Tapping into the demand that remains, the Home & Interiors sale held by Bonhams (25% buyer’s premium) in Edinburgh on February 21-22 included typical lots dated to the 1920s that found favour.
William Kent inspires
One was a pair of carved and silvered yew and walnut serving tables in the manner of William Kent.
The 4ft 11in (1.5m) wide tables featured friezes centred with a carved mask and foliate scrolls.
Also offered, of very similar appeal, was a set of 12 George I-style silvered walnut carver chairs, with vase-shaped splats and petit point tapestry drop-in seats on lion masks legs with paw feet.
With both lots estimated at £3500- 4000, the tables went to one dealer at £11,000 and the chairs to another at £13,000.
“There was a huge amount of interest in these pieces including from the decorator trade,” said Bonhams furniture specialist Georgia Williams.
Decorative 19th century French furniture included a c.1900 Louis XVI-style ‘merchand mercier’ centre table.
The 2ft 4in diameter giltwood top was inset with a Japanese cloisonné panel of birds in flight and it featured ebonised scrolling legs and stretchers. Pitched at £1200-1500, it sold at £6800 to a UK dealer.
A perennial favourite, a late 19th-early 20th century Black Forest seat carved in the form of a pair of bears holding a lily pad, attracted Continental bidding up to a triple-estimate £9000.
In total, 88% of the 690 lots sold for a hammer total of £495,000.
The top-seller was a gilt-metal ewer and basin – an example of the work which first brought fame to the Paris craftsman Leonard Morel- Ladeuil (1820-88) in the 1850s.
The 2ft 2in (66cm) tall ewer signed Morel-Ladeuil had a handle surmounted by an owl. The body features a central band depicting The Dance of the Willis, a scene from the ballet Giselle in which the avenging wraiths of maidens who have died before marriage attempt to raise our heroine from her grave.
The base was formed as a lily pad fitting into the basin, also signed, representing a pond with border modelled in relief with a snake, frog and lizard. Estimated at £5000- 8000, it was a UK trade buy at £25,000.
A pair of 19th century bookends or chenets, one shown top, was formed as bronze and ormolu griffins holding gilt flaming torches.
One of these 13in (33cm) high-quality casts had some damage but the pair, estimated at £700-1000, sold to a private buyer at £9000.
In a buoyant ceramics section, where specialist Katherine Wright saw 153 of the 174 offerings get away, the best-seller was Daisy Makeig-Jones’ 7½in (19.5cm) Fairyland lustre malfrey pot decorated with a variation of the Bubble design.
The cover had been extensively restored, hence the £1500-2000 estimate. However, the rare ‘Moonlight Blue’ colourway was enough to start a bidding battle and it sold to a collector online at £7000.