Notable increase in trade
An interesting catalogue of over 1000 lots, attracted a large crowd of enthusiastic purchasers, with trade in many areas, but particularly furniture, being stronger than seen for some time.
In total the sale registered over 650 eager buyers and continued to be an international affair, with buyers from 16 countries around the world including: Australia, USA, Canada, China, Russia & India, along with countless European countries. By the close of the second day almost 80% of the lots had found new homes, with many excellent prices achieved.
Top price for the sale went to an important oil painting by Charles H Lutyens depicting the hounds ‘Rambler and Marksman in a landscape with other hounds of the Croome Hunt’. The painting was possibly commissioned by George William Coventry, 9th Earl of Coventry and was subsequently in the collection at Croome Court, Worcestershire. It was competed for by several clients, but was successfully purchased by a telephone bidder for a very pleasing £18,000.
Two other items which attracted particular interest, were originally owned by the British businessman Fountain Charles Bolton. Bolton had been a manager for W.J. Bush & Co, at their Moscow factory at the outbreak of the Russian Revolution. The first was an oil painting by Richard-Karl Karlovich Zommer (1866-1939) depicting a street market with figures, traditionally identified as being at Samarkand, selling for £10,000. Bolton is said to have originally acquired it by exchanging a loaf of bread for the painting as he travelled on one of the last trains east out of Moscow, before the revolution took hold. Earlier in 1917 Bolton had been able to send his wife and four children out of Russia, escaping by sledge across the ice to Sweden. A prized Emerald & Diamond ring, which his wife Emilie had sewn into her dress before her momentous journey was also offered & sold for £2,000 to a private buyer.
Jewellery trade was generally strong, with good demand for diamonds. A diamond single stone ring made £2,800, a Riviere Necklace £700 and the hammer fell well above estimate at £750 for the carved chalcedony Intaglio Seal depicting a uniformed bust of Lord Nelson. Pocket Watches and Wristwatches were keenly sought, with many well exceeding estimate. A 20 Century Hunter repeater Pocket Watch sold for treble estimate at £2,300 and an 18ct Gold open face Pocket Watch doubled estimate at £950. A rare Rolex Air King sold for £1,050.
The coin market proved to be very buoyant, with coin collectors and specialists in the room, on the telephone and on the internet. Top lot in the section fell to a George VI gold proof set, which sold to private collector in the room for £7,000. A cloth bag containing over 2000 British West Africa 1956 1/10 pennies attracted great attention, with a number of telephone and room bidders, the hammer finally fell well above estimate at £6,000. Proving that in these uncertain times people are prepared to put their money into gold, all of the 57 Sovereigns sold at mid to top estimate.
As usual international & private collector interest was strong in the Asian section and a high clearance rate was achieved. Some of the most notable results are as follows. There was a battle between two internet bidders for a collection of 15th Century Sukhotai celadons, with the hammer finally falling at £1,150. Three telephone bidders competed for a Chinese claire de lune ground porcelain Vase, selling for £2,800. A London buyer in the room secured a Chinese celadon-ground porcelain pear-shaped Vase from a local deceased estate for £1,500 and finally a Chinese embroidered Silk Hanging, late Qing Dynasty sold for £1,700 to a telephone bidder based in Surrey.
Interest in Taxidermy is undergoing something of a revival. A pre-war mounted Tiger’s head by Van Ingen in exceptional condition, demonstrated that the work of the Mysore based taxidermists are in very high demand, achieving a hammer price of £5,000 with competition throughout from phone lines and the internet, but eventually was won by a determined bidder in the room. The following lot, a mounted Leopard’s head was attributed to Van Ingen but unmarked, and was again highly sought after, exceeding the £300-500 estimate achieving £520 to a phone bidder.
There were several interesting results in the Metalware section, but by far the most exciting were consigned by the Spains Hall Estate. A large antique brass square Hall Lantern had received a lot of presale interest and did not disappoint on the day, with 6 bidders battling it out to a well above estimate £6,600. Just two lots on were a pair of 19th Century Storm Lamps, again interest was high, but the same bidder that had secured the Lantern was victorious at £2,800, a massive 13 times above top estimate. Also worthy of a mention was a C.I.J P2 Alfa Romeo tinplate Racing Car, despite its rather worn condition it sold for an impressive £3,300.
With a large furniture section, in excess of 350 lots, we are pleased to report that trade in quality furniture is as strong as we have seen it in many years, with many lots exceeding expectation. The section had a high clearance rate, with multiple bidders on the phone, internet and in the room. Top lot in the section went to a very large 19th Century Irish mahogany Breakfast Table, which was purchased by one of the 5 telephone bidders at £4,900. There were a number of bookcases in the sale, most of which sold incredibly well, top result was an early 19th Century oak Breakfront Bookcase selling for £2,000. A George III mahogany serpentine Chest more than doubled its top estimate at £1,600, as did a late 18th Century Welsh oak Dresser Base at £800 and a Regency mahogany Library Chair in the manner of Thomas Hope that sold for £1,250. Trade in desks was also notable, with many well exceeding estimate, including a 19th Century oak Partner's Desk which sold for £1,300.
We are now looking to next year and entries are being accepted for our next two-day sale which falls on the 20 & 21 March 2019. If you would like a free valuation, either in our saleroom or your home, please contact us on 01568 611122 to make an appointment.