Famous for its eternally popular Claddagh rings today, Galway was a rare silver mark in the early 18th century. It featured on a octagonal waiter made there by Mark Fallon, c.1730 (pictured above).
The 6¾in (17cm) diameter salver bore a contemporary armorial featuring squirrels and, to the underside, marriage monograms WSM. It had some minor scratches nicks and dings commensurate with age but was in good condition and, against a £6000-9000 estimate. It went to an Irish bidder at £16,000.
Meissen ape appeal
Topping the porcelain on offer was the early Meissen monkey teapot. Modelled by Kaendler and recorded in the great man’s work record from July 1735, the 7½in (19.5cm) tall pot had some firing cracks, tiny fritted and unglazed patches and some restoration.
An example lacking its cover took £14,000 at Bonhams’ sale of the Hasse collection in 2014. The market has cooled in recent years but Gorringe’s £4000- 6000 proved over-cautious and the teapot sold to a German buyer at £12,000.
Minton squirrel vase
Best of the British material was a Minton majolica squirrel vase, modelled by Paul Comolera. Date coded for 1877, the 11in (28cm) tall vase was a rarity but extensively broken and reglued with losses – both ears of the squirrel, a section of the rim and the leaves at the top and bottom plus the breaks to the squirrel’s left shoulder and the end of its tail.
With the majolica market a shadow of its heyday, it received a £200-300 estimate, but the vase sold to a European online bidder at £2200.
Meanwhile, best of the British furniture was a pair of William IV parcel gilt rosewood console tables, with pierced brass anthemion galleries and single shelf mirrored backs which went within estimate at £4800.
Meeting the demand for mid-20th century was the Alvar Aalto for Finmar Ltd Model 31 cantilever chair, catalogued as ‘well used’ but original and which went over estimate to a UK private buyer at £4400.
Sale of the centuries
Eye-catchers emerged across the range of interests, emanating from 9th century BC Nineveh to 20th century AD Liverpool.
A 4in (10cm) tall Assyrian alabaster slab inscribed in cuneiform with a royal proclamation and two 1½in (3.5cm) long clay cuneiform tablets relating to laws on imprisonment were from the Arber-Cooke Collection and quadrupled the estimate selling to the UK trade at £2000.
The first lot in the sale was a considerable contrast: an autograph album with signatures of all four Beatles, the Searchers and US stars such as Roy Orbison. Along with ticket stubs for various gigs, it doubled the lower estimate in selling to a UK specialist dealer at £3000.