Monday 18th June, 2018
One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales, 
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales

CASH IN THE ATTIC to be filmed in Crewkerne Salerooms

The popular tv show Cash in the Attic is coming to film at Lawrences Auctioneers in Crewkerne. Lawrences have General Sales every Wednesday and the producers of the BBC show, have asked if they can film several episodes in the Salerooms.

Presenter Jenny Bond be filming on Wednesday 29th July and Gloria Hunniford will be filming on Wednesday 5th August, where the General Sale includes a Collectors Section.

Gloria Hunniford will be joined for Celebrity Cash in the Attic by comedian Eddie Large and cookery expert Pru Leith.

Saleroom Manager, Tony Lacey said "Our weekly General Sales are always popular with the antique tv shows because we have large bright salerooms and the items that are auctioned vary from household items, china, silver, jewellery and pictures and of course modern & antique furniture. Something for everyone!"

For further details about Lawrences sales, please contact Tony Lacey on 01460 73041

July Fine Art Sale Preview

Lawrences auctioneers in Crewkerne are delighted to be offering for sale a collection of original watercolours by John White (1851-1933). White was born in Edinburgh but was brought up in Melbourne from the age of five. He studied at the Royal Scottish Academy schools in Edinburgh for six years from 1873 but it is with the village of Beer in Devon that he is most strongly associated. He moved there in about 1893 and spent the last forty years of his life producing idyllic rural and coastal subjects, principally in watercolour, with a distinctive feathery technique in a palette of pale creamy pastel shades. He was remembered for his old fashioned, gentlemanly bearing, his distinctive white beard and his avuncular manner with children. The subjects range from views of Beer Beach (£100-200), views at Seaton (£200-300 each), many scenes at Branscombe (image 1230, £400-600), Bude (£300-400), Sidmouth (£300-400), Bampton, Clovelly, Newton St. Cyres (£500-800), Clovelly (£600-900, image 1259), Dartmouth (£350-450) and Porlock on Exmoor (£350-450). Richard Kay, Lawrences' picture specialist observes, "White's watercolours capture a long gone era of simple rural life in Devon. He studied fishwives with baskets, gossip on village lanes, boys near rockpools or girls feeding ducks, tending sheep and hanging out washing. There is a nostalgic charm to his works and many of the villages he loved to draw have altered little in eighty years. The honest toil of rural labour is given dignity in White's watercolours and he showed his countryfolk as hard workers with cheerful, capable spirit. He has a loyal and well established following in this part of the West Country and we have had much success with his delightful pictures for many years."

Charles Greenberg (1922-2006) was a Canadian architect who in 1960 became a partner in the architectural firm of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon (Barbican), responsible for the design of the Barbican in the City of London. He later opened a branch of the practice in Honiton and produced a number of projects in the local area. Throughout this time he had also been a keen art collector and started buying John White's work in the mid 1980's from antique shops, fellow collectors, acquiring a substantial collection of which this sale forms a part. He ran Branscombe Galleries and subsequently Honiton Fine Art as successful galleries from the 1980's onwards and was a connoisseur of Dutch Old Master drawings as well as Victorian oils and watercolours. "Mr Greenberg focused his attentions on John White's watercolours when the market was largely unaware of the artist's skills," recalls Richard. "It is my happy recollection of Charles Greenberg that there was no more determined a collector of White's watercolours. He loved these pictures and was generous enough with his enthusiasm for John White to impart something of his love for White's sunlit views of Devon villages every time he added another one to his collection. It is now time to find new homes for all these pictures."

For further details, please contact Richard Kay on 01460 73041


July Fine Art Sale Preview


A wonderful collection of Moorcroft pottery is to be sold at Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne. Consigned from the Wells area, the collection was originally compiled in South Africa, before they moved to Somerset last year.

The items include some very large examples, and in a variety of different patterns. Patterns include, Pomegranate, Cornflower, Spring Flowers, Poppies, Pansy, Leaf and Berry and various others.

