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In a selective market, collectors tend to prefer the more unusual or distinctive items in an auction and there will be plenty of those in Lawrences' forthcoming three day sale.
A West Country spoon, made by John Quick of Barnstaple in the reign of King Charles I dates from 1638 and is expected to make £600-800. An extremely rare Victorian silver vinaigrette by Henry William Dee in the form of a skull, the jaw dropping open to reveal a gilt interior, dates from 1871 and could make £4000. It is just under an inch and a half long (see illustration).
A rare collection of toys and miniatures made from carefully turned and shaped bone could make £2000. A highly distinctive Victorian diamond and enamel brooch in the form of a bee, the wings each set with eight tiny diamonds, is guided at £1200-1500.
A collection of 87 pottery jelly moulds of all shapes and sizes is to be sold as six lots and could make £900 whilst a fine quality Chinese agate pendant of the Suzhou School is intricately carved with a scholar, a tree, a waterfall and a four line script and is barely the size of a matchbox (£1000-1500).
A fascinating group of 19 watercolours by The Hon. Charles Gore (1729-1807) comprises views of Plymouth, Cornwall, Isle of Wight, Genoa, Gibraltar and elsewhere and could make £9000. A small oil on the Seine by celebrated French Impressionist Stanislas Lepine is expected to sell for up to £4000.
An exquisite ormolu strut clock in the manner of Thomas Cole has a floral-engraved silvered dial and is estimated at £3000-4000. It is just over six inches high (see illustration). Two marble squirrels have come by descent from the Marquess of Lansdowne at Bowood in Wiltshire. A fine group of Tunbridgeware boxes in marvellous condition is worth over £3000 and includes a most unusual caddy spoon (£200-400). Finally, a Louis XVI mahogany cylinder bureau comes from Port Eliot, St. Germans in Cornwall (£6000-12000). The 2400 lots go on view on April 8th.
"Its appeal arises from its place of origin and its age: it was made in Jersey in about 1600," explains Lawrences' specialist, Alex Butcher. "Silver from the Channel Islands is scarce because the small population only ever yielded a small demand for it. Most of what we find are spoons of late 18th/early 19th Century origin but, occasionally, one may come across christening cups or marriage bowls. We sold a rare pair of Jersey candlesticks by Guillaume Henry, dating from 1735, for £15,000 in October 2010 but this little cup is 130 years older. Jersey silver of that age is very unusual indeed and the importance of this piece was recognised by Richard Mayne who illustrated it on the cover of his authoritative reference book on Channel Islands silver in 1985."
This small vessel, commissioned over 400 years ago by a notable (but now unknown) citizen with the initials "IN" and donated for use as a chalice in a parish church, will probably be bought by a collector of Jersey silver when it comes up for sale on April 12th. "Collectors on Guernsey prefer to buy their own silversmiths' works," observes Alex. "Each island is justifiably proud of its own heritage. We expect it to make £12000-15000."
For the collector of more modern silver, a large and heavy revolving centrepiece by celebrated silversmith Christopher Nigel Lawrence is an eye-catching item and it weighs in at a hefty 366 oz (the wine cup weighs just 8oz). It won first prize in the Jacques Cartier Competition at Goldsmiths' Hall in 1971 and was purchased later that year by the current owner who fell in love with it when she and husband saw it in an exhibition in Bournemouth. It is expected to make £7000-9000.
The collection was compiled by Ronald Cole (1920-2010), a well known model maker who regularly exhibited at Steam Fairs in the South West. Based in Fraddon, Cornwall, Ron retired at 60 and concentrated on his model making. He was completely self taught and spent many thousands of contented hours in his workshop.
He displayed his models at a number of events in Cornwall and further afield. This included the West of England Traction Engine Rally, traditionally held at St Agnes, where he helped to organise the model tent.
The collection includes over 40 locomotives and tenders, including makers such as Bing and Bassett- Lowke. There are also many scratch built models made by Ronald Cole, including a very large 3 1/2inch gauge locomotive and tender "Princess Marina" which is 31 inches long, and another 3 1/2inch gauge model called "Mabel"
Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "This is a truly fantastic collection, both of early model trains and also wonderful scratch built models. Ronald's attention to detail on the models is fantastic, and they are beautifully made. There are a huge number of collectors in this field and they should attract a huge ammount of interest."
Estimates range from £100 to £1500 and they will be sold in Lawrences Collectors Sale on Friday May 6th. For further details please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.
The images attached show Mr Cole in his workshop, and also a 3 1/2inch gauge model "Mabel" which is included in this collection.
A small collection of rings at Lawrences in Crewkerne, carefully compiled by a gentleman in the home counties over a period of many years, is expected to attract interest from jewellery collectors with a historical interest in the subject. For the thirteen rings have a combined age of over 5700 years and the most recent example was made in the reign of King Charles II in the 1680's.
