Auction Report - Antiques & Fine Art, 8th December, 2014

Fellow held their latest sale of Antiques & Fine Art on Monday 8th December. The sale began in great style with an Art Nouveau  Galle glass vase, the slender bottle body decorated with orange flowers.

This caused a stir as it opened proceedings with a triple-estimate £980. The sale continued with three items of Royal Worcester fruit-painted porcelain. This area of collecting continues to be very strong, as demonstrated by a ginger jar, slender vase and spherical vase which sold for £760, £1,100 and £2,400 respectively. Also popular was a Royal Doulton brown stoneware jug by the prominent artist Mark Marshall, which sold for a multiple-estimate £800. 

Topping a selection of oriental ceramics and works of art was a small Chinese wucai bowl with old collection label. At just 1.5 inches high, it certainly packed a punch as it sold for a double-estimate £1,200. Also popular was a finely-carved bamboo vase which realised £720.

The next section of collector’s items always encompasses an eclectic mix of antiques, and this sale was no exception. From a Northern Ireland private collection came a group of tea caddies, headed by an example of unusual urn shape which sold for £920. Three superb items of ‘Blue John’ (Derbyshire Spar) were also offered in this sale. The attractive violet-coloured mineral was highly prized in the 18th and 19th centuries, and on this occasion three varying pieces were available – a small bowl, a goblet, and a pedestal urn. Featured on the front cover of the catalogue, these works of art attracted national attention and all pleasingly achieved double-estimate prices of £880, £1,000 and £3,000 respectively.


A good selection of vintage cameras was led by a group if three Leica and Russian examples in a vellum case. With provenance to a titled gentleman, these exceeded top estimate when they sold for £520. Also attracting great interest was a helmet from a suit of armour. The buyer, who eventually paid a multiple-estimate £1,400, left the accompanying breastplate behind!

An item which has created enormous pre-sale interest was an Aston Villa football shirt, worn in a charity match by the legendary George Best. With great excitement generated by the Villa online fanzines and community, the shirt made an impressive £2,400. This figure was soon eclipsed by a magnificent collection of early Victorian prints of the Holy Land by renowned artist David Roberts. Comprising over forty views in all, they too attracted interest from several specialist collectors and sold at £2,700.

The picture section of the sale featured two lots from totally contrasting ends of the art world. Firstly, a limited edition lithograph signed by Pablo Picasso attracted a hammer price of £2,000.This was then exceeded by a more traditional oil on canvas of Windsor Castle by esteemed artist Alfred de Breanski. It sold for £3,100. From such imposing paintings, the sale moved to miniatures, with an intricate oval example after Van Dyck heading the section at £820.

Carriage clocks were amongst the highlights of a typically varied clock section. Three contrasting examples all resulted in similar hammer prices: a Victorian Scottish silver clock set the tone at £1,400, and a Swiss grand sonnerie clock made the same price. In between these two, a modern clock by the popular maker Matthew Norman, with rolling moon and three subsidiary dials, achieved a triple-estimate £1,500 – good news particularly since we have two more in the pipeline! Whilst many run-of the mill longcase clocks are now sold below £1,000, we had an unusual 18th century example which benefitted from a parquetry-inlaid trunk door, a brass dial and a rolling moon. It pleasingly sold for an outstanding double-estimate £2,400.

The sale was rounded off by a furniture section which included a large Indian carpet, the subject of an insurance claim after being bought new for an eye-watering £22,000 and then damaged and professionally restored. At over six metres by almost four, it should grace a grand room and at £1,200 it represented good value second time around. The same price was also the triple estimate paid for the last lot in the sale, a good 19th century military campaign chest, which will be shipped to its new owner in New Zealand.


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