Temperatures rise with strong prices achieved


Summer Fine Art 2018 Sale Report

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Temperatures rise with strong prices achieved

Despite temperatures reaching close to 30 degrees on viewing and sale days, hundreds of clients entered the air-conditioned purpose-built sale room at Easters Court to inspect close on 1000 lots and watch them come under the auctioneer’s hammer.

Thanks to Brightwells Online Bidding platform the sale continued to be an international affair, with buyers bidding from countries across the globe, including:  China, Australia, USA, Sweden and countless European countries. By the close of the second day 80% of the lots had found new homes, with many excellent prices achieved.

The sale commenced with a small, but select section of silver, which achieved virtually a 100% clearance rate. Top price of £2300 paid by a private buyer for a set of four impressive George II silver candlesticks, with added provenance of coming via the family of Sir Charles Oman.  The sticks measured a considerable 13 ½ inches and would probably have fetched more, but for the minor repairs and wear issues.

Without doubt the most admired object in the section was the Victorian combined scent bottle/vinaigrette in the form of a two-handled milk churn, which after spirited bidding changed hands at £780. Other leading prices include an extensive George V canteen of cutlery, selling within estimate at £1650, a matched set of George III old English cutlery realised £950 and an Indian silver oval platter with matching pair of salvers surprised many when knocked down at £820, against a £250 - £300 estimate.   

The jewellery section proved that diamonds really are a girl’s best friend, with both of the impressive three stone diamond rings selling well. The larger of the two sold to an overseas buyer for £7800 and the second for £3600.

Another highlight was an interesting demi-parure of Swedish gold jewellery, which was accompanied by a painted portrait miniature of the original owner wearing the set. Doubling the lots bottom estimate it sold in the room for £1050.

Gentleman’s watches were again achieving great results, proving to be highly collectable. A Léonidas Chronograph exceeded all expectations, finally selling to a phone bidder for £1800, a 1950’s Rolex doubled top estimate selling for £1400, a 1920’s Rolex made £650 and a 1960’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Wristwatch sold in the room for £2000.

The Asian art section was led by an unusual private collection of Republic period porcelain, until quite recently largely overlooked by porcelain collectors. The outstanding lot was a cong-shaped vase, painted with landscapes in the style of the renowned Qianjiang School artist Wang Yeting, which made £13,000 to an internet buyer. A similar small tray made £2,000 and a cylinder vase painted with a snow scene in the style of He Xuren made £1,800.

This sale yet again saw another large furniture section, 300 lots in total and just over 80% of lots found buyers, a pleasing amount considering a lot of traditional antique furniture is still out of vogue.

Over 150 of the lots came from the same deceased estate as in the March sale and most of the highlights from this consignment were for rarer, smaller items. Two small 17th century box stools fetched £1500 & £1300, both selling to private buyers. A surprise was the £1450 paid by an online bidder for a pair 20th century leather upholstered armchairs on cabriole legs, against a pre-sale come and buy me estimate of £200-400. It just proves that if an item has the right look and appeal, age doesn’t really matter.

Items from other private vendors supplied the section’s highest prices. Top seller was a 17th century oak refectory table in very unrestored condition, standing on gorgeously turned baluster legs. With a bottom estimate of £1000, a fierce battle between telephone and internet ensued until the hammer finally fell at £4500.

In complete contrast a stunning early 19th mahogany extending dining table was admired by many for the rich quality of the timber, and again its originality. Extending to well over 14ft it eventually sold to an East of England buyer to furnish his recently acquired country estate for £4400, the buyer certainly getting quite a lot for his money.

Two other quality pieces of oak to outstrip estimates were an unusual 18th century Welsh oak food cupboard with rare silhouette panels to the upper doors selling for £1500, and an early 18th century dresser, again with silhouette design, but this time in the leg, which sold to a private commission bid of £2200.

The oil paintings enjoyed strong trade, with only a small percentage unsold. A fine genre subject depicting ‘A Family Gathering in a Highland Cottage ‘ by Thomas Faed RSA,  sold for a quadruple estimate £8500. The painting had been consigned to Brightwells from a local deceased estate.

Amongst the prints, a selection of etchings by Augustus John RA sold for £2600. The signed etchings depicted a number of interesting figures including the artist Wyndham Lewis. Consigned by a private vendor in Hereford, they had been collected over several years.

Watercolours were also in demand, with the top price of £1300 being paid for a landscape by Julian Trevelyan, R.A. Titled ‘Spanish Silver Mines’, it had been painted by the artist in 1935, shortly before the artist became a confirmed surrealist. From the same private source, a pair of early eighteenth century marine paintings on copper were competed for to £1800, selling to a telephone bidder.

Entries are now being accepted for our next two-day sale which falls on the 14th & 15th November 2018. If you would like a free valuation, either in our saleroom or your home, please contact us on 01568 611122 to make an appointment