1. Marble figure of Flora – £39,000
A recent online sale of European Décor and Design at Bonhams Skinner in Massachusetts was topped by this classical allegorical marble figure of Flora by the German sculptor Anton Werres (1830-1900).
Estimated at $10,000-15,000, it took $47,500 (£39,000)
The 3ft 8in (1.1m high) statue, inscribed Werres Roma, is believed to be one of only a handful of allegorical figures created by Werres when working in Rome between 1858-67. He later returned to his native Cologne.
Flora was known through photographs but thought to have been lost. Research shows that it was once housed alongside a companion piece in Cologne’s botanical garden – probably in the Flora Temple which was demolished after World War II.
The online sale closed on August 3.
2. Chinese trophy from c.1850 – £12,000
Cheffins’ silver offering in Cambridge on August 4 was topped by this Qing trophy from c.1850. Estimated at £1000-2000, it took £12,000 from an Australian private buyer.
Along with pseudo-British marks, it has the mark of Khe Cheong, a Canton maker and retailer that operated from Old China Street and Club Street, Honam Island between c.1840-90. The firm produced many similar standing cups that (although today described as Chinese export or China trade silver) were made for the domestic market, often purchased as trophies for the Western sporting clubs that grew up in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
The earliest Hong Kong horse racing trophy, the 1846 ‘Hunters Plate’ trophy has similar marks for Khe Cheong.
This 10in (26cm) example, of a similar date has two scroll bamboo style handles and is decorated to the body with repoussé, chased and engraved battle scenes, foliage and buildings under an applied vacant shield shaped cartouche.
Back in January this year at Lawrences, The Celestial Cup, a Chinese silver trophy, c.1850, marked for Khecheong of Canton, sold for £26,000 to specialist dealer S&J Stodel of the London Silver Vaults.
Passed by descent in a Somerset family, it was shown at the Great Exhibition the year after it was the prize in a Hong Kong horse race.
2. ‘Figural’ snuff-box – £1900
Hot on the heels of the Christie's sale in May of a collection of more than 80 18th century Battersea and Bilston enamels formed by interwar connoisseur Nellie Ionides (part of the May 27 sale of items from the estate of Lord and Lady Swaythling), Tennants offered a smaller selection of similar wares across two sales in the summer.
The sale on August 6 provided the financial highlight – a Birmingham or South Staffordshire ‘figural’ snuff-box or bonbonniere modelled in high relief as a leopard attacking an African hunter.
To the base was a scene of the hunter with a bow and arrow surprising the leopard probably after Antonio Tempesta. It was not in the best condition (there were losses to the enamel and areas of cracks and repair) but it is a rarity.
Estimated at £200-300, it took £1900.
4. Staffordshire figure – £1000
The Crimean War inspired many Staffordshire flatback figures including this rare model made to mark the end of the conflict in 1856.
The figure titled The Victory is based on a print that appeared at the time in Cassell's Illustrated Family Paper. It shows an English sailor seated astride a cannon flanked by French and Turkish soldiers.
This example sold for £1000 at Canterbury Auction Galleries on August 6, adding to a list of recent four-figure sums paid for the best and rarest Staffordshire portrait figures.
5. Pilkingtons Lancastrian charger – £3800
The Cotswold Auction Company offered this version of the well-known Pilkingtons Lancastrian St George and the Dragon charger in Cheltenham on August 9.
This blue-ground and silver lustre piece to a design by Walter Crane has the monogram WSM for the decorator William Slater Mycock and the date mark XI 1911. The front border bears Crane’s shield mark.
It was found in a family home where it had hung for at least 60 years. It had a small hairline crack visible to the back. Estimated at £3000-5000, it took £3800.
The charger is known in a number of different colour variation. Versions in red and gold have previously sold for close to £20,000.