Boningtons June Fine Art Sale Review
The June Fine Art sale at Boningtons Auctioneers saw an extremely diverse range of lots of exceptional quality go under the hammer, resulting in many significant prices achieved and records set.
Lot 285, a taxidermy giraffe head and neck, had been the talk of the saleroom throughout viewing and, despite attracting much joviality, drew interest from several serious bidders, eventually selling to an American buyer for £4000.
Another unique item, a large oak ship’s armorial, will soon be setting sail again as it was also sold overseas to America for £1700, reflecting the country’s penchant for marine memorabilia.
Recent Asian art sales across the country have indicated that the market is becoming increasingly selective, with buyers only prepared to go all out for items of real quality. Fortunately there were a number of lots on offer at Boningtons that proved extremely enticing to collectors. A striking 19th century pomegranate vase realised £2600, whilst a Chinese blue and white yen yen vase made £2100.A small Chinese tripod censor significantly exceeded its estimate and was knocked down at £1300 and a pair of 19th century Chinese silk embroidered pictures also attracted fierce bidding and eventually sold online for £1900 against an estimate of £600-800.
Whilst demand for Japanese works is not presently particularly strong, a beautiful complete album of Utagawa School woodblock prints, dating to the 1860s, drew much admiration and sold for a hammer price of £2000.
The sale included a fine selection of pictures, the strong prices for which proved that buyers are attracted most by works that are fresh to the market and of good provenance.
This was the case for the sale’s highlight, a red chalk drawing by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which realised £18000, and some extremely significant prices were also achieved by artists whose work is not often seen at auction.
Despite their relatively poor condition, a pair of marine oils by Pavlos Prossalendis the Younger attracted huge interest and eventually sold to one of several phone bidders for £8000. Prossalendis’ father, a notable sculptor of the same name, was responsible for founding the first Fine Art School in Greece in 1811.
A work by the Manchester artist Edith Le Breton, depicting Altrincham Market in the snow, saw determined bidding from two private collectors and eventually sold to one for £3800 – a record for the artist’s work at auction. Le Breton also wrote poetry and this oil on canvas was inscribed on the back with a poem by the artist which undoubtedly added to its appeal. Le Breton’s work shows the obvious influence of her friend L S Lowry and the sale also included a Lowry lithograph, ‘A Street Full of People’, which realised £950.
Another record was set by a monotype by the Scottish artist Robert Colquhoun. The work, ‘Ayrshire Women’, consigned from a large private collection of prints by notable artists, attracted huge interest and eventually was knocked down at £2200 – the highest price paid for a monotype by the artist at auction.
A small oil by William Powell Frith, discovered by Boningtons’ picture department, was bid up by two private collectors, one on the phone and one in the room, and eventually sold to the former for £2400. A picture from the same private collection, an oil on canvas by Hermanus Koekkoek the Elder, achieved its top estimate of £5000.
The sale also saw the best examples of a large private medal collection go under the hammer. Boningtons had offered the majority of the collection earlier in the year but the best examples proved worth waiting for as they made very healthy prices, with two World War I medal groups, Lots 272 and 273, realising £1300 and £1900 respectively.
The auction was brought to a fitting conclusion with some strong prices amongst the clocks and watches, notably a Rene Lalique ‘Les Deux Colombes’ clock which sold to a European collector for £2600 and another French example, a ladies Cartier Tank Francaise wristwatch, which realised £6000.