Surrey Auction Hits Record Half A Million Pounds
£50,000 Chinese Cranes Is 2011 Top Price So Far This Year At Ewbank Clarke Gammon Wellers
Fine art and antiques sold for a record £500,000 in the summer auction at Surrey’s premier auctioneers Ewbank Clarke Gammon Wellers. More than 70 lots sold for £1,000 and four made over £10,000.The Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for disabled people had received a donation of Persian rugs and carpets, Eastern and Oriental School pictures and works of art, which all sold, some for prices substantially above their pre-sale estimates. Auctioneer Chris Ewbank waived his commission charges to benefit the charity further.(See separate newsletter).
In line with recent trends, the market in Far Eastern and Asian antiques remains extremely strong. The sale attracted more than 20 online bidders from such places as China, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand alone, all of whom helped boost prices. This was most noticeable when several bidders competed for ownership of a monumental pair of cloisonné storks, which had been estimated at £ 2,500-4,000, reflecting their 20th century origin. In the event, they sold to a buyer bidding from Beijing for £50,000 – a house record for a contemporary Chinese work of art at the saleroom this year.
The response was similar for a 19th century carved ivory figure of Liu Po Wen, which was purchased by a London-based Chinese buyer for £13,000 against an estimate of £2,000-3,000. Liu Po Wen was a famous 14th century general when China was at war with the Mongols. He disguised himself as a Taoist priest and entered a besieged city bearing a mooncake with hidden messages inside. The messages instructed townspeople to organise and combine with the troops massed outside to overthrow their enemy. Mooncake became popular as a celebration cake thereafter. The carving depicted the general wearing a long moustache and beard and dressed in a pleated robe tied with a cord around his waist.
A London dealer secured a Japanese circular bronze box with screw top, decorated with a gilt panel of birds, blossom and branches, the sides with gilt decoration of flowers and insects. It sold for £2,600, while a bidder from Taiwan secured a Chinese scroll decorated with a peacock with a bid of £1,700.
Any worries that the economic climate in Europe might dampen enthusiasm for antique and contemporary jewellery proved unfounded when a lifetime collection purchased by a Bournemouth couple which was expected to raise around £40,000 sold for a total of £51,000.
Star of the collection was a stunning 3.5 carat diamond solitaire ring, the emerald cut stone flanked by baguette cut diamonds, set in platinum. It sold to a private Sussex buyer for an above estimate £10,500.
Close behind at £8,000 was an impressive Art Deco strap-style diamond bracelet made from articulated links with a central stylised buckle motif containing a single brilliant cut diamond. The gems were set in 18 carat white gold with brilliant, baguette and pavé cut stones weighing a total of 16.63 carats. It sold to a Surrey buyer.
Continuing the Art Deco theme, a geometric style brooch set with baguette cut and brilliant cut diamonds graduating in size and weighing 7.25 carats sold for £2,800 and a sapphire and diamond Art Deco style geometric oblong brooch with calibre sapphires and millegrain diamonds set in platinum sold to a London dealer for £2,000.
A six carat oblong trap cut purple sapphire set in a platinum and diamond mounted ring sold to a Hampshire buyer for £3,800, while an Imperial topaz and diamond cluster ring sold to a London dealer for £2,600.
A topaz necklace set in 14 carat gold overturned an estimate of £1,200-1,400 to sell to another London dealer for £3,600, while another surprise proved to be a gold dress ring set with an oval cabochon sapphire set in an ornate mount of 18 carat gold. Estimated at £450-650, it sold to the same buyer for £1,400.
Jewellery sent for sale by other consignors also performed strongly, notably an antique suite comprising necklace, brooch and earrings all set with golden citrines, which was estimated at £400-600. It sold to the same London dealer as before for £3,000, while a moonstone necklace set in unhallmarked gold sold for to a private London buyer for the £1,500 against an estimate of £250-350, both lots illustrating the continued demand for the precious metal in these uncertain times.
