Bumper turnout sees strong performance in March Fine Art Sale

Tuesday, 09 April, 2019 - Modified on Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 at 7:24 am

A strong turnout of bidders in the room bolstered by an enthusiastic online following saw strong performances at our March Fine Art Sale (14th & 15th March 2019). We take a look at just some of the highlights of a sale which achieved the highest percentage of lots sold for over two years…

Day 1 – Art and paintings
Day 1, with a focus on art, showed a diverse range of paintings and mixed media artwork bringing in the bids. The star of the show has to be Lot 300 - an 18th Century English school oil on canvas portrait of Portrait of Rev. John Owen D.D. Unframed, and with the canvas having been re-lined, it was among several paintings consigned by a longstanding local vendor, and saw the hammer fall at an impressive £2,600. In stark contrast stylistically, an early highlight was a collection of seven modern prints, including Doug Hyde and Paul Horton (Lots 14 – 20). They achieved a combined £915; evidence that the auction room can provide great finds for those looking to furnish modern interiors, too.

The sale also generated a few ‘sleepers’ throughout the day. These included Lot 24, a styling drawing for coachbuilders J Gurney Nutting & Co. of an Airflow Saloon 3 1/2 litre Bentley Motorcar, watercolour, pen and ink, signed and dated 'MAC 1936' lower middle right for A.F. MacNeil (1891-1965). It sold, alongside a further selection of hand coloured Bentley 'styling' images, for £700 to a buyer in the room – shattering its estimate of £50-80. Lot 70 also caused something of a stir – three unframed sketches of nudes signed Duncan Grant (1885-1978) and carrying an estimate of £70-100 sold for £1,200 to an internet bidder, as did lot 170 - 19th / early 20th century Italian school watercolour signed D.Nittis and featuring a street scene with a lady in black hailing a Hansom Cab, which went for £1,300 to an online bidder.

Another hidden gem was Lot 256 – a continental oil on canvas depicting a harbour scene with figures and moored vessels. Carrying the signature H.S.T., dated lower left for 1923 and framed, the bidders were out in force with a phone bidder finally winning the lot at £850. Lot 25 proved a surprise hit - an unsigned mezzotint on etching paper, entitled  'A Philosopher giving a lecture on the Orrery'  it sold for £320 – proving that engravings are not quite so ‘old fashioned’ as one might think.

Continuing the olde-worlde theme was a rather interesting collection of reproduction paintings consigned from Castle Lodge in Ludlow. Painted by West Midlands artist Paul F Workman for the filming of the 1997 film adaptation of Moll Flanders, which shot scenes on location at the historic house, they comprised lots 278 – 281 and sold for a combined £1,010 - all to internet bidders.
While the internet generally reigned supreme, there were some exceptions to the rule – Lot 156, a watercolour entitled ‘Palmy Days’ dated 1877 and signed lower left Edith Martineau, saw a telephone bidder beat stiff online competition when the hammer fell at £340. It was a bidder in the room, however, that won lot 265 – a French school stormy wooded river scene by Charles LeFevere (1875-1956) – with the signature missing due to damage, the impressively-framed piece sold for £480.

Many of the lots featuring in the sale hailed from local sources – Lot 216, a watercolour entitled 'The Accusation' and signed Edgar Bundy originated from a local deceased estate, selling for £500. A local estate also consigned lot 451 – an unsigned Dutch School oil on panel winter scene with figures on an icy river, which sold for £500. However, vendors from further afield are also noting Cuttlestones’ growing reputation for selling artwork – Lot 351, and unsigned oil on canvas Old Master-style religious study dating from the 17th/18th Century and presented in a hand carved swept frame was consigned by a vendor from Lancashire; going on to sell for £500.

Day 2 – Everything else!
Day 2 heralded another decent showing in the room for a diverse catalogue covering vintage clothes & textiles; dressing table items & collectables; Jewellery including costume & vintage; watches; coins; silver, silver plate & metalware; wine, whisky & spirits; glass & ceramics; oriental works; Treen, militaria & misc; clocks & barometers; furniture, rugs & lighting and vehicles & outdoor effects.

The star lot was one of the last of the day – Lot 1027, a 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow 'SCV 410M', which saw the hammer fall at £6,750 to an internet bidder - but not before a real mixed bag of lots provided some interesting highlights. Among the first of the sale was Lot 468 – a lovely mid-20th century Ede & Ravenscroft horsehair Barrister’s wig, presented in its original case, which sold for £260.

