Bronze after Giambologna

The Pacing Horse, a bronze after Giambologna – £38,000 at Lawrences.

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1. Bronze after Giambologna – £38,000

The sale of Furniture, Clocks & Rugs at Lawrences of Crewkerne on October 14 was topped, unexpectedly by a cast of one of Giambologna’s (1529-1608) favourite models, The Pacing Horse.

This well-known composition, similar to the equestrian monument to Cosimo I erected in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence in 1594, was repeatedly cast through the generations. Small-scale bronzes were produced first in Giambologna’s workshop, then in the studios of Pietro Tacca and Antonio Susini (one was sent to Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales in 1612 and inherited on his deathbed by his brother, the future Charles I) and latterly by followers well into the 19th century.

This example in Somerset was undated in the catalogue but there is a good case for suggesting it may be 17th century. The thin oval base is consistent with earlier casts as are the filled holes (visible from the base) made to hold the casting sprues that extended from the soles of the horse’s hooves.

Certainly, bidders rated it much higher than the £1000-1500 estimate that might have been enough for a 19th century reproduction. The hammer price was £38,000.

2. Ming dragon box – £63,000

As dealers and collectors scour online platforms for objects that are overlooked and under-catalogued, Chinese ‘sleepers’ come thick and fast in the UK regions.

At Keys in Aylsham on October 14 a red cinnabar lacquer ‘dragon’ box and cover shot past the guide of £30-40 to bring £63,000. That is a mere 1575 times the estimate.

Boxes of this type, this one a decent size at 10in (25cm) across, are typically associated with the Ming period with many carrying six-character Jiajing reign marks. The carved decoration (one more typically seen on Ming blue and white porcelain) is of a sinuous four-clawed dragon rising above cresting waves and a rocky shore, its head close to a shou character synonymous with longevity.

3. Scottish artist’s Parisian view – £20,000

John Maclauchlan Milne painting

Gardens, Paris by John Maclauchlan Milne – £20,000 at McTears in Glasgow.

The Scottish pictures sale at McTears in Glasgow on October 12 included, at the low estimate of £20,000, this oil painted by John Maclauchlan Milne (1885-1957) while living in Paris in 1922.

Seeing Cezanne's work for the first time was a eureka moment for Milne who from around 1920 began painting en plein air with rapid, bold brush strokes using ‘colour’. Gardens, Paris, painted on a board measuring 14 x 18in (35 x 45cm), and has a label on the back for the Doig, Wilson, & Wheatley gallery, that operated from 90 George Street, Edinburgh under several names until 1950.

The auction house has sold two similar works by Milne – often referred to as ‘the fifth Scottish Colourist’ – in recent years. A Paris Scene took £25,000 in 2017 while in April this year Cafe, Paris brought £30,000. Both examples were painted on board in the same 1920-22 period.

4. Walter Crane vase – £10,600

Walter Crane vase

Maw & Co vase designed by Walter Crane – £10,600 at Adam Partridge.

The Shropshire pottery, Maw & Co of Jackfield, is best known for the mass production of earthenware tiles and architectural ceramics. For a firm that by the 1880s was making 20 million tiles per year, a series of vases by Arts & Crafts guru Walter Crane (1845-1915) represented something of a departure.

Crane, who had designed tile patterns for Maw’s Benthall Works from 1874, was commissioned to create seven vases in c.1889 that were shown together the following year at the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society’s Third Exhibition in 1890. Each decorated with the distinctive iridescent ruby glaze that had been developed for tile painting, together they demonstrate Crane’s interest in a wide range of historical forms and decoration, from classical antiquity to the Islamic world.

Few collectors own the complete array of Crane’s Maw & Co vases, although the seven can be seen together at Rode Hall in Cheshire (where Crane often stayed as a young man).

The set was completed in 2006 with the purchase of a square-handled Four Seasons vase at Lawrences of Bletchingley at £7600.

The record for the factory still stands at the £42,000 bid for a 12½in (31cm) high vase decorated with four classical maidens when Law Fine Art sold the Andrew Keith collection in 2005. Another of these came for sale at Adam Partridge in Macclesfield on October 12-14 as part of a northwest private collection. The guide was £1000-1500, on account of some sprayed restoration to the rim, but it sold at £10,600.

5. Nevinson’s London scene – £5000

Christopher Nevinson painting

Cheyne Walk and the Chelsea Embankment by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson – £5000 at Roseberys.

This early work by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson was completed during his later years at the Slade School of Art. Depicting a stretch of the Thames (a view along Cheyne Walk and the Chelsea Embankment), it is signed and dated 1911. During his period at the Slade, Nevinson's style was predominantly Impressionist although by mid-1913 he had discovered Futurism that would dominate his art during the Great War.

Nevinson historian Dr Jonathan Black assisted in the cataloguing of this 16 x 20in (40 x 51cm) oil and canvas that came for sale at Roseberys London on October 11. In commercial terms these tranquil early works pale alongside the Great War works. Given a guide of £6000-8000, it sold just below hopes at £5000.