Auction Reports


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Late Victorian silver fluted vases top East Sussex auction

20 May 2019

Target of a London silver specialist, this pair of late Victorian silver fluted vases was the best-seller at East Sussex auction house Burstow & Hewett (20% buyer’s premium).

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Tobacco taken with a conscience

20 May 2019

Almost wholly reliant on slavery, the tobacco industry was the subtle target of British Abolitionists 50 years before Britain outlawed slavery and nearly a century before the American Civil War.

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Charlotte Rhead looks to be right attribution

20 May 2019

Catalogued as ‘Art Nouveau… manner of Charlotte Rhead’, this pair of tube-lined tiles went at 10 times the estimate at Trevanion & Dean’s (17.5% buyer’s premium) sale in Whitchurch.

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All aboard for bone ship models

20 May 2019

Intricate representation labelled as a Royal Navy vessel has French prisoner-of-war origin.

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Foreign visitors go on a journey to Exeter

20 May 2019

Topped by an eight-times estimate £19,500 Momoyama ‘Namban’ cabinet (ATG No 2391), Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s (21% buyer’s premium) sale in Exeter on April 16 had other estimate-busting lots from abroad.

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Salerooms aim to create a home from home when dispersing traditional country house contents

13 May 2019

With ‘on the premises’ country house contents sales now so rare, the more usual practice is for the better pieces to be removed to saleroom bases.

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Advertising lots catch the eye at auctions

13 May 2019

Troubling subjects to today’s society as they may be, promotional materials for tobacco, alcohol, chocolates and petrol from the 19th and early 20th centuries remain a popular choice for collectors.

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South German chalice displays history and workmanship deserving of museum quality status

19 April 2019

Despite the general controversy about the material – one that has momentarily taken a back seat as Brexit eats parliamentary time – an exceptional ivory work of art still has the capacity to impress in the saleroom.

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Auction house looks beyond Lakeland for diverse lots

19 April 2019

In the proud tradition of UK provincial auction houses, the 2000-lot, three-day sale at Mitchells (20% buyer’s premium) offered a world of artefacts from way beyond its Lakeland base of Cockermouth.

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Three Grand Prix toys on the grid at Brightwells auction

19 April 2019

Detailed down to pneumatic tyres, knock-off hub caps and rack-and-pinion steering, the clockwork toy of Alfa Romeo’s P2, the world-beating racing car between 1924-30, was produced by CIJ (Compagnie Industrielle du Jouet) from 1924-35.

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Rare Middle Eastern dagger points to a debut auction

19 April 2019

A late 19th century gold bone-handled Arab dagger was hammered down at £4100 at the inaugural sale of Knightsbridge auction house Kings Russell (22% buyer’s premium).

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Great names of design from Ashbee to Dresser draw interest at Edinburgh sale

19 April 2019

Something of a roll call for the great and good across the British 19th-20th century arts scene, Lyon & Turnbull’s (25% buyer’s premium) Decorative Arts: Design Since 1860 sale included such names as George Washington Jack, Sir Alfred Gilbert, Christopher Dresser, William de Morgan and Robert Bartlett.

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Trio of clocks that wound up at spring sales

19 April 2019

This trio of clocks – all classic collectors’ pieces – went well above estimate at spring sales.

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Exceptional Tunbridge workbox makes £6500

19 April 2019

Meeting all the criteria for Tunbridge ware collectors, this workbox on stand below was one of the top buys at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s (19.5% buyer’s premium) sale at Taunton on April 4.

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18th century harpsichord is the key lot at Bath auction

15 April 2019

With a documented provenance and inscribed by the maker Sébastien Garnier, Paris, 1747, a two-manual harpsichord was the top performer at the latest musical instruments sale held by Corsham, Bath, specialist Gardiner Houlgate (20% buyer’s premium).

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Scottish firm's new sale in London receives encouragement from bidders

15 April 2019

Lyon & Turnbull’s (25% buyer’s premium) inaugural Modern Made auction at the Mall Galleries in London received plenty of encouraging noises from the dealing and collecting community as it posted a total of £1m (including premium).

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Size matters for Albert Goodwin group

15 April 2019

A significant collection of pictures by the Victorian watercolourist Albert Goodwin (1845-1932) was a near sell-out at auction in Suffolk and generated just under £120,000.

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Mouseman’s homely charm provides comfort

15 April 2019

More homely than the material being produced in Scandinavia and France, the adzed oak furniture first made by Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson in the 1920s-30s was, nevertheless, a distinctive genre.

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Stourbridge record for Pulcini Venetian glass birds

15 April 2019

Based in one of the great centres of English glass, Fieldings (20% buyer’s premium) of Stourbridge has been building its reputation for glass sales over the past 15 years and today “nobody sells more glass than we do”, says specialist Will Farmer.

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Fine Finnish furniture brings East Anglian contest

15 April 2019

Some time in the early 1930s, the burghers of Norwich City Council appear to have been sufficiently cutting-edge as to purchase furniture by the designer destined to become one of the major names of 20th century design, Alvar Aalto (1898-1976).

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