Another 20th Century gem came in the form of Lot 500 – an unusual vintage Merrythought Bonzo book horse character plush toy dating from the 1930s, which saw the hammer fall at £320 to an online bidder. The 20th Century theme continued with Lot 522, a stylish Art Deco chrome table lighter depicting French style dancing girls to one side and floral and foliate engraving to the other, which sold to an internet bidder for £220.

The Jewellery section provided several highlights – including Lot 568, two 22ct gold rings that together form a single snake ring. Originating from a local solicitors’ clearance, it sold for £300. Lot 583 meanwhile, a diamond set brooch and earrings set beat its estimate of £300-500 when the hammer fell at £1,100. The final lot in the jewellery section, consigned by a vendor following a valuation day, was Lot 606 – a hallmarked 9Ct gold ‘Bow’ necklace, which sold for £480 despite evidence of some restoration to the bow.

In the watches section, star lots included Lot 610 – a hallmarked 9ct gold Waltham half hunter pocket watch with the winning £500 bid being placed via our own website. Lot 632, an 18ct gold striking on gongs manual wind half hunter pocket watch sold for £1,100 to the same bidder. A house clearance find provided the next highlight in the form of Lot 639, a hallmarked 9ct gold cigarette case, approx weight 148g, which saw the hammer fall at £1,400.

Also in the metalware section, Lot 660 – a silver four piece tea service hallmarked for JB Chatterley & Sons Ltd, Birmingham 1970 – sold to a commission bidder for £400. Another Birmingham silver tea and coffee service – this time a five piece and marked for Barker Ellis Silver Co (1968) hailed from a local valuation and saw the hammer fall at £600. Later in the same section Lot 725, a bronze semi-nude figure of a woman, signed at base Faure and on a stone plinth, sold for £550 to a telephone bidder.

As expected, the Oriental works section caused a flurry of activity among internet bidders. Lot 808, a collection of four Oriental metal scholars’ ink boxes, all with engraved detail, sold for £700 despite all bearing scratches and one piece having evidence of restoration. Lot 845 – a selection of nine Chinese-type water droppers, including blue and white examples, one in the form of a cat and a brass three-brush holder in the form of a kettle, saw the hammer fall at £550. Jade also proved popular – Lot 871, a carved Celadon jade insect, together with a smaller example, sold for £300 again to an online bidder while Lot 873, a collection of four Celadon jade archers’ rings/thumb guards sold for £700. Finally Lot 877, a Chinese Celadon jade carved plaque of cushion form with finely carved decoration to the top edge, together with a circular hoop and square plaque with button fastener to the top achieved £600.
Another exotic lot to catch bidders’ attention was Lot 924, a Late 19th / early 20th Century Aboriginal boomerang, which sold on the internet for £240 to a bidder in Australia. Lot 945 meanwhile, an Egyptian carved stone Osiris figure in black basalt sold for £420, again to an internet bidder.

More ‘traditional’ Fine Art sale lots also performed well – not least Lot 950, a large ornate Continental ceramic clock decorated with female musicians and cherubs, consigned by a regular local vendor, sold for £350. Brown furniture – often lambasted as being old-fashioned – saw several lots buck the trend, proving there’s always a market for quality pieces. Lot 1004, an antique style Oak dropleaf table was bought by a local bidder for £320; Lot 1005, an antique William & Mary style walnut bureau, with inlaid detail, sold to the same buyer £400. The trend continued with Lot 1007, an antique walnut floor standing corner cabinet selling for £300 and Lot 1017, a Georgian oak Welsh dresser, seeing the hammer fall at £950.

For the full catalogue, including illustrations and hammer prices, head to https://www.cuttlestones.co.uk/salecatalogue/FA150319.htm.


Auction Dates

Antique & Interiors
Autumn Antique
Thursday 3rd September '20
Penkridge Auction Rooms
Catalogue available 27th August
Specialist Collectors'
Friday 20th March '20
Wolverhampton Auction Rooms
Catalogue available 13th March
Spring Antique
Thursday 5th March '20
Penkridge Auction Rooms
Catalogue available 27th February
Summer Antique
Thursday 21st May '20
Penkridge Auction Rooms
Catalogue available 14th May
Winter Antique
Thursday 3rd December '20
Penkridge Auction Rooms
Catalogue available 26th November
View all auction datesView sale results
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