1790. The day’s total was just under £270,000 with relatively little unsold.


There were high prices right across the board at Lawrences’ recent Fine Art sale. Pictures and Furniture were on offer and the auctioneers were encouraged by the very large number of commission bids, telephone bidders and collectors in the saleroom. This appetite to spend money was reflected in the low unsold percentage (16%) and dozens of high prices. An etching of Waterloo Bridge by the celebrated war artist and printmaker C. R. W. Nevinson (1889-1946) made £2980 and a small but exceptionally fresh, characterful portrait of the botanist William Curtis by John Raphael Smith dated from about 1795 and made £5370. Two small watercolours by Archibald Thorburn, featured previously on these pages, made £10,750. Amongst the oils, a rare early work by Hans Bollongier of a peasant family in an interior was bought for £11,230 and a big primitive panorama of an 18th Century hunting scene painted on 1.5” thick timber slabs was bought for £6450 [see image attached]. Selling towards the upper end of its estimate was a fine view of Muslims at prayer in a desert, bathed in the pinky yellow light of sunset. Painted by the Czech-born artist Otto Pilny, this 1905 oil came from a East Dorset collection and realised £10,750.


In the furniture section, a 15” terrestrial globe upon a mahogany tripod was bought for £5370 despite having sustained some damage in the past. A 17th Century silkwork picture of a woman seated in a garden made £1910 and a massive iron Armada chest with an elaborate lock to foil intruders made £1850. A more elegant chest of North Italian cypress wood was decorated with unusual incised images of a child amidst serpents and vines and made £2740. A 17th Century walnut side table was thought to be of Flemish origin and made £4780; five George I walnut dining chairs made £8840; a pair of George III dwarf bookcases in rosewood made £2980; and a strong interest in the rugs and carpets section was reflected in the £3220 paid for a large Donegal carpet in worn condition.