Wednesday 23rd May, 2018
One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales, 
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales

Rare Moorcroft Vase To Be Sold...


A wonderful early Moorcroft vase is to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.


Made circa 1900-1902, this vase was made by William Moorcroft whilst still working for the Macintyre factory where he began his career. Made in the Cornflower design, it is beautifully painted with flowers as part of the Florian range they produced.


Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said:-


"It is always exciting when early Moorcroft pieces come in for sale, the sheer quality of this vase is amazing. Pieces made by Moorcroft prior to World War I always command a huge amount of interest and the prices for Moorcroft in general remain very good"


The vase will be sold in Lawrences July Fine Art and is expected to make £800-1200 in auction. For futher enquiries about this item or if you are interested in selling Moorcroft items please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.

Delightful Collection of Etchings to be sold in our July Fine Art Sale...

A delightful collection of etchings by a talented female artist will feature in Lawrences' Summer Fine Art auction in July. Consigned for sale by a collector in Sussex, the 28 lots of etchings and drawings by Eileen Soper comprise charming subjects of children at play. Soper, the daughter of the talented artist and etcher George Soper, learnt the difficult technique of etching from her father and proved herself to be so talented that she showed her first print at The Royal Academy at the age of just 15 in 1920. She continued to exhibit there until 1930 but produced over 250 etchings in the course of her career.  


 "The 1920's and 1930's was a `golden age` for etching in this country," observes Lawrences' specialist, Richard Kay. "Eileen Soper preferred to etch subjects of children at play rather than landscapes and architecture which were the prevailing themes at that time. The titles give a hint of some of the delightful subjects that we have for sale: Skipping, Hopscotch, The Hoop Race, The Slide and The Donkey Race. These etchings are in superb condition, having come to us from a collector who bought them after Soper's death in 1990. Soper's home, `The Wildings` in Hertfordshire, which she shared with her sister Eva, was a nature sanctuary and there she stored scores of her prints that were never offered for sale. Most are in very good condition for this reason. It is not surprising to learn that Soper produced illustrations for 35 Enid Blyton books and she seemed to be able to capture brilliantly the playful mischief of children enjoying themselves. They are never depicted as boisterous or aggressive. All Soper's children seem to be happy and content as they amuse themselves at simple games and enjoy plenty of innocent fun that is immediately endearing. There are five drawings in addition to the 23 etchings and prices start at just £80. One of the most desirable is likely to be her 1927 etching of boy cricketers entitled `Young England` (£300-400, image attached ) whilst `A Bracing Morning` from 1925 shows figures flying a kite on a wide expanse of beach (£250-350). Most are estimated at about £150-250 each. Soper's warm affinity for children is obvious in all her works and it seems tragic that she never married nor had children of her own. Her observation of children at play was instinctive, affectionate and skilful and, with just a few etched lines, she was able to evoke a spirit of cheerful recreation that is wonderfully nostalgic today."


A wonderful set of designer chairs are to be sold by Lawrences auctioneers of Crewkerne, on behalf of a local village hall.
Entered for sale by Mudford village hall in Somerset are a set of 24 chairs designed by Robin Day for Hille. The chairs were given to the hall some years ago and have been used on a regular basis until they discovered they may have some value.
Robin Day was a furniture designer who first came to prominance at the festival of Britain in 1951. He is best known for producing stylish designs but making them practical for use, his polypropylene stacking chairs have been extremally popular with over 20 million manufactured to date. These chairs are in the Polo design and were made by the Hille factory, the sale includes thirteen yellow chairs and eleven green chairs all of which stack for easy storage.
Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, "Robin Day chairs are always very popular in auction, these chairs are extremally attractive and very practical at the same time. They should attract alot of interest and will hopefully make alot of money for the village hall"
These chairs will be sold in Lawrences July Fine Art sale, for further information please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.

A Superb Panorama of Venice will be a Star Lot in our Summer Fine Art Auction...

A superb panorama of Venice will be a star lot in Lawrences' Summer Fine Art auction in Crewkerne next month. The canvas, measuring 70 by 112cm (28 by 45 inches), is a view along the Grand Canal in Venice. It is based upon a major work of the late 1720's by Canaletto which has been in the Royal Collection at Windsor since 1762 when it was bought by King George III from the British Consul Joseph Smith who had amassed a collection of the artist's work.


The picture at Lawrences is a third larger than the original and features the distinctive facade of the 15th Century church of Santa Maria della Carita where the Rio della Carita joins the main canal. "This is a splendid panorama of Venice," says Lawrences' specialist, Richard Kay. "It was painted in the 18th Century and manages to capture something of Canaletto's skilful feeling for both grandeur and detail. There are figures standing and chatting on the waterfront and small gondolas to give a sense of scale and depth. The scene is set under a sky of pure Mediterranean blue with high white clouds. We believe this picture to be by a talented copyist, possibly by someone who knew Canaletto himself as the great artist didn't die until 1768 and we know that the original was out of public view by 1762. The artist used a little artistic licence but the fine Palazzi of Cavalli Franchetti and the Barbaro family are visible and so is the distinctive church of Santa Maria della Salute."


