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1st December 2021
The last curtain call of 2021 and the crescendo of our calendar sales came on December 1st with our Winter Fine Sale. Designed for the Christmas present market, this sale not only covers our typical sections of antiques, art and interior design, but also a wonderful section of miniatures, small silver and bijouterie.
The sale kicked off as ever with our ceramic and glass section, intermingled with Chinese examples, classic continental porcelain and modernist design. No sale would be complete these days without one Chinese surprise and December 1st was no different with a pair of Chinese vases in blue and white with applied serpents twisting up the exterior making £1,100 ahead of the £350 - 500 estimate. An extensive collection of Copenhagen dinner and tea ware also exceeded expectations with a final hammer price of £1,600, and lot 51 a lovely quality late Victorian Royal Worcester reticulated cabinet cup and saucer over doubled the top estimate to achieve £1,050. The best of the glass lots came from the ever popular maker Lalique, with lot 80 a Formose pattern globular vase which topped the estimate at £1,000.
Within our Christmas sale section of miniatures, small silver & bijouterie, we had some really fun lots, such as two silver pig pin cushions which did very nicely at £480 and a golfing trophy from Aberdeen (modeled as a life sized golf ball) which made £700; an excellent price for a plated item. The highest prices from the bijouterie section came in the form of two similar 9ct gold cigarette cases which made £1,700 and £2,400, but the most interesting of the section was seen with a travelling equatorial/equinoctial sundial by Christoph Schoener Junior c.1700 which even without its case made £1,200 and lot 90 a stunning late 18th century portrait miniature which made more than 4 times the estimate at £2,300.
The silver and gold lots within the sale sold with continued success from the covid related rise in bullion price, showing with a 95% sold rate and the following highlights: Lot 147 a pair of silver entree dishes sold for £1,450, a modern silver table service fetched £2,100 and a nice quality Edwardian 18ct gold snaffle link watch chain made £1,900.
Just in time for some stocking fillers, we had a strong section of watches. The best of the bunch were mainly seen amongst the gents watches, with £1,650 for a Manoah Rhodes & Sons 18ct gold half hunter pocket watch, £1,450 for a stainless steel Jaeger-Lecoultre Automatic wristwatch and £1,600 for an Omega Seamaster Chronostop. But the best of the bunch and my personal favourite of the section came in the form of lot 222 a Longines Military Issue “Dirty Dozen” wristwatch, simplistic and hardy in design with furry reactant glow-in-the-dark parts which snuck over estimate to make £1,750. The watches were then followed by the jewellery section which as ever before Christmas had a much better selling rate than a typical fine sale. By no means the best price, but my favourite pick of the section came in the form of lot 189, a really quirky multi-gem pendant, proving the value in style as opposed to diamonds, that reached above estimate at £950.
The works of art section held it’s typical array of wonderments, and proved once again to hold the best highlights of the sale. We saw £1,300 for a brilliant bound collection of 19th century Indian mica paintings, and a whopping £6,600 for a beautiful Chinese Jade bottle carved with dragons; amazing considering it is only 3 inches high. But the best of the section and sale was lot 355, a stunning Japanese cloisonne enamel censor, decorated with bright foliage and butterflies, that even with detached arms made over ten times the mid estimate at £8,500. Though my personal highlight of the section was lot 390, a pair of presentation mill workers' stools, named for Sarah and William of John Musgrave & Sons Ltd (Bolton) that reached £400 and represented a wonderful piece of British social history.
The picture section showed more than ever the tide turning away from traditional art to the more contemporary, with all the highlights in the non-Yorkshire sections coming from 20th century pieces. We saw £1,200 for a lovely portrait by Ruskin Spears with good provenance, £1,450 for a pretty scene of a swan and signets by Vernon Ward, £3,000 from abstract artist Tony O’Malley and £4,800 with the ever popular Irish artist John Bellany in his depiction of fishing trawlers. Being the home of our saleroom, the Yorkshire and Northern artists sold typically well with £1,200 for a typical industrial watercolour by Geoffrey Woolsey Birks, £1,600 for an oil by Herbert Royle painted in the fields below his house, and three four figure sums from William Mellor peaking with £2,700 for a pair of Yorkshire river scenes.
The furniture section started with the 20th century design offerings and a market which only seems to be going from strength to strength, particularly amid the 1960s and 70s items. With this we saw £1,300 for an Ercol dining suite of sideboard, table and chairs, another £1,300 for an extremely long Archie Shine teak sideboard and £1,600 for a very slick Scottish Beithcraft teak sideboard. Bridging the gap from the modern to the traditional Mouseman held his ground with £2,200 for a well panelled free standing corner cabinet, £4,200 for a very rudimentary but nicely patinated log box and a whopping £8,000 for a pair of carved hall chairs bearing the Horlick crest. The traditional pieces of furniture sold at a good rate, only leaving a very small handful without new owners. The best of the section came from a really beautifully decorated Victorian ebonised credenza with a very unique oval pietra dura panel depicting bird on flowering branch that fetched £3,000 and the same for a ten piece black lacquered chinoiserie bedroom suite.
The sale sold well ahead of the expected lower estimate of £180,000 to make just shy of £220,000, the sold rate was as positive as ever and rounded off our 2021 catalogue sales in style. We have already published our 2022 calendar and are raring to get going, so if you have any items you wish to have valued for our forthcoming sales, do not hesitate in getting in touch with our team. But in the meantime, have a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!