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First up was a collection of scratch built engines and early trains, which had been put together by Ronald Cole in Cornwall. The collection raised over £12,000, highlights included two large scratch built 3 1/2inch gauge models, Princess Marina (£2200) and Mabel (£1100), and an early Bing locomotive (£500).
Also entered in the sale was a collection of trains formed by a gentleman in the Yeovil area, which raised nearly £8000. Models included Wrenn, Hornby, Bachmann, and many others which included a Wrenn Winston Churchill (£290), Wrenn Yeovil (£660) and Wrenn Lamport & Holt (£280).
Finally a collection from Gloucestershire produced a number of surprises including a collection of railway kits (£1000), a collection of Hornby 00 (£450), Exley model coaches (£410), and some Lawrence & Goddard coaches (£830).
Lawrences are now accepting items for their Autumn collectors sale, for further enquiries please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.
The image shows the locomotive "Princess Marina".
It had been won by a lady at a raffle some 60 years ago and had remained in the family until now. Known to the family as 'Victoria', the doll was made in around 1880 by the famous Jumeau factory and had been treasured so carefully that it was in almost untouched condition.
After a huge number of presale enquiries, the doll attracted a large number of telephone bidders and the bidding quickly passed the pre sale estimate, finally reaching a remarkable £6600 (£7880 with buyer's premium).
Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "This truly was a wonderful doll. Jumeau dolls appear rarely in auction and when you do they attract a huge amount of interest from collectors. `Victoria` has given our vendors a terrific result and not many raffle prizes give pleasure for 60 years and then a huge reward like this."
The GWR clock had been used at the station until its closure in 1967 and had been given to an employee. The clock has remained in the family until now and was appearing in auction for the first time.
Despite some restoration, the bidding quickly climbed above the pre-sale expectations and was finally secured by a bidder in the room for £1850. Also included in the sale was a rare Wrenn Yeovil Locomotive, which was secured by a collector for £660.
Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "Both of these Yeovil Railway related items attracted a huge amount of interest on the day from collectors. Toy trains in general are still doing extremely well in auction and the passion from collectors seems undiminished."
Lawrences' jewellery sales in Crewkerne have gone from strength to strength in recent years and their recent offering saw sustained demand for those two perennial favourites: gold and diamonds. Amongst the 500 lots on offer, 168 of the first 175 lots found buyers with a gold bracelet, hung with seven sovereigns, showing the strength for gold by making £1730. A good selection of pocket- and wristwatches found private collectors keen to bid. An 18ct gold watch by Arnold Charles Frodsahm took £1240, an 18ct gold Constellation chronometer by Omega made £1730 and a handsome Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust made £2500.
A huge selection of rings caught the eyes of the ladies as their husbands browsed the watches: amidst a host of four-figure prices, £2980 was paid for a diamond five-stone ring with 2.2 carats of stones, a three-stone ring of similar weight had even finer stones and yielded £3100, a Victorian diamond snake ring with diamonds and rubies made £4420 and a sparkling Edwardian solitaire with 2.25 carats of diamonds took £6210 (see illustration). Towards the end of the sale, a Victorian diamond brooch pendant was bought for £4540 and the total for the selection was the department's second highest total ever after its triumphant sale in January.
In the Ceramics and Oriental Works of Art section that followed, a rare Moorcroft vase made for Liberty and Co in the Hazeldene design made £4540, eight Indian ivory erotic plaques with cavorting figures in athletic poses appealed to many bidders and made £4180, a pair of Meissen vases was bought for £3340 and a Japanese carved ivory figure of a farmer made £3100. Top honours in this part of the sale went to a matchbox-sized agate pendant from the Chinese Suzhou school. Intricately carved with a scholar, a tree and a waterfall amongst a four line script, it made just under £5500 against hopes of £1000-1500 and brought the day's total to over £280,000.
A superb private collection of silver vinaigrettes and snuff boxes yielded exceptional prices at Lawrences' auction of silver and objects of vertu this month. The collection, from a gentleman on the South Coast, comprised small items of superb quality and these two factors proved to be a winning combination.
"Demand for silver is at a record high at present and the bidders' determination reflected this" observed Lawrences' specialist Alex Butcher. "Beautifully made vinaigrettes seemed to be most in demand and the work of the early Victorian silversmith Nathaniel Mills commanded the greatest attention." One of Mills' desirable `castletop` designs with Bristol Cathedral made £7170; another of University Church, Oxford made £7880; and a Bath Abbey design took £7170 all against expectations of under £2000. The collection totalled over £107,000.
By contrast, an exceptionally scarce Jersey wine cup of c.1600 made £13,140 and a large prize-winning centrepiece by Christopher Nigel Lawrence, made as recently as 1970, established a new high for his work at auction by making just over £25,000. A large tankard by Sampson Bennett of Falmouth, made in 1735, combined quality with grandeur and made £8600. One of the smallest items in the sale, a Victorian vinaigrette in the form of a skull, just under 1.5 inches long, made £9320. The day's total exceeded £400,000 and there was very little unsold.
At Lawrences' recent sale of pictures and furniture on the final day of the Crewkerne firm's £1million spring auction, there was keen bidding on a collection of etchings of dogs by Herbert Dicksee (ten realised £4970) and a similarly good collection of etchings by Charles Tunnicliffe (fourteen made just under £7900) whilst a folio of thirteen prints of rural crafts by Harry Becker took £4060. Three fine watercolours of peregrine falcons by George Edward Lodge made £9900 and an interesting folio of works from the 1770's by The Hon. Charles Gore, comprising views as varied as Cornwall and Gibraltar, made £6450 with the proceeds going to The National Maritime Museum.
Foreign subjects were in keen demand: a watercolour of the Temple of Elephanta near Bombay ascribed to William Simpson made £3820 and two fine oils of Australian subjects by James Alfred Turner exceeded expectations of £10,000 to make £13,140. On a more tradtional note, two portraits of the 1st Earl of Ely and his Countess, ascribed to Thomas Murray and dating from c.1730, were appearing on the market for the first time having passed by descent in the sitters' family and the pair realised just under £6000. A restful hayfield scene by Algernon Newton reflected the summery mood of the day and made £4780 and a group of horse portraits from the family of a West Country equine vet were bought for £6680.
In the works of art section, a good mahogany thermometer by Berge of London soared to £3220; an ormolu strut clock in the manner of Thomas Cole doubled expectations to make £8600; and a delightful pair of carved marble squirrels just 8 inches high, formerly in the collection of The Marquess of Lansdowne at Bowood and thence by descent, made £13,140 (see image). Other highlights included a 17th Century oak mural cabinet, probably from Cothelstone Manor on the Quantocks, that made £7880 and £3580 for a George IV rosewood centre table. A small collection of Tunbridgeware items, made from rosewood and ash and meticulously inlaid with parquetry designs and topographical subjects, was in exemplary and unfaded condition. These thirteen lots were keenly contested to a total just shy of £7500 and helped the day's total towards £380,000.