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A tale of two sales: Spring Antiques Auction Sale Report

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Taking place on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th March, our Spring Antiques Auction followed a somewhat different format to most of our major sales – in that the Wednesday was dedicated entirely to the contents of a single-owner private collection of art. Day 2, meanwhile, dealt with a typically diverse catalogue ranging from works of art through vintage clothing, jewellery, watches, coins, silver, wine and spirits, glass, ceramics, oriental works, militaria, diecast toy cars, clocks, barometers and furniture – amounting to a further 677 lots.
Day one’s art collection, split into 315 lots, covered a broad range of styles and eras; from religious iconography and paintings from the period of the old masters to Victorian landscapes, historic portraits and modern impressionist works. This impressive collection certainly caught the attention of the collecting community; amassing a total hammer price in excess of £55,000.
The collection, consigned from a local family who have been using Cuttlestones for over 10 years saw lots sell as far afield as the United States and Australia, with significant interest on the telephone lines, in the room, via commission and live on the internet. The top individual hammer price of the collection was an impressive £2,400 for Lot 146 – a Continental School oil on canvas scene of wooded landscape with two putti hunting dogs and dead game. Unsigned and unframed, it sold to a London purchaser bidder on the internet.
Other day-one highlights included Lot 34 – a set of three interior scenes by Augustus Leopold Egg (1816-1863) one titled 'The Devil on Two Sticks', one signed and dated verso, which fetched £1,000. Lot 57 – a Continental School oil on copper religious study of a young man and lamb, indistinctly signed verso, sold for £600 while another religious subject – Lot 143, depicting Jesus being handed to Mary with onlookers in a church interior, unsigned and unframed, went for £1,000.
Maritime themes also proved popular – Lot 118, a pair of oil on canvas stormy rocky coastal scenes, one moonlit, and each signed by H. McCulloch, achieved £900; Lot 149 – a pair of framed and glazed Dutch coastal village scenes by P.C. Dommersen fetched £1,800 while Lot 161 – an unsigned oil on canvas depiction of a naval battle scene – saw the hammer fall at £800. 
Other paintings to perform particularly well included Lot 121 – a Continental School oil on canvas of a wooded landscape with female nudes. Unsigned and unframed it sold for £800, while Lot 107 – a night-time scene of numerous figures skating on a frozen Thames, circle of James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1843-193); oil on panel and monogrammed lower right, achieved £900. 
However, the collection covered more than just paintings – Lot 242, an early illuminated declaration by the Principal King of Arms, for occurrences in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, with one damaged seal, the other missing, watercolour and pen and ink on paper laid on board, saw the hammer fall at £600 while Lot 314 – a large quantity of pencil sketches, drawings, watercolours and oils amounting to 100s of small works went for £1,500.
Day Two…
Day One’s success was equalled on Day Two – with some 800 bidders registered online alongside a healthy contingent on the phone lines, in the commission books and in the room.
Art once again started the sale, with highlights including Lot 381 – a folder of various works, sketches and drawings by E. Maurice Field (1905 – 1988) hailing from the studio of the artist, which sold for £320. Lot 385 – a woodcut on paper entitled ‘Downland Farm’ featuring figures, horses, chickens and cattle, limited edition 3 of 50 and signed lower right by Gwenda Morgan, fetched £450. 
Somewhat different in style, Lot 458 – an impressionist Indian market scene in watercolour, signed by K.N.S. Paniker, sold for £420 while the undoubted star of Wednesday’s art sections was Lot 533 – an oil on canvas entitled ‘The Trysting Peace’ by Heywood Hardy (1842 – 1933) which achieved £2,200.
Jewellery and watches proved as popular as ever, with highlights including Lot 634 – a hallmarked 9ct gold bracelet with heart shaped clasp approx. 39.78g which sold for its top estimate of £600. Lot 648 – an Irish hallmarked silver Celtic Tara brooch by Hopkins & Hopkins (Dublin, 1916) shattered its £50-80 estimate when the hammer fell at £190.
