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 original Television script of ‘Educating Archie’ which belonged to Peter Brough, is to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.

‘Educating Archie’ was a light entertainment programme which ran from 1950-58, featuring Ventriloquist Peter Brough and his doll Archie Andrews. Starting on Radio the show proved incredibly popular averaging 15 Million viewers and boasting a large fan club.

The show also introduced many famous Comedians including Tony Hancock, Benny Hill, Harry Secombe, Dick Emery, Beryl Reid and many more. In 1958 the show was transferred to Television, and was Broadcast from 1958-59.

Entered for sale by the Family, this leather bound book contains all the scripts from the 1958 Television Series, and was Peter Brough’s personal copy.

Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, “This is a wonderful piece of Television history, from an iconic show of it’s day. It is very rare to see items like this appearing on the open market, and it should attract a huge amount of interest from collectors”

The Script will be sold in Lawrences Autumn Collectors Sale, on Friday 2nd of November.


The rare and the beautiful will feature in Lawrences' autumn auctions next month. A fine quality model of a French ship called `La Gloire` is made of bone. This 60cm long model was fashioned by French prisoners of war in the Napoleonic era and they used mutton bones from their rations, which they softened in clay. The rigging was made of plaited hair and the metal fixings were salvaged from tiny fragments of nails and button holes. This intriguing piece is expected to make £4000-5000. There is a pretty George III marquetry table box, unusual for having its original supplier's label for Dewdney of Fleet Street in London (£300-400); a rare barometer by James Gatty of London in need of some repair (£300-400); a beautiful Derby tea service with named views in northern England and Europe (£1000-1500); two finely modelled Meissen `vintner` groups of elaborately posed figures, consigned from Seaton in Devon (£1500-2000 each); and, from London, a finely proportioned mahogany commode of serpentine outline, designed as an elegant complement for a Georgian drawing room or bedroom (£3000-4000). These will be sold on October 11th and 12th along with over 2000 further lots in a hectic week of sales for the Crewkerne firm.


Our October Fine Art catalogue may be viewed by selecting the 'Auctions' tab above, 'Current Sales' and then by viewing the catalogue for the relevant sale.   You can also view a PDF copy of the catalogue by selecting the red link on the homepage.  

To view the Addenda and Errata for this sale, please select the 'Auctions' tab above and then select 'Current Sales'.  The addendum can then be viewed by selecting the appropriate sale date.




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A fascinating variety of jewellery will adorn Lawrences’ auction in Crewkerne next month and the auctioneers hope that there will be something to catch the eye of every collector, even as far afield as India.

“There are some fine Burmese items,” says specialist, Miranda Bingham. “A late Victorian ruby and gold hinged bracelet is expected to make £3000-4000 and a gold and gem set heraldic pendant from the same source will be carrying an estimate of £1500-2000. Indian rubies have particular allure but there are some dazzling diamonds, too: a simple emerald and diamond brooch is set to make just £300-400 but we have a 3.8 carat brilliant-cut solitaire diamond ring at £12000-15000, an emerald and diamond cluster ring at £4200-5000 and a superb quality sapphire and diamond cluster pendant from a Yeovil vendor. This weighs a mighty 17 carats and should realise £15000-18000.”

The selection includes appealing lots of quality costume jewellery, many varied mixed lots with estimates from £100, cufflinks and wristwatches for the gentlemen, numerous earrings and some brooches. Some of the Victorian mourning brooches, made perhaps to commemorate the death of a child, hold tiny curls of the loved one’s hair and are expected to sell for £300-400 each.  Miranda admires one particular item. “Interest will focus upon a Regency bracelet of extraordinary quality, containing an enamel portrait of an officer. He wears the Star of the Knight Commander, military division, of the Order of the Bath. It is set within a gold frame with black and white enamel decoration, formed as six gold serpents with ruby  heads. This comes from a Somerset lady and will carry an estimate of £1000-1500.”


A humble looking 17th Century West Country spoon, to be offered at Lawrences in Crewkerne in October,  carries an interesting history.

It was made in about 1680 by Thomas Dare II, a Taunton silversmith. Dare was baptised in January 1643/4 and he was probably apprenticed into his father’s business. He is known to have taken it over in the early 1660’s. Dare married Ellen Knight by 1670 and had four sons, of whom two (John & James) later succeeded to the business.

