1. Adam’s: Armada table
A table made of wood and sculptural elements from a Spanish Armada galleon that was shipwrecked off Ireland’s west coast 430 years ago is to be offered by auction. It will carry an estimate of €100,000-200,000 at Adam’s Country House Collections’ sale at Townley Hall, near Drogheda, on October 16. The galleon, part of the Armada defeated by Elizabeth I’s forces in 1588, foundered like many others off the hazardous coastline of Doonbeg, County Clare, as it attempted to return to Spain. Clare’s high sheriff of the time, Boethius Clancy, rescued parts of the ship and its decorative carvings and had them made into a grand refectory table.
It has resided at Bunratty Castle in County Clare and, at 7ft 11in (2.4m) in length and 3ft (91cm) wide, had to be removed for auction by crane. The table's owner, Lord Inchiquin of Dromoland Castle, said he was selling the table for financial reasons. Desmond Fitzgerald (1937-2011), the Knight of Glin and authoritative Irish furniture historian, once described the Armada Table as “one of the most important and earliest pieces of Irish furniture”.
2. Woolley & Wallis: ‘Snowman’ porcelain models
An element of imperfection and experimentation is part of the charm of the pioneering English porcelain made in the late 1740s and early 1750s. The sale of English and European Ceramics and Glass at Woolley & Wallis on October 16 includes this rare pair of Longton Hall porcelain models of reclining horses c.1750-52. With some obvious damage, the pair is estimated at £5000-8000.
Figures of this type, left in the white, are known as the ‘Snowman’ type on account of their distinctive thick glaze. This particular 7.5in (18.5cm) model is also found in the salt-glazed stoneware and creamware with Whieldon type glazes that were produced in Staffordshire around the same time. A similar Longton Hall pair from the Wallace Elliot collection, illustrated in WB Honey's Old English Porcelain, are now in the V&A collection.
3. 25 Blythe Road: Venice painting
A highlight of dealer Harry Moore-Gwyn’s biannual pictures and prints auction at saleroom 25 Blythe Road is this large 2ft 7in x 3ft 8in (79cm x 1.12m) oil painting of the Campo dell’ Arsenale in Venice. The painting, which was sold at Christie’s during the First World War, is based on an original engraving by Michele Marieschi (1710-43) from the series called ‘Magnificentiores Selectioresque Urbis Venetiarum Prospectus’.
It will be offered on October 17 at 25 Blythe Road, in West Kensington. The auction house says the painting was probably completed by a follower who was “closely familiar” with both the etching and a similar work by Marieschi’s pupil Albotto. Consigned from a private collection in Scandinavia, it is guided at £6000-8000.
4. Sotheby’s Collections and Curiosities: Silver novelty horse race claret jug
This Victorian silver novelty horse race claret jug is by Louis Dee, of HW and L Dee, a family company of silversmiths and jewellers that specialised in imaginative novelties c.1827-84. The base is formed of a horse’s hoof with a silver shoe, the body engraved with a crest and motto, there is a riding crop handle attached by a buckled strap with the cover modelled as a jockey cap.
The 11in (28cm) high jug, fully marked London, 1883, is estimated at $7000-10,000 at Sotheby’s Collections and Curiosities sale in New York on October 18.
5. Henry Aldridge & Son: Titanic poster
A rare poster advertising the return journey of the Titanic is up for auction in Wiltshire. The poster is so rare because White Star Line destroyed as many as they could find after the fateful maiden voyage of the doomed ship. The poster actually features an image of the Olympic, the Titanic’s sister ship that was often used for promotional material, as well as an interior view of a third-class cabin and the third-class dining facility.
The poster will be offered at Henry Aldridge & Son of Devizes which has for many years specialised in the sale of such material. It will be estimated at £60,000–80,000 at Henry Aldridge & Son’s Titanic, White Star and Maritime memorabilia sale October 20. Also in the sale is a pair of Titanic lifeboat plaques and a menu from the first dinner on the ship after it left leaving Southampton, both estimated in excess of £40,000.