The picture at Lawrences has two further benefits. It is presented for sale in a sumptuous gilt frame in the style of the designer William Kent which enhances it superbly and it has come to auction from a local gentleman having formerly been in the eminent collection at Brympton d'Evercy near Yeovil. "This picture might have had only two or three owners in its entire history," says Richard. "We hope that it will make £30,000-50,000 on July 8th."

Scoop Up a Somerset Spoon...


A good collection of silver spoons from the 17th and 18th centuries is expected to realise over £20,000 at Lawrences in Crewkerne on July 5th.


Highlights from the collection will be of interest to local collectors as a few notable Somerset spoon makers are represented. There are two spoons made in Taunton: an Elizabeth I Lion Sejant spoon with a gilt terminal, made by Robert Wade in c.1600 (see image) and a William and Mary Lace Back Trefid Spoon made by Samuel Dell in c.1691. These are estimated at £1200-1500 and £700-900 respectively. In addition, there are two spoons by Crewkerne makers: a James II Lace Back Trefid spoon by John Arden, c.1685 at £600-800 and a William III spoon of similar style by Mary Sweet, c.1701 at £900-1200. There are also two spoons by Chard silversmiths: another Lace Back Trefid spoon by Richard Sweet, c.1696 (£900-1200) and a smaller spoon for a child by the same maker, c.1700 expected to make £600-800.


"It may seem odd that towns as small as Crewkerne was in the late 17th Century could support a silversmith at all, let alone one who specialised in spoons," says Lawrences' specialist, Alex Butcher. "However, it is worth remembering that a spoon was usually one's only piece of silver and, often, one's sole eating implement. Makers recognised the size of the market for a locally made item and, in an era when people routinely travelled less far than they do today, a silversmith in Crewkerne would have been kept fairly busy. The Sweet family was pre-eminent in the town and there are keen collectors for their work today, not all of them in Somerset. Some makers had design details that make their spoons surprisingly easy to recognise and the addition of lightly engraved initials or a specific date adds individuality to an otherwise functional item. These spoons were designed to be used, of course, and many show signs of age and wear that make them feel like pieces from history that have a truly tangible appeal. Spoon collectors are well known for their determination for acquiring good regional examples to add to their collections so we are expecting a pleasing result for our client." More details from the auctioneers on 01460 73041

Lawrences Summer Fine Art Auction...

Lawrences' Summer Fine Art Auction goes on view in Crewkerne on July 1st and 1800 lots are on offer with estimates ranging from just £50 to as much as £50,000.


The busy week of auctions begins with 630 lots of silver and vertu on July 5th where highlights include a Charles II small wine goblet from 1660 (£7000-9000, image 474) and a James I wine goblet from 1623 (£9000-12000) as well as a selection of 75 good early spoons (a rare Barnstaple spoon from 1610-20 is expected to make £5000-7000).


After a 600-lot Decorative Antiques auction on July 6th (estimates from £20-500), Lawrences will be offering 600 lots of Jewellery and Ceramics on July 7th. A magnificent yellow diamond solitaire ring is guided at £5000-6000, a Tiffany gold and gem set brooch is expected to make £1200-1500 whilst a Cartier brooch in the form of a golfer carries an estimate of £800-1000. Star lots in Ceramics will include a Lalique glass car mascot in the form of a cockerel's head standing 7 in (18cm) high at £500-700 and a Chinese Qianlong blue and white vase at £1000-1500.


Rounding up the week on July 8th will be 230 lots of pictures and 275 lots of furniture, works of art and carpets. Top lots include an Edward Seago watercolour of Paris (£4000-6000), four 16th and 17th Century portraits from the Dodding and Sandys families of Conishead Priory in Cumbria (a portrait of a gentleman attributed to Sir Antonio Mor is expected to make £6000-9000, image 1452) and a fine view of Venice in the style of Canaletto that was formerly at Brympton d'Evercy (£30,000-50,000). Later, two military drums presented to the Duke of Windsor carry estimates of £10,000-15,000 (image 1627) and £20,000-30,000 each, an elegant bonheur du jour (small writing desk) by Gillows of Lancaster will make £3000-5000, a William and Mary armorial and floral marquetry table bears an estimate of £2500-3500 and a room-sized Donegal carpet is guided at £1000-1500. See it all online at or call the auctioneers for details on (01460) 73041.