Also included are some early pieces made by William Moorcroft whilst working at the Macintyre factory, in the early part of the 20th century.

Decorative Arts specialist Simon Jones said, " Moorcroft continues to be extremally popular with collectors and dealers, and to see so many large pieces in such good condition appear on the market at the same time is very rare"

Estimates range from £500 - £2500, and will be sold in the Fine Art sale on Thursday 9th July.

For further enquires please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041

July Fine Art Sale Preview

Highlights from Lawrences' forthcoming 1700-lot auction in Crewkerne are to be found in each of the nine sections of the firm's three-day sale.

A signed letter by Charles Darwin of 1826 refers to a mysterious withered plant specimen ("the montrosity is a common one" observes Darwin drily). The estimate for this is £1000-2000 whilst an estimate of £2000-3000 guides a striking silver liqueur decanter with a glass body in the form of a snake (see illustration). The auctioneers expect keen interest in a rare George I silver snuffbox and scent flask from 1720 (£1200-1500) and a superb 4-carat diamond solitaire ring is expected to realise £10,000-15,000 (see illustration). A rare green Lalique thistle vase from c.1922 is guided at £3000-4000 and a scarce mezzotint by George Stubbs of a tigress is expected to make £800-1200. A rare early oil painting by Mary Fedden from the late 1940's (£2000-3000) and a wonderful selection of original works by William Heath Robinson (£100 to £3000 per lot) lead the picture sale whilst an unusual regulator clock by Thwaites and Reed (£8000-10,000) is likely to catch the eyes of connoisseurs. There is an Indo-Portuguese table desk inalid with ivory (£1500-2000) and a 46" long Narwhal tusk at £1500-2000. Estimates start at as little as £50 and viewing begins on July 3rd.

July Fine Art Sale Results


Tuesday 7th July - Books, Maps & Manuscripts

Lawrences' bi-annual book auction in Crewkerne attracted enquiries from as far afield as India and America and keen interest in the vast variety of material on offer ensured that 310 of the 350 lots found buyers. Interest ranged from the broadly popular to the highly academic: a late 15th Century Italian manuscript of the "Epistolarum Familiarus" of Marcus Tullius Cicero comprised 120 leaves, each of about 34 neatly lettered lines and sold for £4000 whilst a 1930's edition of "Les Kasbahs de l'Atlas" by Jacques Majorelle soared to £5400. A letter by Charles Darwin dated from 1826 and referred to a mysterious botanical specimen sent to the great naturalist for comment. Darwin remarked that it was "quite withered; but the montrosity is a common one." The letter itself was of far greater interest than the withered plant and it took £3100 to secure it. A collection of books from the library of the Georgian MP Joseph Neeld (1784-1856) comprised works on architecture, costume, foreign travel, natural history and (inevitably) politics. George Henry Mason's "Costumes of China" of 1800 contained 60 coloured aquatints and made £1200 but the library of fifty lots made just over £11,500. Books from the collection of Sir William Martin Conway,1st Baron Conway of Allington, included many volumes with fine bindings on history and literature and made £6500. Novelties were popular: a tiny boxed globe (1.5in in diameter) dated from c.1845 and included a concertina strip of European costumes: this made £1050. Two little peepshows made of card and paper dated from c.1820 and showed a European landscape and a scene on The Mall in London. They sold for £690. In addition, children's books were in demand, well illustrated modern editions containing original prints by artists as distinguished as Henry Moore and David Jones made £850 and £520, and a fine volume by John Coker, entitled "A Survey of Dorsetshire" (1732) with a beautiful but uncoloured map of Dorset folded into it made £340 (see illustration).


Thursday 9th July - Jewellery, Silver & Ceramics

The second day of Lawrences' summer fine art auction saw silver, jewellery and ceramics go under the hammer. There were strong prices across the whole day and the 700 lots realised over £260,000.

