South-west England


Furniture buyers bid on only the better pieces

19 February 2001

American connection revolutionises a jug’s prospects UK: LOOKING at current trends in the furniture market, auctioneer Patrick Toynbee remarked on the reluctance among buyers for “run of the mill” pieces, with the preference now being for high-quality attractive pieces.

Revolutionary freesheets and a note from the King of Siam

19 February 2001

UK: ONE of a group of seven newspapers, plus a printed edict, issued in March 1917, at the outbreak of the Russian revolution, which sold for £400 (Hanson). They were apparently distributed free in the streets of Petrograd and these copies were acquired by Gertrude Hitchcock, who was there working for a British engineering company at the time.

Wodehouse's The Pothunters

19 February 2001

UK: SERIALISED in Public School magazine before appearing in book form in 1902, The Pothunters was P.G. Wodehouse’s first book, and this first issue copy in royal blue cloth with silver gilt decoration made £720 (Marchpane) in Swindon.

Dick Francis' Dead Cert

19 February 2001

UK: THE title page had a semi-circular portion excised from the outer margin, but this copy of the 1962 first of Dick Francis’ annual racing thrillers, Dead Cert, had a jacket and it sold for £2050 to Bromlea & Jonkers at Dominic Winter's sale held on January 31.

Early 19th century Italian marble and pietra dura table

12 February 2001

UK: Emblazoned with the full armorial of the Strutt and Galton families, this early 19th century Italian marble and pietra dura table stole the limelight at Short, Graham & Co.’s sale in Gloucester on January 23.

Ceramics take high ground in Devon floods

12 February 2001

Lambeth tugs and Staffordshire jug bring in bidders UK: THE Devon branch of Bonhams & Brooks were undoubtedly pleased to have disposed of their ‘Fine Furniture, Clocks and Objects’ before the floods, but in fact the weather did not seem to affect turnout for what looked more like an end-of-year clearance in December.

Instruments play second fiddle to bows

12 February 2001

THE Bath auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate (15 per cent buyer's premium), who have made musical instruments a widely and well-regarded specialist subject, saw a respectable 70 per cent take-up for their 317-lot event on 1 December.

Riding in 50 years on

12 February 2001

UK: Fifty years in the same family, and for much of that time tucked away in a cupboard, this 6in (15cm) wooden Redcoat on a prancing horse was in perfectly preserved condition when offered at the Gloucestershire rooms of Wotton Auction Rooms (10 per cent buyer's premium) on January 23 & 24.

No post-festive blues here

05 February 2001

UK: BIDDERS trudged through the post-Christmas snowfall to the two-day 1623-lot sale at the Gloucestershire rooms of Wotton Auction Rooms Ltd (11.75 per cent buyer’s premium) on December 28-29 which yielded a number of successes across the board.

John Evelyn’s copy of Hungers Prevention comes back for £3400

05 February 2001

UK: THE general and specialist art sales held in Swindon in December are getting fairly short shrift here – 1350 lots were offered over two days – but before this report appeared, the Wiltshire firm had already held their first sales of the new year and the last of the old must necessarily be tidied away.

Blyton’s Famous Five give the Shire folk a run for their money

29 January 2001

UK: THE FIRST Tolkiens of 2001 combined to add £11,000 to the takings at this Bath sale.

Cowshed columns

22 January 2001

UK: THE last of the monthly sales of collectors’ items and antiques of the year at Cirencester was dominated in visual terms by a pair of Cotswold stone columns, 7ft 6in (2.25m) high, which had been rescued by the vendor from a cowshed where they had lain for 60 years. They achieved a new-found status when they sold at £1200.

Clean linen press tops Devon day

22 January 2001

UK: THE most prominent entry to this monthly two-day sale in Devon was an early 19th century linen press had come from a South Coast farmhouse.

Set of 12 Elizabethan lion sejant affronte spoons

31 October 2000

UK: The most comprehensive and perhaps the finest collection of early silver spoons to appear on the market since the 1960s went under the hammer at Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury last Wednesday (October 25).

The cutting edge of 18th century style…

17 October 2000

UK: Scholars probably know less about the makers of 18th century caddies and knife boxes than the little they have gleaned thus far regarding the makers of Georgian furniture.

One-hit wonder?

02 October 2000

UK: DEVON dealers J. Collins & Son are well known for their stock of functional period furniture, but looking through their new catalogue of recent acquisitions most would be hard pressed to spot the exact function of the extraordinary piece pictured here.

William and Mary oyster veneered walnut chest

11 September 2000

UK: SUCH was the fine condition of this 3ft 3in (99cm) William and Mary oyster veneered walnut chest when it appeared at Clevedon Salerooms on September 2 that two bidders, one on the phone and one in the room, competed for it well beyond its £5000-7500 estimate.

An early 19th century blue transfer printed oval footed bowl

14 August 2000

An early 19th century blue transfer printed oval footed bowl, 11in (29cm) wide, depicting the death of Nelson at Trafalgar in 1805 which sold at The Bristol Auction Rooms on July 25.

Mahogany wheel-shaped barometer

10 July 2000

UK: JOHN Russell of Falkirk was a barometer maker to the Prince Regent and, as a result, this mahogany wheel-shaped example with the Prince of Wales feathers commanded considerable interest from leading London dealers at Woolley and Wallis’s Salisbury salerooms on July 4.

Fit for a frontiersman - but which frontier?

05 June 2000

UK: GIANT knives of the frontier period hold a special place in the heart of American collectors, and the late 19th century example by one of the leading Sheffield makers of Bowie-style knives for the American market – Brookes and Crookes – was eagerly contested by US bidders at Martyn Rowe’s Truro salerooms on May 26.

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