This was shortly followed by the sale’s highest grossing individual lot – a diamond set Oyster Perpetual Datejust Rolex wristwatch – complete with Rolex box and outer box – which sold for £3,200. Two watches with military links also performed well – Lot 695 – a ‘Dirty Dozen’ vintage record WWW British Military WWII issued mechanical wristwatch, circa 1945, went for £480 while Lot 696 – a similar Lamania example – sold for £1,200.
In the coins section, the big hitter was Lot 718 – a 2005 gold proof fifty pence coin marking the 250th anniversary of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary which sold for £650. In a strong silver section, Lot 720 – a hallmarked silver dressing table box by Thomas Hayes, marked for Birmingham 1900, sold for £190 while Lot 721 – a Continental silver tea caddy, with import marks for 1912, fetched £190. Other highlights of this impressive section included Lot 724 – a pair of hallmarked silver, hammered-finish arts & crafts twin-handled vases by Lloyd Paine and Ameil, Birmingham 1906, saw the hammer fall at £240.
Silver with an oriental flavour also proved popular – with Lot 727, a Chinese three-piece silver tea set, with typical bamboo decoration, selling for £1,000 while Lot 728 – a Japanese-type white metal cocktail shaker together with six white metal Japanese style shot cups and stamped ‘Sterling Benten’ fetched £850. Last but by no means least, Lot 731 – a Chinese silver lidded pot by Luen Wo, engraved to the lid ‘From Captain & Officers of the P&O S.S. Aden, April 1897, and heavily decorated with bamboo & insects, sold for £420.
Two items of glassware in particular stood out – Lot 779, an early 20th Lalique opalescent ‘serpent’ design cendrier, with etched maker’s mark ‘R. Lalique’ to bottom edge, achieved £700. Lot 780, meanwhile – a set of three Thomas Webb Lion Mask decanters sold for £650.
Oriental works once again attracted significant interest with Lot 836 proving a real sleeper. The pair of Famille Rose lidded Campana urns on stands with elaborate figural, floral and foliate embellishment shattered their estimate of £60-100 when the hammer fell at £1,100 – despite significant damage and repairs cited in the condition report. Other highlights from he section included Lot 838 – a cast gilt metal seated figure of a deity, which went for £650; Lot 841 – a Chinese carved mother of pearl shell, fetching a hefty £800 and Lot 854 – a Chinese carved Jade ‘Dragon’ buckle/belt hook which, together with a smaller example, achieved £1,700. A further Oriental Famille Rose lidded jar – Lot 856 – rounded off the section’s stars when the hammer fell at £650.
Next in the highlights were two – somewhat contrasting – figures. First up, Lot 875 – a large carved wooden figure group showing the lamentation of Christ, which fetched £800; followed by Lot 931 – a 19th Century alabaster figure of a seated nude lady with a book in her hand stamped for ‘Alph(onse) Giroux, Paris’ which sold for £600.
Diecast toy cars were also well represented – with highlights including Lot 945 – a Corgi toys boxed 267 rocker firing Batmobile, complete with packet, rockets and owner’s badge, which sold for £140. Also getting toy collectors hot under the collar was Lot 956 – a Dinky Toys Thunderbirds 100 Lady Penelope’s FAB 1 complete with rocket and four harpoons – that went for £130.
Back to the more ‘traditional’ antiques and there were some great prices achieved across both the Clocks & Barometers and Furniture sections. Lot 973 – a large, ornate triple fusee musical table clock retailed by Goldsmiths Co, 112 Regent Street, London sold for £1,100. Lot 1009 – a Victorian ebonised credenza – went for £600; while Lot 1012 – a Brigitte Forestier cherrywood large breakout wardrobe together with a pair of bedside cabinets, full length cheval mirror and kingsize bed frame sold for £1,200 – proving that large-scale, traditional bedroom furniture of quality still has appeal.
Consignments are now being taken for our Summer Antique Sale – for a free, no obligation valuation please send images to [email protected], via WhatsApp to 07949 603872 or call 01785 714905 to make an appointment. 
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