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November Fine Art and Antique Auction Review

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Fine Art Report – Thu 22 & Fri 23 November 2018

Day 1:

Featuring over 1,000 lots over some eighteen sections, our final Fine Art sale of the year fielded a typically diverse range of lots. Day One, with the focus firmly on art, was no exception with everything from modern mixed media and prints through traditional oils and a collection of 19th C miniatures coming under the hammer. With over 700 bidders registered online and solid interest throughout, it provides yet more evidence of an evolving market for art.

Highlights included, in the prints and mixed media section, Lot 1 – a coastal landscape with lighthouse, signed lower right by John Piper (1903-1992) which sold for £550 to an internet bidder. In the same section and also selling on the internet – but of entirely different style and subject – was Lot 6, an early 17C religious icon of the Madonna and Child, signed and inscribed with cyrillic script on middle left and right, also verso in mixed media on oak panel which, unframed, achieved £400.

It was the telephone bidders that won out on Lot 61 – a print after Stephen Laurence Lowry (1887-1976) entitled ‘Punch and Judy’; hailing from the School Prints second series printed by The Baynard Press for School Prints Ltd. London, a set of 24 lithographs produced in the 1940s with the intention of bringing contemporary art to young children. Signed in plate lower left, coloured lithograph on paper, framed and glazed it fetched £420.

The final lot of note in this section was Lot 145 – a folio of watercolour sketches by the Scottish artist Murray McNeel Caid Urquhart, including landscape and preparatory figurative sketches – all unframed – with the hammer falling to an internet bidder at £300.

The day also included a strong Miniatures section – with over 100 consigned for sale, 90 of which hailed from a single, private collection. Highlights were to include Lot 250 – a late 19/early 20C oval portrait miniature of a young woman with ringlets unsigned and in a gilt metal frame, selling for £260 to an internet bidder. Also selling to the internet was Lot 252 – a 19thC oval portrait miniature of a Gentleman in a blue coat, unsigned and presented in cased leather frame, which sold for £150.

Lots 269 and 270 – both by the Dublin-born artist Miss Minnie Louisa Greenwood (1868-1956) – featuring a miniature portrait study of Arthur Perceval Purey-Cust signed and in a fruitwood frame and the second similar featuring General William Booth – sold for £170 each to the same commission bidder.

A strong oils section, again representing a diverse range of genres and eras, provided the final highlights of the day. Lot 351 – still life study of flowers in a vase signed lower right, dated ‘79 and attributed to the circle of the prolific still life and abstract artist William Scott, sold to an internet bidder for £230. Highlighting the diversity of styles in the section the next highlight, lot 266, was an unsigned 19th C portrait study of a young Regency woman which sold for £550 to an internet bidder.

Also selling to an online bidder was Lot 367, a study of two Irish setters and a pointer on a grassy bank, signed lower middle by Arthur Wardle (1864-1949), which saw the hammer fall at £550. Lot 402 meanwhile, an unframed oil on canvas from the Italian School depicting Christ’s ‘Descent From the Cross’ sold online for £650.

Works by two 20th Century artists then provided highlights – Lot 410, and unsigned oil on canvas 'Pennine Rain' verso inscribed lower right 'Abandoned and Cut Off', signed lower left by the Yorkshire artist Peter Brook (b.1927) sold for £600 on the internet. Also selling to an online bidder was a framed oil on board entitled 'Crafnant' signed verso by the artist David Barnes (b.1943), known for his moody Welsh landscapes, which fetched £240.

The subject matter was back to the more traditional for Lot 491- a Flemish school life study of fruit, game and other items on a table – unsigned yet attributed to a follower of Alexander Adriaenssen (1587-1661) which sold to an internet bidder for £420. The final highlight of the day was again from the oils section but on a far more modern topic – an impressionist study of a stormy wooded Lakeland scene, bearing a signature lower left and attributed to the circle of English painter, designer, book illustrator and wood-engraver Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) which sold to a commission bidder for £550.

Day 2…

Day 2 of the Fine Art dawned chilly but that didn’t put off a strong contingent of bidders in the room, with pre-sale viewing bustling.

With some 20 sections to plough through jewellery was up first and, as ever, provided some outstanding results. Lot 708, a platinum set internally flawless, colourless diamond solitaire ring complete with GIA certificate stating that the stone is 0.77 carat, IF, colour grade D, ring size I sold to a bidder in the room for £2,200. Another diamond solitaire ring – this time bearing a brilliant cut diamond of approx. 1.25CT sold for £1,100 with a telephone bidder winning out on this occasion. In fact, telephone bidders were particularly active in this section, with the final two highlights – lot 745, an 18CT sapphire & diamond ring and Lot 748 – a platinum three stone emerald & diamond ring, each selling for £650 on the phone lines.

