1. Maltese bureau cabinet
On March 8, Duke’s of Dorchester will conduct a sale of pieces from the private collection of the late Anthony and Judith du Boulay.
Anthony du Boulay was best known as a leading authority on Chinese porcelain, but he had a connoisseur’s ‘eye’ and a passion for many collecting disciplines. Bonhams sold Chinese works of art from the collection in 2003 with Duke’s conducting a further sale in 2019.
The lots on offer at Duke's come from Du Boulay’s Dorset home and range from an early St Cloud vase to an Old Master of the Madonna. The mid-18th century Maltese walnut and marquetry bureau cabinet with the armorial of the Knights of St John inlaid to the slope front, above, was bought by a family member in Malta c.1926. The estimate is £5000-10,000.
2. Gilt-copper electrotype tankard
This 12in (30cm) high gilt-copper electrotype tankard by Elkington of Birmingham copies an 17th-century ivory tankard with silver mounts.
The underside is inscribed From the original ivory in the possession of Henry Bedford Esqr, executed by Elkington Mason & Co. It is estimated at £800-1200 at the Silver, Coins & Objets de Vertu sale at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on March 7.
Financed by the steel pen magnate Josiah Mason, cousins George Richards Elkington and Henry Elkington, formed a relationship with the South Kensington Museum in the 1860s to produce these facsimile copies of artefacts for educational purposes using the new technology of electricity.
The Bedford tankard was the third project between the South Kensington Museum and Elkington & Co and the only example where the name of the owner was credited on the piece. Versions made in copper costed £7 7s with those in gilt or parcel gilt priced at £10 10s.
3. Coronation robes
The coronation of Charles III is on May 6 but a reminder of earlier pomp and ceremony is coming up at Gloucestershire auction house Dominic Winter on March 9.
A set of coronation robes belonging to Lord and Lady Cross, 1901 and later, has been consigned from the Cross family, by direct descent.
The lot comprises a viscount’s crimson velvet robe, and silver gilt coronet hallmarked R&S Garrard, 1901, and a viscountess’ crimson velvet kirtle and mantle, and silver gilt coronet hallmarked Edward Barnard, 1936.
The robe and coronet were worn by Richard Assheton Cross, 1st Viscount Cross (1823-1914), at the coronation of Edward VII in 1902 and possibly again at the coronation of George V in 1911.
Both sets of robes and coronets were worn at the coronation of George VI in 1937, by the 3rd Viscount, Assheton Henry Cross (1920- 2004), when he was only 17, and his mother, Maud Evelyn Cross (1889- 1976), the 3rd Viscount having inherited the title as a minor aged 12.
Both sets of coronation robes were worn again at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, by the 3rd Viscount and his wife Patricia Mary Cross (1928-2014).
4. Lilian Davidson picture
Whyte’s Important Irish Art in Dublin on March 6 features this 17½ x 23½in (44.5 x 59.5cm) oil on board, Repairs, Arklow, County Wicklow, by Lilian Davidson (1879-1954).
Davidson attended the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. She was closely associated with the Watercolour Society of Ireland with which she exhibited from 1912-53 and with the Royal Hibernian Gallery (RHA) which exhibited 135 works over a 40-year period from 1914.
She exhibited widely with the Dublin Painters’ exhibitions, the Oireachtas and in 1920 in a joint show with Mainie Jellett. She is also recorded as exhibiting abroad in the 1930s in London, Amsterdam, Chicago and at the Salon de la Société Nationale in Paris (1924 and 1930). A solo show in Dublin was held in 1936 which comprised 36 works.
In 1940 she was made an Associate to the RHA. Davidson set up a studio and taught in Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin, where she counted among her protégés Bea Orpen and Kitty Wilmer O’Brien. She was also closely associated with theatre in Dublin and designed sets, wrote plays and painted scenery for the Torch Theatre which she helped found in the 1930s.
Signed with monogram lower left, Repairs, Arklow, County Wicklow is estimated at €8000-12,000. It was exhibited at RHA, Dublin, in 1949.
5. Constable letter
The Old Masters, British and European paintings sale at Woolley & Wallis on March 8 includes this letter written by John Constable to John Fisher, Bishop of Salisbury.
Dated August 13, 1819, the content concerns a possible commission to paint the portraits of General and Mrs Rebow at Wivenhoe Park and mentions a picture by Cozens he has sent to Fisher. He also discusses his new-born daughter (Maria Louisa) and asks Fisher to be godfather.
Constable became friends with Fisher in the 1790s when he was the rector at Langham, Suffolk. Fisher officiated at Constable’s wedding. Described as the painter’s closest friend in the 1820s, the bishop was also one of the artist’s most important patrons, purchasing The White Horse, the first of the famous ‘six-footers’.