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Winter 2018 20th Century and Contemporary Auction

Nic Saintey previews the first 20th Century and Contemporary Sale in what is to become an exciting new series of auctions that will become a regular fixture in the Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood auction calendar, following on from the highly succesful SS4 sale held in February 2018.

An Elizabeth II Silver and Sea Green Enamel 'Knot' Candlestick, Maker Jenny Edge, London, 2009 (CC1/85) offered in our One Day 20th Century and Contemporary Sale starting on 4th December 2018 at our salerooms in Exeter, Devon.

An Elizabeth II Silver and Sea Green Enamel 'Knot' Candlestick, Maker Jenny Edge, London, 2009 (CC1/85) offered in our One Day 20th Century and Contemporary Sale starting on 4th December 2018 at our salerooms in Exeter, Devon.

Following on from the success of the 20th Century and Contemporary Special Sale (SS4) last February 2018, we are now scheduling 20th Century and Contemporary Sales yearly. The first of these new sales will be on the 4th December 2018, which looks as if it will be as equally popular as the first. The concept behind this new series of 20th Century and Contemporary Auctions has evolved from being primarily painting and studio ceramics to include contemporary silver and jewellery, sculpture, glass and furniture.

One of the first lots is a wonderfully quirky Fred Yates painting entitled the Fortune Teller (CC1/4), a real burst of colour that contains two discrete self-portraits visible in the crystal ball and the other seen in the distance.

You have probably never heard of Jenny Edge or anticlastic raising, but you can't help but admire the dynamic beauty of her enamelled silverware made from carefully manipulating sheet silver into sinuous organic forms such as her knot candlesticks (CC1/85).

There cannot be anybody who has not heard of Cartier jewellery and their ability to design 'unique' pieces of jewellery. However, it might be argued that the gold and hematite ring (CC1/91) is not a beauty in the traditional sense, but there is no doubting that it is a striking piece of jewellery you're unlikely to see anywhere else. Hematite is a rare iron mineral that is reputed to have healing properties and an ability to dissipate negative energies.

There isn't a hint of negativity in the bright stoneware spade vase made by John Maltby (CC01/198), a rare breed being a living artist who sells well at auction. Decorated with waving grasses, a crimson sun and a bird in flight, it has the feel of a brisk autumn day about whilst its companion piece (CC1/199) has a much sparser, drier and dusty landscape on it.

Equally as Spartan is a carved wooden plaque by the sculptor Dennis Mitchell. The last piece of work we offered by the artist was a bronze entitled Sennen (FS18/332) that fetched £4,400 so fingers crossed for a similar success with this piece entitled Balanced Circle (CC1/111) and dated for April 1952.

Lest you should think that the sale is an exclusive offering of expensive pieces, you may be relieved that there are a few pieces to suit more modest pockets. Perhaps a favourite is a chrome revolving office armchair (CC1/295), although little frayed around the edges, I wonder what story it has to tell: perhaps about the novel it helped to write or the countless corporate pin striped bottoms that helped to polish the leather seat.

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  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • 20th Century and Contemporary Auctions

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