The size of the sale dictated it should be run over three days, gathering more than 1,500 commission bids and 344 approved bidders from 29 different countries. More than 120,000 emails were sent to potential bidders, while online bidders placed 1,540 bids and purchased 246 lots with a value of £29,000.
British paintings proved to be highly sought after. A watercolour by the Newlyn School artist Walter Langley (1852-1922) depicting an old woman seated at the water's edge with children playing in the background was estimated at £1,000-1,500 but sold to a Devon collector for £10,400, while a work by Myles Birkett Foster (1825-1899) sold to a Surrey collector for an above top estimate £3,000. Titled "Near Connel Ferry, Braeside”, the work was exhibited at the Royal Watercolour Society in 1895.
Among contemporary art, "Rough Sea" an oil on canvas signed, titled, and dated 1987 by Patrick Hughes (b. 1939) sold for an above top estimate £5,000 to a London collector, while Arthur Delaney (1927-1987) was represented by one of his typical busy Manchester street scenes with trams, motorcars and people in the foreground and a church and steeple in the distance. It sold to a Farmborough buyer for £3,000.
In continental pictures, an Austrian gallery secured an oil on board of a Prague street scene by the Czech artist Jan Minarik (1862-1937) with a bid of £2,100 against an estimate of £800-1,200, but it was a private Surrey buyer who paid £1,800 to win an 18th century French portrait of a gentleman in a wig wearing a green velvet coat. By family descent, the oil on canvas bore a label on the reverse which read “Jacques d'Alencon, 1741- Regiment de la Dauphine, Paris”, while a second label refereed to artist J Van Allon 1769. There were also references to the picture having been restored in 1874.
In silver, one surprise was the success of a coffee pot by a Maltese maker, which will be returning to the island after it was purchased by a Maltese buyer for £3,000. An oak canteen of 19th century French silver cutlery with thread and bow pattern handles weighing 90oz sold to a London dealer for £1,650.
In English silver, a pair of modern silver gilt figural twin branch candelabra cast as a young boy with a basket of grapes and girl with a basket of flowers beneath arched tree trunks forming the candelabra branches sold for £1,800. They bore marks for Garrard & Co., London, 1968, and also weighed 90oz, while a pair of 18th century style twin branch candlesticks on shaped step bases (London 1959, 80oz) sold to a London private buyer for £1,650.
A modern set of 50 silver ingots celebrating “A Thousand Years of the British Monarchy” and weighing a total of 100oz, all set in a presentation box with certificate, sold to a Kent buyer for £1,700, while the vendors of two George V silver mounted globular glass match strikers struck gold with the prices they achieved. The more valuable of the two measured four inches in diameter and was decorated with blue and white enamels to the opening. It was sold to the trade for £1,600, while the second, with plain silver rim sold to another dealer for £850. Each was assayed for London, 1913.
A good and large but modern Lalique clear and frosted glass scent bottle, nine inches tall, the stopper decorated with moths, the body in the form of a poppy sold to a local private buyer for £1,600 against an estimate of £200-300 and in ceramics, a rare Chelsea Pottery figure by Charles Vyse, titled “Club Row On A Sunday Morning, Here's a good 'un” sold to a Sussex dealer for £2,600 in spite of damage. The figure was modelled as a dog seller at the notorious London street market, the man wearing a loud red, green and yellow check jacket, black and white striped trousers, brown button waistcoat and blue neck scarf. He holds Bull Terrier puppies in each arm, their mother seated at his feet looking up wistfully for her offspring, the whole mounted on an ebonised wood base.
Most valuable in furniture was a pair of George III style leather wing armchairs, which sold to a Lancashire dealer for £1,600 against an estimate of £300-500, followed closely by an early 20th century mahogany serpentine fronted display cabinet with marquetry inlay, which sold to a Devon dealer for an above estimate £1,500.
Entries are invited for forthcoming Victorian and later auctions at Ewbank Clarke Gammon Wellers, the next of which will be held on July 27 and August 10 and 24 and for the saleroom’s important autumn sale of antiques and fine art auction on September 28. For further information, please contact the auctioneer on 01483 223101 or firstname.lastname@example.org