The estate of Major General Sir John Swinton included some notable British and Continental works of art on February 23-24, led by two 15th century Venetian enamel chargers. Although Venice – a melting pot of Eastern and Western influences during the Renaissance – was a major centre for the production of enamels on copper, only a few hundred pieces are known in private collections and museums.
Many of the surviving examples were clearly for use in a religious context. However, these 11in (28cm) dishes feature central silver and green armorials indicating they were commissioned by an aristocratic family. Estimated at £30,000- 50,000, the better of the two examples took £75,000 with another with damage to the border selling at £36,000.
Renowned doll’s house
An exceptional Georgian doll’s house – the Evans Baby House – sold at £38,000 (estimate £15,000-20,000).
Modelled as a three-storey neoclassical town house painted in ochre and red, it opens to reveal three single-room floors containing the original miniature Georgian dressers and an array of (mainly 19th century) contents including furniture, pictures, photographs, ceramics, copper and brass wares, and various dolls.
To the top floor is an ivory plaque inscribed Miss Hancock has sent Anne a large old-fashioned baby house which was made for her great grandmother. It possesses little furniture but has given great delight. From Mrs Evans at Britwell Court, Burnham Beeches, to her sister Mrs Phelps in Madeira, May 6, 1825.
Pictured and discussed in Vivien Greene’s English Dolls’ Houses of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (1979), the Evans Baby House came for sale with associated correspondence from the estate of Mary Elizabeth Stuart Harley (1925-2019) of Ross-shire with a 19th century provenance to Anne Evans (1820-70) and her sister Emma Hubbard (née Evans) (1828-1905) at Britwell Court in Buckinghamshire.