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A Portrait of Spring

18th March 2020

A regular feature for the Spring Sale is the arms and militaria and interest this time was high with only four lots bought in.

Most unusual was a rhino horn knobkerrie 19th/20th century with a good ball head and brass ferrule to its tip which reached £1500.  Of the more typical items, we saw a fantastic quality flintlock sporting gun by Fisher of London sell for £1200, a flintlock target pistol by Wogdon, London at £1050, and a .36 calibre 1860 six shot colt revolver with ivory grips fetch £1150.  The most poignant lot was a family of second world war medals awarded to a much travelled Queen Alexandra nurse, Sister Florence Chadwick with copious ephemera trebled its estimate at £1200 – so rare to see medals from this period awarded to a lady.

Two quirkier lots to brighten the section were a suit of 16th century style foot armour which reached £1200 and a suit of 17th century style cuirassier armour which sold for £800.

The sale started with ceramics and silver and immediately got into gear with Lot 1, a Meiji period Satsuma jar and cover selling at £800 and a Chinese blue and white bottle vase achieving the same price, both above estimate.  A piece from the ever popular Pilkingtons pottery factory was a bottle vase, possibly by Richard Joyce which produced an excellent price of £1150, but over shadowing the section were a pair of 1884 Minton pate-sur-pate moon flasks decorated by Laurence Birks and presented to the Marquis of Stafford and his wife which produced the final price of £3400.

The silver section was relatively small and prices were dominated once again by the current bullion price.  The best result was an 1881-3 Scottish four piece tea and coffee service chased in Indian Swami style 63ozs 13dwts which rose above estimate to £1250.  Gold coins were similarly affected by the bullion price and for instance a Victorian Jubilee head £5 piece of 1887 reached £1650, while a Mexican gold 50 pesos of 41.7g sold well at £1800.

Amongst the jewellery, three quarters of it found buyers, a better rate than normal.  Successful sales included a ruby and crescent brooch which trebled its estimate at £1850, a sapphire and diamond line bracelet reached £1100, and a diamond half hoop eternity ring set with twenty brilliant cut stones found a satisfactory price of £1200.

The works of art section offered a varied mixture of items, the sculptures taking the lead in price.  A beautiful Art Deco silvered and patinated bronze figure with ivory face by Armand Godard 16” high entitled “St Mark’s Square” depicting a female figure feeding pigeons found £1400.  An extremely stylish carved wood model of a lapwing by Guy Taplin (born 1939) reached an excellent price of £1600, and an English School 20th century carved limestone figure of a standing female nude indistinctly signed “Pigott” sold well above estimate at £1150.

The furniture and clocks section of 110 lots produced reasonable results, out of the 75 that found buyers.  A wall clock, early 18th century by John Sanderson, Wigton, with tract engraved brass dial and 30 hour movement achieved £950.

A classical mid 19th century oak dresser with delft rack and breakfront base sold for £850, while a late 17th century oak dresser base, 75” long found £800.  A striking Arts and Crafts oak bookcase with ebonised frieze to top canopy and copper strap hinges deserved its final bid of £1150, two similar 19th century pine framed Orkney chairs with woven straw backs together found £850 and a Gillows of Lancaster Aesthetic walnut oak bedroom suite comprising triple wardrobe dressing table and marble tiled back washstand together sold for £950.

The picture section of 110 lots unusually had more “bounce” than the rest of the sale, and while 29% were bought in, the section produced some excellent prices.  The best print was “Dog Paintings Salts Mill 1995” by David Hockney which found £520, and the top watercolour was “Winter Landscape with Castle Ruin” attributed to Jacob Cats (1741-99) selling for £2000.  Arthur James Stark produced a rather atmospheric oil “Grey Work Horse in a Stable” which sold for £1250, a bright oil by Charles Doyly-John “Porto Fino Italian Riviera” reached £1800, Shepherd Boys in a Wooded Glade by James Thomas Linnell sold for £1500 and Robert Watson’s “Sheep on a Highland Crag” realised £1200.

A selection of classical portraits included a 19th century full length portrait of a young girl at £1950, a Lady in a Silk dress, Circle of Sir Peter Lely found £2700, a Dutch/Flemish School 17th century Portrait of a Gentleman £2100, and, the second best price of the sale £3,200 went to a Portrait of a Young Lady by the Circle of Sir Godfrey Kneller.

As usual Yorkshire Paintings had a section of their own.  A watercolour and pencil by Brian Shields “Braaq” reached £1000, a portfolio of 300 watercolours by Brian Irvine bought in £2300, a Still Life by Owen Bowen £900, and another work by Brian Shields, this time a signed pastel sold for twice its upper estimate at £3000.