Horse sense at Potteries
The star lot at Potteries Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) in Stoke on June 10-11 was a version of the traditional Beswick Shire Horse in a highly unusual strawberry roan colourway.
Beswick first produced this model in 1940, originally in the most common brown colour that sells today at auction for around £15.
Other colours are much scarcer and those in an iron-grey colourway or brown and white have sold for prices in the region of £2000-3000. For example, on May 18, among nearly 350 Beswick lots, Charterhouse Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) sold an iron-grey Beswick shire mare, model no. 818, for £2000 against an estimate of £1400-1800.
The strawberry roan colour of the Potteries lot was thought to be a one-off, produced in the 1950s as a bespoke commission for a customer who wanted a likeness of their horse. For those that could afford it, Beswick occasionally took on such private commissions.
Collecting Beswick at this level remains an expensive pastime. Five phone bidders, numerous commission and internet bidders crossed horns for a lot that eventually realised the dizzy heights of £6600.
Trophy bidder reaches for the sky
Sold by Reeman Dansie (20% buyer’s premium) at Colchester back on May 18 was a rare 1930s Schneider Trophy miniature.
The 6in (14cm) wide silver-plated bronze trophy depicts zephyrs and Neptune on an ebonised base while silver plaques to the sides detail the victories of the Vickers Super Marine Rolls-Royce S.6B in the biennial races of 1927, 1929 and 1931. Designed by RJ Mitchell, the plane was a forerunner of his iconic Spitfire.
Estimated at £100-1500, it sold to an enthusiast at £5600.
Bloomsbury Group Grant is a draw
Monogrammed under the foot by multi-skilled Bloomsbury Group artist Duncan Grant, a hand-painted 9in (23cm) tall lead-glazed vase, went at more than five times the upper estimate at Burstow Hewett’s (15% buyer’s premium) sale at Battle on May 24.
The artistic gifts of all the Bloomsbury Group come up for re-evaluation from time to time but the names remain a draw. Grant’s vase, estimated at £500-700, sold at £3600.
Cheers for York tankard result
Bringing good cheer from the opening lot at Adam Partridge’s (20% buyer’s premium inc VAT) May 18 sale at Macclesfield was a rare 6½in (15cm) tall 17th century lignum vitae York tankard.
Over the centuries the hinged lid inscribed ‘W’ had become warped and did not fit well, there was some shrinkage to the tapering body and the white metal liner and rim were 19th century additions.
However the tankard retained a good colour and left a £300-500 estimate behind to sell at £2650.