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April 26th 2013 Fine Art Sale Report

26 April 2013

Our 26th April Fine Art Sale was very well attended and we were pleased to welcome 300 entries from private vendors. Items in the oriental section set the pace in this particularly interesting sale.


The sale commenced with a large entry of books. Lot 16, A Japanese book of twelve watercolours reflected the Orient flavour and sold for £220.


Entries in the metalware section all seemed to be in a little better demand than in previous sales.


We had a varied entry of clocks and instruments and we were pleased to see the trade returning in this area. Notable results in this section included: Lot 58, a late 19c French carriage clock, £400, Lot 63, a late 18c English bracket clock, £2150, Lot 65, a late 19c French mantel clock, £880, and Lot 67, a late 19c French gilt garniture de cheminee, £1180. 


Above Left: Lot 63, a late 18c English bracket clock, £2150. Above Right: Lot 77, an eight day longcase clock, £4700.


We had entries of more than 10 longcases; Lot 77, an eight day longcase clock, circa 1700, by Thos. Pare of London, £4700, Lot 78, a late 18c eight day longcase clock with 12inch arched brass dial signed John Grace, £1200, and Lot 82, an early 18c eight day longcase clock with 12inch arched brass dial signed Peter Collomby, £1020. 


Boxes and treen have seen little demand of late but this sale proved otherwise. There seems to be a growing interest in unique and irreplaceable objects of significant quality; Lot 102, a late Georgian mahogany specimen cabinet, £1450, Lot 109, a 19c oak icon/portrait frame, £620, Lot 128, a late Georgian mahogany ladies silks box, £165, and Lot 131, an Edwardian oak games compendium, £600. 


In the Objet d'art the Oriental entries were all in demand; lot 161, a jade sceptre carved as a scorpion facing a dragon, £1320, Lot 169, a Meiji period carved ivory group, £2300, Lot 170 - £3100, and Lot 171, a Japanese Shibyama style silver and ivory foliate dish, £1600.


 Above Left: Lot 169, a Meiji period carved ivory, £2300. Above Right: Lot 171, a Japanese silver and ivory foliate dish, £1600.


Lot 172, a silver, ivory and Shibyama Kodansu (table cabinet), £5800 was of particularly fine quality and in exceptionally good order and from the records available would appear to be one of the highest priced of its type sold by auction. This demand continued with Lot 174, a Japanese brown lacquered panel, £800, and Lot 175, a Japanese ivory carving of Quan Yin which reached over three times above estimate at £4900.  These prices truly reflect the demand for Oriental items of quality.


Above: Lot 172, a silver, ivory and Shibyama Kodansu, £5800.


We had a small number of miniature paintings entered but Lot 180, Sir WM. Ross, a miniature painting on ivory after Rubens of a lady with a wide-brimmed hat decorated with black and white boa feathers, was of particular interest and sold for £300.


In an April sale it is unusual to have a full entry of jewellery but this year we had a very good entry and vendors were rewarded with some good prices, many around the £500/£600 mark. Individual exceptions saw Lot 198, a platinum solitaire diamond set bar brooch, reach £1900, Lot 201, a platinum, diamond and pearl set double-strand bracelet, £1200, and Lot 212, a platinum ring set with a single square cut emerald and two diamonds, £1100.  Amongst the jewellery only 10% failed to sell.


Above: Lot 212, a platinum ring set with a singe, square cut emerald and two diamonds, £1100.


When we reached the silver it was clear the bubble had burst, with the trade and the more discerning collectors only showing interest in the better pieces and only prepared to offer a little above base metal prices for the remainder. The more interesting pieces sold well; Lot 232, an early 18c Queen Anne rat tail dessert spoon of Stuart type, £145, Lot 236, a late Georgian snuff box, £165, Lot 237, a late Georgian silver gilt vinaigrette, £240, and Lot 241, a mid 19c Nathaniel Mills cigar case, £600.


We had a fair entry of Oriental ceramics and the demand for the Orient continued with Lot 276, a Cantonese dish, £580, Lot 281, a 19c jar and cover, £240, and Lot 284, a pair of 19c Cantonese famille rose baluster vases and covers, £3800 and many lower values above estimate.


Above Left: Lot 284, pair of 19c Cantonese famille rose baluster vases, £3800. Above Right: Lot 300, early 18c Meissen teabowl, £650.


The more decorative Continental ceramics continued to sell well; Lot 293, a Meissen figure of a parakeet, £700 despite broken tail, Lot 300, an early 18c Meissen teabowl, £650, Lot 306, a 19c Meissen figure group of four cherubs with posies, garlands and baskets of flowers, £480. 


The buoyant trade experience throughout up until this point then subsided when we reached watercolours and oil paintings.  If only the trade was as it was 20/30 years ago! Despite this general recession some fair prices were recorded; Lot 335, Messonier-Le Mousquetaire, £350, Lot 339A, Leopold Pascal - Geraniums, £700, Lot 346, W Day Stevenson, a portrait of Joseph Pearce, £400, and Lot 348, Marcus Stone 1879, £1580.


Above: Lot 348, Marcus Stone, 1879, £1580.


After the very steady trade with the paintings, the prospect of furniture demand improving in late was viewed with some trepidation but did, in fact, improve immensely; Lot 358, a 19c Continental satinwood wise cabinet, £3200, Lot 367, a mid Georgian yew wood circular pedestal tripod table, £1150, Lot 372, a mid Victorian figured walnut credenza, £1200, Lot 379, a late Georgian mahogany campaign secretaire chest, £680.


Above: Lot 367, a mid Georgian yew wood pedestal tripod table, £1150.


This general improvement in demand continued in the oak and country Lot 419, a late 17c oak plank top side table, £450, Lot 421, a 17c oak chest, £500, and Lot 424, a late 17c/ early 18c oak mule chest, £600. 


All in all a good sale with many results over and above estimate.









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