The watch section once again proved the huge demand for Roles and quality timepieces – with Lot 756, a 1970s Submariner 5513, 660ft oyster perpetual selling for £5,000 to a bidder on the phone. Lot 759 meanwhile – a hallmarked 9CT gold Rolex Rolco oyster wristwatch sold for £600 to an internet bidder.

The next highlight came in the coins section, where a bidder in the room secured Lot 789 – an Edward VII full sovereign in a yellow metal mount set with rubies and diamonds, approx. weight 11.2g, for £320 – well above the gold price and once again proving why coins are always worth consigning to auction!

The lots continued to shine in the silver, silver plate & metalware section, with lot 813 – a rather handsome 19thC Rosewood fitted dressing case with an assortment of silver hallmarked bottles and boxes, three further white metal topped bottles and a selection of mother of pearl handled tools selling to a bidder on the phone for £290.

The true star of the section – and arguably the entire sale – however, had to be Lot 816 – a silver mounted Highland Dirk, marked for Edinburgh 1886 and bearing markers’ mark likely to be Peter Macgregor Western, sold for £4,000 to a commission bidder via our own website, who beat off stff competition from all corners.

Of note in the glass & ceramics section was Lot 483, a sealed black glass mallet wine bottle, carrying the seal of Sandford Hall, Shropshire sold for £1,400 to an internet bidder.

The Oriental Works section saw its fair share of high achievers – first up Lot 928, a collection of six elaborately embroidered Chinese silk pouches and purses, including an archer’s thumb guard holder, which sold for £1,300 to a bidder on the web. Another collection, this time of jade pendants and plaques consigned to a local vendor and split into 15 individual lots achieved an impressive £6,300 combined. The highlight being three Chinese celadon jade lock pendants of graduating size, given as a token of long life, which sold for £1,400.

A rather diverse selection of highlights came out of the Treen, Militaria and Misc section – the first being Lot 951, an antique cello in need of restoration, which sold to an internet bidder for £350. Also selling online – for £550 – was Lot 967, an Irish Killarney marquetry yew wood box, likely pre-1880 and bearing images of Muckross abbey and Ross Castle House to the lid.

Another slice of Victoriana to do well was Lot 986 – a late Victorian ship’s binnacle with compass on mahogany base by John Lilley and Sons, fitted with modern LED illumination to side and below, which sold to a commission bidder for £600.

Also selling ‘on the books’ was Lot 996 – a George III lacquered brass solar microscope by Dolland of London, C1780, which achieved £2,500. Last – by but no means least – of note in this section was Lot 1000 – an Alpha Romeo P2 Model Racing Car, probably by CIJ of France, and with original paintwork which sold for £500 on the internet despite being well worn and having multiple defects laid out in the condition report.

Next up was a rather interesting section dedicated to items from the collection of Staffordshire stamp artist Arnold Machin, responsible for the effigy of the queen as it appears on all postage stamps. The first highlight of the section was Lot 1022 – a set of three original mixed-media drawings and designs, including those for postage stamps, by Machin himself. An internet bidder snapped them up for £1,100. Lot 1023 also sold to a telephone bidder – this time a framed collection of nine original mixed media drawings and plans by Machin which went for £700.

Lot 1028 – an original Machin plaster mould depicting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for the final effigy for coins, Dia. 22 cm, sold on the phone line for £550; while Lot 1029 – an original plaster cast depicting the final ‘dressed head’ effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as it appears on stamps sold for £1,800.

The strongest performers in the furniture & clocks section were Lot 1038 – a French gilt metal mantel clock which sold for £450 to a bidder in the room, and Lot 1060 – a 19thC Oak housekeeper’s cupboard from a local house clearance which sold to £1,000 to a local bidder.

The final section in this rather varied catalogue – garden items – also provided some rather interesting lots. Lots 1099/1110 – two large 19C treacle glaze planters – sold to the same internet bidder for a total of £370 and are heading to Chicago!

Lot 1102 – a large stone graduated three-tier water fountain with cherub surmount, hailing from the early 20C and originating from a local house clearance sold for £800. Lot 1103 – a large mid 19C cast pedestal urn fountain on stand sold for £1,000 to a local buyer.

For full, illustrated catalogue and hammer prices of all lots head to To arrange a free, no-obligation valuation of items or arrange consignment into our 2019 auctions, call 01785 714905.

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