1. Modernist ring
Charles de Temple is much admired as a key figure in the British 1960s modernist movement - one of the designers who ushered bold and abstract jewellery to the forefront of fashion. He also enjoys a special status as a jeweller with a connection to the Bond franchise. He made the ‘gold finger; jewel that Honour Blackman wore at the 1962 premiere of the film Goldfinger and designed the 'All the Time in the World' ring that is central to the narrative of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
The phrase 'All the Time in the World' was the title of Louis Armstrong’s theme song as well as being the final words of the film. Bond (George Lazenby) recounts the phrase as he holds his new bride Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (Dianna Rigg) lifeless in his arms.
The bicoloured openwork ring offered at the London Jewels sale at Bonhams on September 21 was not one of two rings made specifically for the Bond film. Those were sold at Sotheby’s: one in 2019 for £42,000, another in February this year for £45,000. However, it is believed to be the prototype made around 1965 and was purchased by the owner's father, a close friend of Charles de Temple. Estimated at £8000-12,000, it sold at £25,000.
Following the release of the film, Charles de Temple garnered a great deal of success and by popular demand, a limited edition of 50 rings were produced instead reading 'All the Love in the World'. These too occasionally come to market.
2. Bronze mortar
This large bronze mortar is inscribed beneath the rim William Carter Made Me For James Bill 1614 making it the earliest recorded Whitechapel Foundry mortar. It also has the initials TB for Thomas Bartlett (d.1632), Carter’s apprentice who took over the Whitechapel foundry on his death in 1619.
At the Oak Interior sale at Bishop & Miller in Stowmarket on September 28- 29 it had an estimate of £6000-8000 as part of the 50- lot collection of the antique metalwork dealer Christopher Bangs who died earlier this year. It made £5400.
Only one other mortar by Carter and Bartlett is recorded and it was made one year after this example. In the collection of The Victoria & Albert Museum, it is inscribed William Carter Made Me For George Beere TB 1615.
3. Peggy Somerville picture
Reeman Dansie’s biannual East Anglian Art sale in Colchester on September 27-28 included this small Impressionist oil on board by child prodigy Peggy Somerville (1918-75). Precociously talented (she learned to paint at the same time she learned to talk), Somerville shot to international fame in 1928 at the age of 10 with a sell-out exhibition at Mayfair’s Claridge Gallery.
This painting titled ‘The Last Load’ was one of 52 works which featured in her 1929 return exhibition at the same venue. Early works by Peggy Somerville are rarely seen at auction, with this example sold at £760 (estimate £800-1200).
4. Kangxi dishes
Estimated at £600-900 but sold at £33,000, a pair of Kangxi (1662-1722) mark and period blue and white dishes topped Gorringe’s sale in Lewes on September 27.
Measuring just over 6in (15cm) across, these are finely painted with scenes from Romance of the West Chamber, the still popular Yuan dynasty story of star-crossed lovers, while to the underside are river landscapes. Both dishes have been later drilled with two holes through the foot for a metal wire hanger and had short hairline cracks.
However, they are apparently from the same workshop as another pair of Kangxi dishes bearing marks reading: gishi baoding zhi zhen’ (rare stone precious as a treasured ding) that were sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in November 2021 for HK$18,000 (around £18,000).
5. Roof tops picture
Roof Tops, an atmospheric 12 x 31cm oil on board sketch by Robert-Léopold Leprince (1800-47), sold at £17,000 to a London collector at Sworders inaugural auction of Old Masters, British and European Art on September 27.
This atypical scene of the French countryside as viewed from a roofline was indistinctly titled, signed and dated 1819 placing it early in the artist’s career. At the time he was being taught by his father, Anne-Pierre and his brother Auguste-Xavier. Leprince was part of the second wave of French artists who came to paint nature in the Forest of Fontainebleau, some 35 miles southeast of Paris. He settled in the artists’ colony at Chailly. The picture (with some scattered areas of retouching) had carried an estimate of just £600-800.
It was one of 22 lots in the sale from the estate of Jack and Diana Baer of 9 Phillimore Terrace, Kensington. One of the most talented art dealers of his generation, Jack Baer was the man who built Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox into a world-class concern.