Ewbank's Celebrates The Successes Of 2017
Asian Art And Entertainment Among Most Popular Auctions

Asian auction HampshireEwbank’s, Surrey’s leading auction house, is celebrating successes seen in 2017, despite tricky conditions caused by the ongoing economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit
“Business has been steady at the saleroom,” explained Chris Ewbank, senior partner and auctioneer. “These are difficult times for small businesses thanks to increased financial burdens, rates and taxes, but I am delighted to say that Ewbank’s is facing these challenges head-on.
asian art surrey“Saleroom turnover has increased substantially in the last five years, however the rate of growth slowed to six per cent in 2017. Many auctioneers are struggling to maintain their turnover, however here at Ewbank’s we have bucked this trend. We have protected our position by continuing to invest in technology and our website.”
The currency fluctuations seen in the past 12 months have meant buying at UK auctions for foreign investors is more affordable than ever, with a number of the most valuable lots sold in 2017 going to buyers overseas.
The bullish Asian art market has remained strong, although it was a little more restrained than seen in recent years. However, there were some unexpected moments despite this.
In May, Ewbank’s saw one of the biggest surprise lots of the year in one of its regular Asian art sales, when a pair of Chinese cloisonné vases sold for an incredible £18,415, against a very conservative estimate. The tiny 10cm-high vases, which were decorated with butterflies and flowers, were sold to a buyer in the north of England, from a local seller in West Byfleet.
Movie Poster Bond AuctionAnother two Asian lots of note, were a Chinese carved and pierced white jade ring in the form of bamboo, which had a final price of £7,366, and went to a buyer in Canada. A Duan Zian, 'Walking on the Snow and hunting for plum blossom', enamelled porcelain plaque, had a final price of £7,366, against an estimate of between £1,000 and £1,500, to a buyer in the Home Counties.
Ewbank’s entertainment and memorabilia department had successes throughout the year. Among the many interesting lots were two which saw final prices far exceeding estimates.
A vintage film poster advertising the iconic 1963 James Bond film From Russia With Love, starring Sean Connery, sold for £7,620, against a guide price of between £3,000 and £5,000. The poster was designed by famed poster artist Renato Frantini. It was part of the Adrian Cowdry Collection of entertainment memorabilia which went under the hammer in October. The poster was bought by a buyer in Paris.
Alan Reynolds AuctionA parka jacket worn by Liam Gallagher, front-man of rock band Oasis, sold for £6,858, well beating its estimate of between £800 and £1,200. Gallagher wore the Fake London garment at the band’s Finsbury Park gig on July 7, 2002.
As always, paintings were one of the most popular items going through the auction room in 2017, both old and contemporary.
The top-selling painting of the year was an oil by British artist Alan Reynolds (1926-2014) which sold for £39,730, to a buyer in the Midlands. The piece was called 'January landscape’, was signed and dated 52/53.
Mary Fedden AuctionsAnother high-value painting of note was consigned for sale by a Dorking seller. An oil by Mary Fedden (1915-2012) entitled “Red Flowers and Fruit” from 1966. It sold for £13,335 to a buyer in Leatherhead, against a pre-sale guide of between £7,000 and £10,000.
Pieces which caught Chris Ewbank’s eye over the year include, an oil by David Jagger (1891-1958) entitled “Study of Girl with Red Hair" which had a final price of £26,670, plus a striking full-length portrait of Thomas Norton Esq of Kingston-Bowser, Sussex, by John Hoppner RA, which sold for £7,620. 
Among the highest-value modern art pieces in 2017, was a piece in formica laminate by Anthony Hill from the late 1970s entitled ‘Changing Format B’. It sold for £12,700, against an estimate of between £3,000 and £5,000.
antique book auctionsEwbank’s staged several book auctions throughout 2017, and the top-selling lot of the year was a collection of rare hand-coloured plates of Afghanistan in 1848 by James Rattray depicting costumes of various tribes; portraits of ladies of rank, celebrated princes and chiefs; views of the principal fortresses, and city and temple interiors. They sold for £7,874, against a guide of between £1,000 and £1,500 to an Indian buyer.

Read about more auction highlights from 2017 next week. 

Ewbank’s first sale of 2018 is Contemporary Art & Modern British Paintings Auction on Thursday, January 18. It is accepting final entries until Friday, January 12, and will be on view from Monday, January 15 at 9am.

•      Ewbank’s: 01483 223101 or email valuations@ewbankauctions.co.uk
•      Live internet bidding through www.theauctionroom.com and www.ewbankauctions.co.uk.