The 380 lots from the estates of the late Anthony James Hall and his wife, Myrtle, were removed from their old home in Northumberland to Hall’s native Oxfordshire for the June 27 sale at Banbury.
The couple’s collections of glass and antiquarian books having already been sold, the auction showed both their wide-ranging enthusiasms and the changes in the market which today wants fine Chinese porcelain but is less enthusiastic about more traditional British and European antiques.
Topping the £157,000 sale was a 7in (18.5cm) Jiajing (1796-1820) mark and period blue and white dragon and phoenix bowl. Pitched at £3000-5000, the bowl had some small chips and scratching to the glaze but sold to a UK bidder at £16,500.
A c.1550 century Ming blue and white ovoid jar, 11in (28cm) tall and with central band painted with mythical animals doubled the mid-estimate, going back to China at £14,000.
Spoons provided the silver stars with a 16th century diamond point example leading the field.
A provincial, probably West Country piece with a squat hexagonal terminal, hexagonal stem and fig-shape bowl, it was struck with an eight-point star. It more than doubled expectations at £3100.
Earliest was a London 1547, 6in (15.5cm), seal-top with a worn maker’s mark, possibly NB for Nicholas Bartholomew. Against an £800-1200 estimate it sold at £3000.
Made in ye Temple
Best of the horology was a quarter repeating bracket clock signed F Robinson in ye Temple, for Francis Robinson, who became Clockmaker in Ordinary to the king in 1727 and worked for the Prince of Wales until his death in c.1747.
Housed in an ebonised fruitwood case standing 14in (35.5cm) high with brass work to the domed top and door escutcheons, this example of his craft doubled the estimate at £6600.
The English 18th century porcelain market is undeniably in a difficult state – at Banbury the section accounted for most of the sale’s casualty list.
Led by a pair of Chelsea plates, one with the red anchor mark, which made £260, prices began at just £20 for a lot comprising a Lowestoft tea bowl and a Worcester coffee cup in a Japan pattern.