"They are known as `posy rings`," explains Lawrences' specialist Miranda Bingham. " The term has nothing to do with posies of flowers but derives from the medieval word for poetry, or `poesy` as it was then known. Some of these posy rings have brief mottoes engraved on the inside and these hint at old amorous declarations across the centuries. Naturally, after years of wear and use, some of these inscriptions are too faint to read but we have one ring that reads "No frend to faith" that dates from about 1550 (£200-250), another from 1600 that says "Keepe faith till death" (£100-150), a gold ring with "be tru in hart" engraved upon it (£300-350) and another from the same era that reads "Be loyel in love" (£100-150). A particularly good example from 1600 is made of gold and reads "Love is a love" within it and is estimated at £350-400 but the appeal of many of these rings is that they are not that expensive despite being made of gold or silver. Some even have old enamel decoration still intact. A medieval bronze ring is guided at £50-80, some of the gold rings are expected to make £100-150 and there are rings in silver gilt or pure silver from about £100 upwards. Obviously, many were exchanged upon an engagement or a marriage but they hark back very directly to an age of gallant knights, chivalry and ancient feudalism. Most are English and a couple are French, but the popularity of these rings subsided in the 18th Century when they were mass-produced in France. Nowadays, the fondness for engraving a tender inscription within a wedding band has returned. It would be extra special if that ring were nearly 400 years old: a silver ring from 1630 is inscribed "I like my choys [choice]" which is a touchingly simple expression from almost 400 years ago and, of course, collectors love any antique with a history, especially such a personal and intimate one." The sale date will be April 14th.
Made by the famous Minton factory, the jardiniere was made to commemorate to the Coronation of King George V in 1911. It is unusually large and stands at 14 inches high and 17 inches diameter.
It shows an image of HMS King George V dreadnought, this ship of 23,400 tonnes was present at the battle of Jutland and had a crew of 1100. It is inscribed "Coronation of their most gracious majesties King George & Queen Mary, June 2nd 1911"
Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "There is always interest in Commemorative items when they appear in auction, particularly if they are unusual. The unusual subject of this piece and the large size should bring a lot of interest on the day"
The jarndiniere will be sold in Lawrences April Fine Art Sale, and is expected to make £500-700 in auction. For further details please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.
Entered for sale is a Concorde Machmeter, an essential speed measuring device taken from a de commissioned Concorde. The item was given to Peter Gravestock upon his retirement in 1987 and has remained in the family ever since.
Peter spent his whole life in the avionics industry, from the age of 14 in 1942 when he started working on Flying Boats in Southampton until his retirement as avionics engineering supervisor from British Airways prestigious Concorde Fleet.
He worked at Heathrow via Croydon maintaining numerous aircraft for BOAC (later British Airways), Britannias, VC10'S, DC10'S, Tristars and several Boeings. After pre service at Filton in the 1970's, he worked in the daily operations on the seven Concordes out of Heathrow, personally certifying each aircraft as fit for service for departure.
The machmeter was given as a retirement gift and was taken from Concorde G-Boad (210), this plane was first registered in 1975 and took it's final flight in 2003 landing at JFK airport. Also included in the sale is a large number of other Concorde items that Mr Gravestock collected.
Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "This is a wonderful piece of Concorde memorabilia, and there are a huge number of collectors around the world. Very few machmeters appear in auction and some have made several thousand pounds in the past. We expect a huge ammount of interest on the day"
It will be sold in Lawrences Collectors Sale on May 6th, for further information please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.
The Great Western Railway clock was used at Yeovil Town Railway Station until it's closure in 1966, and was given to a member of staff. The clock is made in mahogany with a chain fusee movement, and still retains it's original GWR plaque on the side.
The clock was in poor repair and has been sympathetically restored to bring it back to former glories. The clock has been entered for sale by a local client.
Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "It is always unusual to see GWR Railway clocks in auction, and particularly nice to see a local one. This is a lovely piece of Railway history, and will appeal to both Train enthusuasts and clock collectors"
The clock will be sold in Lawrences May Collectors Sale, part of a large section of Railway items. For further information please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.
The very large 3 1/2inch gauge locomotive is called "Hielen Lassie" and was modelled on a LNER Pacific Train. Probably made around the 1950's/60's, this steam train has been made in fantastic detail and comes with a tender.
The train comes with original plans that were drawn up by a company called Donaldson & Piper of Willsborough in Kent. The locomotive is 38 inches long and the tender a further 20 inches.
Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, " These large scratch built model trains are extremally sought after, and having sold two very successfully last year we are delighted to have another. The work and detail involved in making a model like this is amazing, and it should attract alot of interest in the sale"
The train is expected to make £2000-3000 in auction.
The train is a part of a very large section of Trains to be sold in Lawrences May Collectors Sale. For further details about this sale please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.
Collected by a gentleman over the last 30 years, there is a huge variety of objects with a Guinness connection. Objects include large shop display items such as a huge Toucan and Guinness truck containing bottles of Guinness. Also included is an electrically operated Seal with bottle of Guinness which revolves.
There are also smaller items such as Carlton Ware animal figures, Flying toucans, and various other Guinness collectables.
Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "Guinness items are very collectable in auction and there is a huge variety of objects to be sold. The gentleman worked for a time as a photographer for Guinness which is where the interest came from, and there are some items here that i have never seen before"
The collection will be sold in Lawrences Collectors Sale on May 6th. For further information please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.