“In the late 1670’s Dare became heavily involved in the whiggish anti-Catholic movement headed by the Earl of Shaftesbury,” explains Lawrences’ silver specialist, Alex Butcher.  “This led to his appearance at Somerset Assizes at the end of March 1680, when he was subjected to a `rigged` trial, fined £500 (an enormous sum at that time, equivalent to about £60,000 today) and ordered to be kept in custody pending payment.  He escaped from prison, and fled to Amsterdam, where his house was a focal point for the Monmouthites who were planning to invade England. All this time it must be assumed that the long-suffering Ellen was running the family silver business.”

In June 1685 Dare - who had been made Paymaster-General - came over to Lyme Regis with the Duke of Monmouth, but soon lost his life in an affray with Andrew Fletcher, a cavalry officer, over a horse which Dare had “liberated”.  Before all this happened, Dare had very wisely conveyed to Trustees certain property in Taunton, including “all the messuage or tenement in a street called Fore Street, now or lately in the tenure of Samuel Dell or his assignees”.  In his will, made in Amsterdam on 4th June 1685, Dare made various bequests, and in particular enjoined the Trustees to provide finance for Ellen if “for the better support of herself or children” she carried on the goldsmith’s trade (which she did).

“Collectors are fascinated by domestic items with an unexpected background. In this case, a simple silver spoon tells a tale of involvement with crime, corruption, rebellion and death,” says Alex. “We expect the spoon to make £700-900.”


A vast variety of silver will come under the hammer at Lawrences in Crewkerne on October 9th. Amongst the 950 lots on offer that day, there are items for the serious collector and for the more lighthearted enthusiast.

A George III Irish two handled cup was a gift of The Demifore Yeomanry Cavalry who featured in the Irish uprisings of the late 18th/early 19th century.  In 1798 a large body of insurgents who had posted themselves on the hill of Taragh, Co. Meath were routed with considerable loss by the King's troops and Yeomanry. The cup commemorates the brave action of an officer and is expected to make £600-800. Two early 20th Century Dutch silver ingots reflect the value of the metal in the modern market. Each is about the size of a cigarette packet but they have a combined weight of over 64 ounces and will realise over £1200.

On a lighter note, a brass vesta case shows a lady picking apples on the cover and the enticing invitation of “Voulez vous des pommes?”. Inside, the young lady lifts her skirts to show rosy cheeks (£100-150). Another oblong vesta case is decorated in enamel to resemble the calling card of the celebrated Victorian actor/comedian Sir John Hare and it even has a convincing `crimp’ in the upper right corner. Hare (1844-1921) was the manager of the Garrick Theatre from 1889-1895 and his long career spanned the stage and the screen (£200-300). These come from a private collection of over 300 vesta cases which will be sold individually or, for the less valuable examples, in collectable batches of six or ten.

For the collector of modern silver, two small beakers by the much admired contemporary silversmith Gerald Benney (£700-900) are accompanied by a selection of silver gilt eggs by the skilled silversmith Stuart Devlin. These exquisite little works of art open to reveal such novelties as a hedgehog, a bee upon a flower, a frog on a lily pad, a ladybird and flowers. They are estimated at £300-400 each and have become very collectable in recent years as they blend superb craftsmanship with novelty appeal.


An important re-discovery of a major Edwardian picture could yield £200,000 for the Somerset owner.

The 1909 picture, by the celebrated but tragic artist John William Godward (1861-1922) was last recorded when it passed through Christies in London in 1937 and made just under £70. It is entitled “Summer Idleness: Day Dreams” and, after a short spell with London dealers Vicars Brothers, the picture was purchased for £100 in 1957 from Harrods.

Scholars only knew of the picture from a 1910 print but now the painting on canvas, measuring, 50 by 75cm (20 x 30 ins) is set to make £150,000-200,000 when offered for sale by auction at Lawrences in Crewkerne on October 12th. It is being sold by the daughter of the lady who purchased it from Harrods 55 years ago.

“It’s a wonderful find,” says Lawrences’ specialist, Richard Kay. “The owners knew that they owned a fine picture but had no idea that its whereabouts had been unknown for well over half a century.” Dr. Vern Swanson, the great American authority on Godward whose monograph of the artist’s work “The Eclipse of Classicism” lists dozens of Godward’s pictures, has recently assessed the picture from a photograph and declares it to be a revelation, commenting that it is “one of the most sensitively coloured paintings in Godward’s oeuvre.” He will now include it with a bigger illustration in an updated edition of his book and is delighted to learn of its existence.

