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


The second day of Lawrences’ Summer Fine Art auction in Crewkerne saw jewellery and ceramics on offer.

As usual, the mixed lots of jewellery at the start of the sale were very well received and a mixed group of necklaces, bangles and brooches was bid to £1550. A handsome gentleman’s steel and gold Rolex took £2030 but attention focused upon some stunning stones, including a ring composed of two old brilliant-cut diamonds that soared to £6570 and a 2.3 carat diamond in an Art Deco ring that made £7760. A pair of diamond cluster studs would have complemented the ring beautifully and these made £4300.

The eternal allure of emeralds was well reflected, with an emerald and diamond bracelet in Art Deco style taking £3220 and a ring formed of an emerald with two diamonds making £3100. Top honours went to a mighty 56-carat emerald ring, possibly of Mughal origin and allegedly from the family of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. This took £17,920.

From the selection of decorative arts on offer, a beautifully understated bowl by Lucie Rie made £2330; a frosted blue Lalique vase in the `Formose` design made £1670; and a Royal Worcester vase painted with swans made £1850. Amongst the ceramic and glass, a Waterloo County glass jug from Cork made £1140; a Spode Newstone dinner service took £1020; a Meissen dinner service, bought in Russia in 1916, made £4420; and a suite of twelve superb Chelsea `gold anchor` plates doubled expectations to take £7170.

The day’s remaining highlights came from the Far East, with £3100 paid for a Japanese kakiemon vase and cover; a Chinese famille vert figure of a seated nobleman going to £3340; and a large pair of Chinese blue and white canisters and covers painted with a river scene made £3460. Bidding was most intense for a superb quality Chinese export ivory work box. This was profusely carved in high relief with figures amongst pavilions and trees, and the interior still had numerous original fittings. The quality and remarkable condition helped this to sell for triple its estimate at £9320.


The BBC’s popular early evening programme, `Celebrity Antiques Road Trip`, came to Crewkerne last week. The celebrity participants were Fern Britton and her husband Phil Vickery. In the company of two experienced antiques experts, James Braxton and Mark Stacey, the foursome had travelled around Devon and Somerset for two days purchasing antiques. They all came to the Crewkerne saleroom to see how their judgments had paid off when the lots were offered to a packed room of the usual eager dealers and collectors. Under the hammer, there was a surprising variety on offer. The teams had bought some eye-catching pieces, including an ash bench, a 1950’s seesaw head modelled as a cockerel, some commemorative silver coins, two vintage wooden stepladders and a tiny carved wood model of a seated bear. More unusual lots included an assortment that contained tribal spears and a hockey stick, a curious rustic pottery jug modelled as a green owl and a rare Arcadian crestedware model of a nurse attending to a soldier. “We must remain tightlipped about how well the teams performed,” says Lawrences’ managing director, Helen Carless. “All will be revealed when the programme is shown on BBC2 later in the year. Suffice to say there were many joyful surprises and a very few slight disappointments but one item made almost twenty times its purchase price. Of course, it was a pleasure to welcome Phil and Fern to Lawrences. They really entered into the spirit of the occasion and, as the proceeds will all go to Children in Need, we didn’t object to the participants all cheering loudly when they turned a profit – and there were quite a few of those!”

Image shows (from l-r): Phil Vickery, Helen Carless of Lawrences, Fern Britton & Richard Kay of Lawrences, in the Crewkerne saleroom after their lots had been sold.


Lawrences are offering some fascinating items from the collection of a Norfolk dealer. Roderic Haugh, a dealer and collector of good period English furniture and decorative antiques, started dealing in the 1960s and he exhibited antiques regularly for over forty years.  

There was a major change in Roderic’s career in 2001 when he had the opportunity to acquire an industrial-sized building just off the King’s Road, Chelsea. He founded Core One Antiques, now an unrivalled source of quality antiques, with ten elite dealers’ showrooms under one roof.

Now sixty-nine, another sea change is occurring in Roderic’s career and he has decided to mount a sale of some of his private collection at Lawrence’s sale in July. The sale will include some of his interesting finds of the last forty years.  From the start of his career, Roderic has had a leaning towards the decorative style of furniture and embellishments.  However, the French decorative look, which predominated in the latter part of the 20th century did not totally appeal to Roderic, so he bought English decorative furniture which he felt should compete with the sometimes elaborate profiles of furniture from sun-drenched France and the more severely classical painted pieces of the Baltic Coast.

