The auction calendar has been much changed by Covid 19 restrictions but with auction houses in England able to reopen premises to the public from June 15 a new normal is now set to emerge.
It will be easier for auction houses to arrange viewings as well as collection, delivery and consignments. They will need to follow government guidance on matters such as hygiene and social distancing. Some may decide to allow a number of bidders to be present in the room on auction day but it is likely that most bidding will still be taking place online via bidding platforms such as thesaleroom.com or over the phone.
Check with the auction house to understand its latest terms for storage and delivery. Remember that different devolved nations within the UK may take a different approach with regard to when auction houses can reopen premises as well as the hygiene procedures they should be following.
Sixteen upcoming lots
1. The house contents of Portobello Road market stalwart Joan Dunk (1930-2019) go under the hammer at Special Auction Services in Newbury on June 9-10.
Her stall, for decades an outside pitch on the corner of Westbourne Grove, was affectionately known as IDA – the trade name of an early 20th century German kitchen equipment manufacturer, which she adapted to mean ‘Interesting Domestic Appliances’. Kitchenalia was one of several collecting passions (toys, dolls and teddy bears others).
A 17½in (44cm) Enterprise Manufacturing Company (Philadelphia) cast-iron shop counter-top coffee grinder, c.1898, has an estimate of £200-300.
2. This Erhald & Sohne Secessionist gilt brass inlaid rosewood jewellery casket, above, c.1900, has a guide of £200-300 at Warren & Wignall, Leyland, on June 10.
3. A light oak stick-back bench by Ercol is guided at £200-250 in the June 4 auction at Clevedon Salerooms in Bristol.
4. This 5in (12cm) Russian silver and black obsidian carved figure of two ducks, above, has marks for the St Petersburg workmaster Adam Yuden (1840-1878) and the assay master Alexander Mitin.
It is estimated at £700-1000 in the June 9-10 sale at The Cotswolds Auction Company in Cirencester.
5. A rare Athletisme vase decorated by Gaston Goor for Sèvres in 1936 is believed to be one of only six produced. It was brought to the Catherine Southon auction house for valuation by a member of the Blackheath & Bromley Harriers Athletics Club, having been recently discovered in the loft of their premises.
It was presented to the running club in February 1937 by Club Olympic d’Auberville after a visit recorded in the club’s archive. The vase, estimated at £6000-8000, will be sold on June 10 to raise money for the running club’s new premises. It is part of a series of three different sporting designs – winter sports, swimming and athletics – produced by Sèvres at the time.
6. An 19th century adjustable mahogany folio stand comes for sale at W&H Peacock in Bedford on June 5 estimated at £700-900.
7. On the declaration of war in 1939 the German embassy at Prussia House, Carlton House Terrace, London, was vacated and its contents sealed. In 1945 the property was requisitioned by the British government and the furnishings sold at auction over six days by Knight, Frank & Rutley. This amboyna veneered mahogany Biedermeier-style bookcase was part of the sale.
It will be offered, accompanied by a facsimile of the 1945 auction catalogue, with an estimate of £2000-4000 at the Laidlaw sale of Medals, Arms and Militaria in Carlisle on June 6.
8. This 11 x 7in (28 x 17cm) gouache on paper, above, heightened with gilt is a leaf from an Aq Qoyunlu divan (collected works) of Ali Shir Nava’I probably produced in late 15th century Tabriz.
The bulk of this manuscript, which includes the signed and dated colophon for the court calligrapher Abd al-Rahim al-Ya’qubi and is dated AH881 (1480AD), was sold at Sotheby’s in 2015 with single leaves in a number of public and private collections.
At Roseberys London on June 16 the estimate is £1000-1500.
9. The Charterhouse two-day online auction in Sherborne on June 4-5 will include a collection of David Hockney-related items from the estates of the late Ann and David Graves.
Ann was Hockney’s muse for many years and David Graves his studio assistant. Two polaroid photographs inscribed and signed A Young Model and It’s inspiring me already are framed together and estimated at £400-600.
10. Gypsy Queen Caravans in a Sussex Meadow, an early Cedric Morris oil, carries an estimate of £15,000-20,000 at Sworders’ Modern British and 20th Century Art Live Online auction on June 10.
The dedication in the bottom-right-hand corner to Phyllis from Cedric 1927 is to the vendor’s mother, Phyllis Pitcairn Gage-Brown. She was a childhood friend of Paul Odo Cross, the son of an American heiress and a close friend of Morris at that time. Morris’ portrait of him dated 1925 is in the National Museum of Wales.
According to the vendor, Gage-Brown owned one of the caravans that appear in the picture and Odo Cross had the other. It had been the norm for the group to ‘play’ at camping together at Socknersh Manor, the East Sussex estate owned by Cross’ mother.
The picture, measuring 18in x 2ft (46 x 59cm), was painted two years before Morris moved to Suffolk. At the time he was working from a studio in Great Ormond Street, London.
11. An early-20th century Austrian silver and enamel smelling salts or scent canister has an estimate of £400-600 at Locke & England in Leamington Spa on June 11. The lid, marked GAS for Georg Adam Scheid, is decorated in the Secessionist taste with an enamelled depiction of a lady.
12. A small archive of theatrical ephemera that belonged to Arthur Brough (1905-78), best known for his portrayal of Mr Grainger in the long-running TV series Are You Being Served?, comes for sale at Tennants in Leyburn on June 10.
The archive, kept by Brough’s family since his death, includes photographs by renowned photographer Angus McBean of Laurence Olivier, Joan Plowright, Michael Redgrave and Joan Greenwood, all signed and inscribed by the sitters. Photographs, letter, programmes and related ephemera are being offered as a single lot with an estimate of £500-700.
13. The sale at Forum Auctions on June 9 includes a scarce early-19th century rare game, The New Game of Virtue Rewarded and Vice Punished, for the Amusement of Youth of both Sexes.
Published in 1818, the 33 circular vignettes, beginning at the House of Correction and finishing with Virtue, are by George Cruikshank.
It is offered in its original mottled board slip case with hand-coloured engraved label with hopes of £1000-1500.
14. A Danish 1950s silver and ivory five-piece tea and coffee service designed by Hans Bunde (1919-96) in collaboration with Carl M Cohr Silver has an estimate of £1500-2000 at Canterbury Auction Galleries on June 6-7.
15. Cheffins in Cambridge begins selling again on June 11. This is one of two Italian Grand Tour gouaches depicting Vesuvius erupting, each 17in x 2ft 1in (42 x 62cm), estimated together at £250-400.
16. A William George timed online sale closing on June 4 includes a collection of objects related to the Dreyfus Affair – the political and judicial scandal that began with the false treason charge levied against an Alsatian French artillery officer in December 1894.
This lot, estimated at £1500-2000, includes four items: a monogramed silver cigarette case previously owned by Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935), a note by Dreyfus dated 1924 and a rare cabinet photo card from 1899 that depicts the sharp decline in Dreyfus’ visage from Before His Conviction to When Released From Prison. His wife Lucie stands between the two images.
The handmade red brick is said to be from the shack where Dreyfus lived while was imprisoned on Devil’s Island, French Guiana. It is stamped AP for Administration Pénitentiaire and St Jean for the penal brickmaking factory in the town of St Jean.