“Godward dismayed his middle class London family by pursuing a career in art rather than a more traditional profession,” explains Richard. “He perfected a technique of painting gauzy fabrics, voluptuous feminine flesh and, in particular, an extraordinarily realistic rendering of marble that looks tangibly cold. He enjoyed great successes at The Royal Academy until abstraction and modernism began to replace traditional historical themes in the early 20th Century. Godward further horrified his parents by living with one of his alluring models and then, as the real world failed to match his own idealised artistic vision of it, he took his own life in 1922.” Horrified yet again by such a scandalous death, Godward’s family cut his face out of all family photographs and then destroyed all his papers in disgust. 

As recently as 1979, this picture was worth barely £5000 but Godward’s prices have soared in recent years. A very large work, “A Fair Reflection” made a record price of just under £900,000 in New York in May 2012.  Richard has had a good chance to examine the picture closely and is impressed by many aspects of the picture: “The appeal of Godward’s work is not just his meticulous technique but his graceful compositions and the atmosphere of serene thoughtfulness. As we ponder the girl’s idle imaginings we share a little of her contemplative ease. It is a mesmerizingly calm picture and it offers a beautiful point of stillness in a hectic world.”


Models of ships are not especially unusual at auction and they invariably attract keen interest from marine historians, maritime enthusiasts and collectors of naval items. However, a rather more unusual ship model will be a star lot in Lawrences' Autumn auction in Crewkerne on Friday 12th October 2012.

It is a model of a war ship called `La Gloire` and measures about 24 inches (60cm) from stem to stern. The French vessel was captured by HM frigate "Astraea", under the captaincy of Lord Henry Paulet of Brest, in a decisive action on April 10th 1795.

"This model is unusual because it is made by French prisoners of war," explains specialist Richard Gold. "They saved the mutton bones from their meagre rations of stew, softened them in clay to make them more pliable, and worked carefully over many months to produce brilliantly accurate models. Any necessary metal elements were fashioned from tiny scraps of nails, belt buckles and button holes. Small scraps of cloth, sometimes snipped from their own clothing or hammocks, were used for sails and the problem of string for the rigging was overcome when they learnt to plait and weave their own hair into long `ropes`. The prisoners were endlessly enterprising when it came to making the most of any odd fragments they could find; sometimes parts of old pipes, darkened by tobacco, could be used as tiny cannons. The prisoners knew their vessels better than their own homes and, even from memory, they were able to make delightful models like this. `La Gloire` has survived remarkably well in a 19th Century glazed case. We expect it to realise £4000-6000."


An amazing collection of boxed Matchbox Models are to be sold by Lawrences of Crewkerne.

Entered by a client in Devon, the models have been collected from the 1960’s through to the present day, initially using pocket money to purchase them.

It total there are over 200 boxed models, including Matchbox Series, Superfast, Major Packs, Kingsize, and Models of Yesteryear. These will be sold in a variety in lots.

Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, “This is a fantastic collection, probably one of the largest I have seen for some time. Toy’s continue to be extremely popular in auction, and prices remain very strong”

The toy’s will be sold on Friday 2nd of November, part of a two day Militaria, Collectors, and Sporting Sale. For further details about this sale please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.


A 19thc French Doll is to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers in Crewkerne.

The Parisian doll dates to around 1870-1880, with a porcelain head and kid body.  It is dressed in possibly it’s original clothes. The doll was given to the present owner by her Great-Aunt; she had been given the doll by a wealthly local family in the Birmingham area, in the early part of the 20thc as a gift.

Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, “French Dolls from the 19thc are extremely sought after by collectors, both in the UK and overseas. The doll has been in the present family for around 100 years, and hopefully it will find a good home”

The doll will be sold in Lawrences Autumn Collectors Sale, for further details about this sale please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.



A collection of Troika Pottery is to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.

Made in St Ives, the factory which was established in 1963, made unconventional pottery which appealed to famous Stores such as Liberty’s and Heal’s, who retailed their items and made the factory well known throughout the world.

This collection formed by a couple in Somerset, comprises 27 items in total, and includes a large table lamp, many slab and disc vases, a chimney vase, and many more.

Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, “This is an unusually large and well judged collection, with a variety of shapes and designs. Troika continues to be very popular in auction and should attract a lot of interest from collectors”

These items will be included in Lawrences Autumn Fine Art Sale on the 11th of October. For further details about this sale please contact Simon Jones on 01460 73041.