Roderic’s buying inevitably developed an eclectic look based upon his many and varied acquisitions in England, with a few bits thrown in from the Continent. A flavour of the mixture on offer from Roderic’s own collection reflects his love of quality and style: there is a sapphire and diamond brooch (£500-700); a coromandel wood cigar humidor made by Dunhill (£200-300); an oil painting of Hereford Cathedral by George Arnald (£500-800); a Chinese export lacquer commode (£2500-3000); a Dutch East Indies rosewood and ebony chest of drawers (£1200-1500); and a cased wooden model of a lugger under sail (£150-250). Two of the more unusual items include a Provincial French horsedrawn Phaeton carriage (£500-800) and a superb quality pollarded elm longcase clock by John Latham of London (£8000-12000).


Lawrences in Crewkerne will be holding their main Summer Fine Art auction in July . It comprises nearly 2200 lots and there are fascinating items on each day to catch the eyes of keen connoisseurs and casual collectors alike.  On Tuesday, July 9th there will be over 660 lots of silver and vertu. The day’s top lot is expected to be a rare 1675 Charles II tankard, the elaborate handle cast with dolphins, upon eagle feet (estimate £35000-40000). A more affordable novelty is a 3-inch (7.5cm) Victorian propelling pencil in the form of a rifle. It is sold with a copy of its rare design registration and is expected to make £400-450

On Wednesday July 10th, there will be over 700 lots of decorative antiques in the firm’s hugely popular weekly General sale, with estimates from £20-400

On Thursday July 11th, there will be 380 lots of jewellery, with the top lot expected to be a carved emerald and diamond ring, the superb stone weighing 56 carats (estimate £15000-25000, image 1089). After terrific success with an amber necklace in April 2013 that made £13,740, two further examples are on offer with estimates from £600-2000 each. Later that same day, 300 lots of ceramics and glass will include an elegantly understated bowl by celebrated modern ceramicist Lucie Rie (estimate £800-1200) and a set of twelve Chelsea Gold Anchor plates decorated with botanical specimens (estimate £2000-3000).

On Friday July 12th, over 200 pictures and prints begin the day. A highlight will be an early oil painting by Michael Ayrton, painted in 1953 when the artist was just 32. `Figures in a Red Room` is expected to make £12000-18000 but, on a more affordable level, a lively 1925 aquatint by Dame Laura Knight, entitled `Some Holiday`, is guided at £500-800. Following this, nearly 300 lots of furniture and works of art includes a fine pollarded elm longcase clock  by John Latham of London (estimate £8000-12000, image 1583), a fitted George II mahogany cellarette with a full complement of decanters and tumblers (£400-500) and a good Ziegler style carpet (£800-1200).

On July 26th, there will be 300 lots of books, maps and manuscripts and the sale includes very rare early photographs from the Crimean War by Roger Fenton, c.1856 (£300-600 each,). In addition, two newly discovered and carefully researched rare manuscript volumes of `Instrumental Musick` by John Lenton (1657-1719) are expected to strike a high note. These pieces date from 1702-1703 and the earlier one was intended to be performed before King William III. After his death in March 1702, the other was written to be performed before William’s successor, Queen Anne. Each is expected to make £3000-4000. Viewing (except for books) begins on Friday  July 5th and the whole sale can be viewed online at


A modest looking little glass jug, spotted in a consignment of items from a Somerset lady and destined initially for a general sale, will be featured in Lawrence’s Ceramics and Glass auction in Crewkerne on July 11th.

The jug was made in about 1815 by the Waterloo Glass House Company in Cork, Ireland. The company flourished from 1815 until about 1835 when it went bankrupt but, in its heyday, it received great praise from a reviewer in the `Cork Overseer` newspaper. Daniel Foley, the company’s owner, was saluted as follows: “Foley’s workmen are well selected, from whose superior skill the most beautiful glass will shortly make its appearance to dazzle the eyes of the public, and to outshine those of any competitor. He is to treat his men at Christmas with a whole roasted ox and everything adequate. They have a new band of music with glass instruments with bassoon serpents, horns, trumpets etc., and they have a glass pleasure boat, a cot and a glass set which when seen will astonish the world.”

Richard Gold at Lawrences comments, “In the light of Foley’s remarkable technical skills at making something as complex as a cot or a boat from a material like glass, it is just a little disappointing to see the skills of his workmen displayed only in this unassuming jug but glass collectors love Irish glass, especially something made by such a remarkable factory.” The 6” (15cm) high jug is expected to make £150-200.