1. Fabergé frame
A hardstone Fabergé frame with the initials of the firm’s Finnish workmaster Karl Armfelt appeared at Woolley & Wallis’ auction in Salisbury on July 19. Measuring 3.25in (8cm) high, it featured 10 cabochon rubies set to the internal white enamel striated border. It also came in its original fitted box which the interior silk stamped with the imperial eagle over the Fabergé mark. Estimated at £5000-10,000, it drew interest from a number of bidders although the presence of a crack to one side of the frame inevitably limited its value. Nevertheless, it was eventually knocked down at a final £24,000.
2. Harpley bronze
Selling above estimate at Jacobs & Hunt in Liss, Hampshire, on July 20 was a life-size bronze by Sydney Charles Harpley (1927-92) titled England, Umbrella Girl. From an edition of six, the 5ft 8in (1.73m) high sculpture on a rectangular marble plinth was fairly typical in terms of subject matter for the Fulham-born artist. His favourite subjects were single female figures shown in movement such as dancers, acrobats, girls on swings. A high price for a 1984 sculpture came at Tennants in March last year when Singapore girl on a swing made £26,000. Here, the bronze fetched £16,000 against a £8000-12,000 estimate.
3. Maltese wall clock
Almost anything Maltese tends to command a premium at auction thanks to the demand to repatriate items from the Mediterranean island’s wealthy collecting base. While items such as Maltese pictures, silver and furniture therefore have additional cache in UK salerooms, it was a wall clock made in Malta in the early 19th century that drew interest at Hutchinson Scott in Skipton, North Yorkshire. The main attraction was its floral painted wooden dial which gave it decorative qualities above the technical appeal of its weight-driven movement. It drew strong competition against a £200-300 estimate and was knocked down at £4400.
4. Scottish banknote
An active market exists for Scottish banknotes, with rarity and condition key factors in determining values. Such banknotes have long been issued by retail banks in Scotland (going back to the 1844 Bank Charter Act), one of which was The North Of Scotland Bank – later acquired by Midland Bank in 1923. Banknotes from before this date are less commonly seen and an example of a one pound banknote issued by The North Of Scotland Bank Limited and dated May 1906, drew significant interest at a Brown & Turner auction in Jedburgh on July 21. Against a £20-30 estimate, it was taken to £900.
5. Korean censer
Among the pieces of Asian art drawing competition in Europe this month was a Korean censer that was estimated at £1500-2500 at Oriental Art Auctions in Hattem, The Netherlands, on 28 July. Measuring 8.25 (21cm) high, the rectangular vessel had a light celadon glaze carved in low relief with folaige scrolls and was catalogued as ‘Goryeo dynasty (918-1392)’. The condition was not perfect and one of the leaf-shaped feet was restuck. It sold at €38,000 (£26,870).