In the silver section, an ornate 19th Century Japanese tea service by Konoike of Yokohama made £1700 and a pair of George III sauce tureens from 1809 sold for £2400. A pair of waiters (small salvers) by Messrs Makepeace and Carter dated from 1777 and took £2700 whilst an unusually distinctive liqueur decanter with a silver snake's head upon a cut glass serpentine body appealed sufficiently to more than double its expectations and sell for £3500. A surprise in the vertu section was a Swiss 19th century musical box and watch combination in a tortoiseshell case that soared above its £500-700 estimate to sell for £4900. A pair of Russian silver gilt enamelled kovsch (small salts bowls) by Maria Semenova of Moscow dated from before the Revolution and were still in the original fitted case: they made £2700.

Jewellery was especially strong this time with diamonds selling well, as usual. A three stone ring made £2900 and a fine solitaire of approximately four carats made a mid-estimate £12000. A pair of Art Deco jade disc earrings made £3700 and an openwork emerald and diamond brooch made the same. The undoubted highlight was the Nelson mourning ring, one of 58 made for Nelson's closest friends at his funeral in 1806. Consigned for sale by a lady in North Somerset, the ring attracted no fewer fifteen telephone bidders who re-enacted a battle worthy of Trafalgar before the lucky victor secured it for a hammer price of £18000.

The ceramics section was large and varied. The decorative arts section included some desirable pieces of Royal Worcester, including a jar and cover decorated by William Powell that sold for £3100 and a copper Arts and Crafts mirror that made £1200. Two closely matched wine bottles from 1738 proved that the glass could be more desirable than the contents - they made £3400. A pair of Meissen dot period vases and covers took £4500 whilst two Chinese hats for courtiers, each with an elaborately shaped and fitted box, made £1860.A Chinese blue and white baluster vase with a ferocious-looking qilin (chinese unicorn) amongst banana palms was bid to £820.


 Friday 10th July - Paintings & Furniture

The final day of Lawrences' recent Fine Art sale offered pictures, clocks and furniture. The picture section reported less than 15% unsold and highlights included a beautiful watercolour of a sleeping boy by William Henry Hunt (£5400), part of the late Charles Greenberg's collection of watercolours by the Edwardian Devon artist John White that totalled £17,000, an extremely popular private collection of twenty two lots of watercolours and drawings by the celebrated William Heath Robinson that sold for a total of £29,700 and a good still life by Vanessa Bell (£4600). Strong prices throughout the oil paintings included £4800 for a tantalisingly grubby 18th Century still life attributed to William Sartorius from a local deceased estate (£4800); a fine pair of portraits of King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria that sold for £6400; and a trio of works by the de Breanski family, led by a Highlands view at £3200. Four modern works towards the end of the section proved popular with an oil by Roger Fry (from the same collection as the aforementioned Vanessa Bell) making £4800; an early Mary Fedden oil of a cottage at Snape (£4200); a large moonlit view across the Thames to Battersea by Whistler's pupil Walter Greaves making £4000; and an elegant view of a drawing room interior by Albert Chevallier Tayler selling for £2500.

Considerable interest focused upon a portable regulator clock by Thwaites and Reed, consigned for sale by the descendants of John Reeves (1774-1856) for whom it was made in about 1824 (Reeves spent most of his career in China but visited Britain in 1824). After diligent research by Anthony Kilroy, this rare clock exceeded its £8000-10,000 estimate to make £16,500 (see illustration). Remaining with a mechanical theme, a bells-in-sight cylinder music box took £1800. A pair of late George III mahogany pedestals would prove ideal not just for displaying sculpture but each contained a concealed drawer or a bottle cellar. These made £9000 whilst a parcel gilt and cream painted demi-lune side cabinet made £5000 despite having a somewhat more recent formica top. The fondness for lavish interior styling saw £3500 paid for a French Regence style giltwood centre table. This one had an authentic green marble top and comfortably surpassed its estimate to make £3500. The Crewkerne firm was delighted with the week as a whole and the sale total just over £750,000. "We have managed to offer a large selection of good quality items at appealing estimates," said Lawrences' Helen Carless. "This combination has resulted in some excellent prices and we have vendors- and buyers - who are delighted."