On 22nd June we enjoyed our 14th Fine Art sale where some extraordinarily high prices were achieved. Bidding was particularly strong for a 19th century Chinese jade bracelet and spontaneous applause broke out when the item sold for £29,000 in the room – against a cautious estimate of £400-600. It had been much viewed on account of its vibrant emerald green hues, a natural colour achieved without artificial treatment.
Another equally surprising high price, of £17,000, was achieved for a 19th century majolica bear on its hind legs breaking open a beehive to steal a honeycomb by Brown Westhead Moore & Co. This was a spectacular sum for an item having an estimate of £800-1200. Bidders were attracted by its size, rarity and fine condition. There were eight bidders on the ‘phone and the Internet were in the running at £15,000 with the winning bidder coming from France.
Selling to a London dealer was a Chinese lapis lazuli bowl of archaic form that it was thought might be Ming dynasty. Carved to the body with Taoist marks and to the ringed handles with bovine heads, it achieved £7,000 (Est: £800-1200).
Totally unexpectedly, a £12,000 bid was taken for a pair of Continental porcelain figures of musicians. They were in poor condition and estimated at a token £80-120 but identified by specialists as mid-18th century Meissen.
There was also a Sampson and Mordan silver and enamel vesta case in the form of a sentry box carrying the registered number 38283 and the date letter for London, 1886. There are a number of different versions of these and the price is determined by the rarity of the enamelled regimental subject – in this case a standing sentry of the 13th Hussars. Against an estimate of £80-120 the price was pushed on to £3,300, a very long time since one of this subject matter made so much.
The sale exceeded all expectations and we look forward to our next sale of Fine Art & Antiques, Oriental Ceramics & Works of Art on Wednesday 2nd November with eager anticipation!