Auction Reports


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‘Artist jeweller’ Donald very much back in vogue

23 November 2020

Two private collections of the work of John Donald (b.1928) enjoyed a clean sweep at auctions in recent weeks.

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Van Cleef & Arpels – courtesy of Joan Collins

23 November 2020

The economic crisis of the Great Depression inspired a vogue for many versatile jewels, particularly clip brooches that could be worn on lapels, hat trims and the latest hairstyles.

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Gifts from Queen Victoria: Jewellery presented to god-daughters and family friends in the spotlight at Cheffins

23 November 2020

Gifts from Queen Victoria to two of her god-daughters garnered international attention at Cheffins (22.5% buyer’s premium) in Cambridge.

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Australian gold rush jewellery in strong demand

23 November 2020

The distinctive Antipodean ‘botanical’ jewellery of the gold rush era is among the first to depict the native flora and fauna. It is of huge cultural significance to Australia and its mining heritage.

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Victorian ring concealing a practical joke brings sensational bidding in Somerset

23 November 2020

This curious object is the forerunner of a million Christmas cracker prizes. Made in gold and silver, c.1830, the ‘ring’ chased with flowers includes a tiny pin hole which allows a jet of water to be squirted into the face of an unsuspecting admirer via a syringe-like plunger that can be concealed in the palm.

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Firing demand: three fenders eagerly contested at autumn sales

16 November 2020

Pictured here are three quite different brass fireside fenders – all of them eagerly contested at autumn sales.

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Opportunity knocks for decorative arts sales

16 November 2020

Salerooms seize the chance as traditional dedicated auctions fade away in London

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Miniature depicting key figure in colonial Australia draws demand at Lawrences of Bletchingley

16 November 2020

This 4 x 3in (10 x 8cm) oil on ivory miniature, offered by Lawrences (20% buyer’s premium) of Bletchingley, is attributed to the English miniature painter William Mineard Bennett (1778-1858).

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British Dominion: rare petrol pump globe makes £23,000 at Richard Edmonds

16 November 2020

Every collector of glass petrol pump globes – or lenses as they are known in the US – hopes to own examples by the classic big brands: BP, Shell, Esso and the like.

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Mudge and Dutton cased pocket watch ticks boxes at Golding Young & Mawer

16 November 2020

A George III gold pair cased pocket watch gave a strong start to the Golding Young & Mawer (20% buyer’s premium) November 4 sale (brought forward a day to avoid lockdown restrictions).

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‘Hans Sloane’ Chelsea dish is a vine find

09 November 2020

This Chelsea dish moulded as a vine leaf and painted with polychrome fruit is a textbook production from the Red Anchor period c.1755-58.

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Turret clock tops it off at Bath auction

09 November 2020

The latest Clocks & Watches sale at Gardiner Houlgate (20% buyer’s premium) in Corsham, near Bath, was topped at £16,000 by this large iron two-train turret clock movement by Thomas Cooke (1807-68) of York. The estimate was £1000-2000.

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Slimline sale in Cheffins still one to remember

09 November 2020

Auctioneer makes his debut on the Cambridge rostrum with reduced but memorable offering

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Fragment of magnificent dish makes bullish £4600

02 November 2020

This tin-glazed earthenware fragment comes from a once magnificent early Italian maiolica ‘istoriato’ dish from the first half of the 16th century.

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Condition counts for sugar box

02 November 2020

In family ownership for several generations, this 27oz Charles II sugar box was described by Nottingham auction house Mellors & Kirk (24% buyer’s premium) as “in an exceptional state of preservation, with hardly any sign of wear and no damage or repair worthy of note”.

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Extraordinary hidden statuary brings demand out in the open at Summers Place

02 November 2020

An extraordinary group of garden statuary, unseen for decades, was offered for sale recently at Summers Place Auctions (25% buyer’s premium) in Billingshurst, West Sussex.

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Two bears show sale bite

02 November 2020

The October 9-10 sale at Kingham & Orme (25% buyer’s premium) in Evesham included this rare pot lid inscribed Genuine Bears Grease.

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Award for ‘oldest rowing race’ brings strong bidding at Gloucestershire sale

02 November 2020

This large silver arm badge was awarded to a late 19th century winner of Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race – the oldest rowing race in the world, held from London Bridge to Cadogan Pier since 1715.

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Clock grandeur: a case in point

02 November 2020

Not all early 18th century oak clocks were restricted to a simple style. There were provincial customers who requested more grandeur and country casemakers who could accommodate such requests.

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Spanish collection all stacks up

26 October 2020

Printed volumes and manuscripts contain many rare works and unusual material

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