Online Bidding

Colonial games box proves a real ‘box of delights’ at auction

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Lot 403
 
Lot 324
 
Lot 48
 
Lot 68
 
Lot 295

Heading up a diverse 447 lot catalogue, a Vizagapatam Anglo-Indian ivory and horn games box shattered its estimate of between £1200 – £1800 to achieve an impressive £6,500 at Staffordshire auction house Cuttlestones’ Friday, 9th September Fine Art Sale.

Believed to date from the mid-19th Century the box is a fine example of Colonial Anglo-Indian artwork and takes the form of two closed books intricately decorated with ivory and carving. The externally displayed chequer board carries a thick band of engraved scrolling leaves and the box opens to reveal an inlaid sandalwood backgammon board alongside two hinged ivory veneer boxes; one containing thirty two draught pieces with two shakers and dice, the other with a complete set of ivory and horn chess pieces.

The lot, number 295, created quite a bidding frenzy between parties both in the room, on the phone lines and live internet bidders, with the hammer finally falling at the impressive sum of £6,500 to an online bidder from the US.

This was not the only ‘sleeper’ in the sale; a children’s double seated rocking horse (lot 403) in need of extensive restoration and carrying the maker’s mark “Biddick & Co., Bridgwater & Burnham On Sea” achieved £800 against its estimate of £60 – £100 despite significant cracks to the body and poorly filled damage to the legs. Meanwhile, an Art Nouveau copper rectangular wall mirror (lot 419) carrying embossed stylised floral decoration and with some minor damage exceeded its estimate of £100 – £200 to fetch £1200.

These remarkable prices set the scene for a successful auction with strong interest across the board; other notable lots that achieved substantial – although less surprising – figures included lot 68, a substantial modern hallmarked Scottish silver punch bowl (Edinburgh 2008) which achieved £2,600; just one of some 89 lots in a silver section that saw some fine performances for both modern and antique pieces. Jewellery saw some equally strong results; in particular lot 148, a graduated single string fresh water pearl and diamond necklace, on which the hammer fell at £2,100.

In the furniture section two housekeeper’s cupboards, lots 391 and 423, the former a Georgian Oak and Mahogany piece and the latter a 19th Century example featuring an inbuilt clock and originating from a house in Ironbridge, Shropshire, each took £2,000.

Last, but by no means least, of the most notable lots is lot 324; a gold and pique tortoiseshell box, its hinged lid featuring with pique-pose exotic buildings within a scrolling foliate border and foliate scrolling throughout, which achieved an impressive £1,500 in spite of a split to the lid and some small losses to the inlay.

Cuttlestones’ MD and Head Auctioneer, Ben Gamble, comments:

The results of sale are testament to the fact that, regardless of whether you’re looking at furniture, jewellery, silver or decorative collectable items quality will always sell and achieve good prices. This is ever more evident as out online marketing and live internet bidding facility means we’re attracting a worldwide audience, thus helping to ensure lots achieve their full potential by reaching the broadest possible audience.

Full results of the sale, including coins and medals, watches, glassware, ceramics, oriental works, works of art, oil paintings, water colours, clocks and furniture are available at www.cuttlestones.co.uk. Cuttlestones’ next Fine Art auction is set to take place on Friday, 2nd December 2011 with a Specialist Collectors’ Sale taking place on Friday, 4th November.

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