International buyers flock, with bidders from 16 countries

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Autumn Fine Art Sale Report

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International buyers flock, with bidders from 16 countries


Trade in paintings at the Brightwells Autumn Fine Art Sale was both buoyant and an international affair, with registered bidders from 16 countries including the USA, Italy, Russia and France.

Highest price of the sale was £18,000 for DOMINIC SERRES R.A. (1719-1793) Ships of Admiral (Lord) Rodney's Fleet escorting the captured French flagship Ville de Paris, into Port Royal, Jamaica after the Battle of the Saintes, April 1782.

Dominic Serres was a War Artist to the Navy, Admiral Rodney was one of his principal patrons, commissioning several works illustrative of his exploits in the West Indies, not least at the Saintes. However, this painting (at one time one of a pair) was something of an enigma in that is it dated 1788 – some six years after the event and therefore there was speculation as to who may have commissioned it. In view of the prominence given to the ship's name Ardent in this work, Brightwells suggested that a likely candidate must surely be Captain Richard Lucas of the Ardent, the only clearly named vessel depicted.

This imposing and rather striking painting was hotly contested for, finally selling to a buyer from the South of England, much to the disappointment of the under bidder, a local private collector.
Paintings by the artist Sir James Jebusa Shannon RA RBA PRSPP (1862-1923) achieved some impressive prices, most notably a Portrait of Florence, the artist’s wife. Multiple commission bids had been left on the painting, but the hammer fell at £8,500 to an anonymous telephone bidder. Pictures by both John and Carolyn Sergeant, sold as groups, also attracted attention and exceeded all expectations, with many lots soaring past their estimates.

Silver trade was again strong, with a section clearance rate of over 90% and many good prices achieved. The top selling item was a large Danish silver oval Bowl, maker: Georg Jensen, which made more than double its top estimate. The bowl is set to return to where it was made, selling for £4,200 to a Danish commission bidder. Other notable prices included a pair of George II silver Tumbler Cups at £3,600 and an early George I Britannia Standard silver two handled Trophy at £2,100.

A rather beautiful Sapphire and Diamond Cluster Ring topped the Jewellery section, after a battle between telephone bidders, the hammer fell to a London buyer for £5,800. Remember if you need a special Christmas present, your last opportunity will be on the 7th December in the Antiques & Fine Art Sale.

Collectors from far and wide registered to bid on the Oriental Arts section of the Autumn Sale, with the two highlights selling online to a German bidder. The fine Japanese inlaid bronze Vase for £750 and a Japanese silver oval Dragon Bowl for £640.

As always the garden items created a lot of presale interest, with some pleasing results seen in the auction hall on the day of sale. The star of the section was the striking bronze fountain depicting ‘The Three Graces’, its central column supporting a glass dish, raised on a circular pedestal. Originally sited in the Holland Park garden of the artist James Jebusa Shannon, there was much interest both on the telephones and in the room, but the hammer fell to a Devon purchaser online at £4,500. It was also of no surprise that a Victorian heavy wrought iron Garden gate sold for more than four times its estimate at £1,250.

Items which appealed to the decorators/interior designers market produced the strongest results in the furniture section. An 18th Century Hepplewhite Elbow Chair in the manner of John Linnell, a maker that is both highly collectable and rarely available for sale, sold at £3,600. A large antique Dutch style green and gilt painted cabinet more than tripled its top estimate at £1900 and an 18th century giltwood Torchere sold from £950, all rather shabby chic! The Portuguese online purchaser from the Summer two-day sale returned to ensure that an Indo Portuguese Casket returned to its home land for £3,500.

Entries are now being accepted for our next two-day sale on the 22nd & 23rd March 2017, if you would like a free valuation either in our saleroom or your home, please contact us on 01568 611122 to make an appointment.