Published 24th December 2015
Well this has certainly been a special year for Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood. We have truly bedded-in to our wonderful extended saleroom premises in Exeter and our re-christened Antiques & Interiors auctions have proved highly successful. The re-naming of these sales was done to encourage the consignment of some of the more interesting 20th century material, which has been gaining favour recently to complement our more traditional area of business (ie: Victorian and earlier antiques).
We have auctioned several works by 20th century artist Mary Fedden in recent years. Famous for her portraits of cats, she was also a prolific painter of still lives and such was the charming picture of Spring Flowers which fetched £7,600 in January (FS25/403). In the same sale, a stylish earthenware figure of a young lady and her dogs entitled ZiZi (FS25/561), which was produced around 1934 by Helen Konig Scavini achieved a hammer price of £5,000. Terry Frost was a major 20th century artist and an abstract screen print by him fetched £620 in our July 2016 sale (FS27/286).
In the same sale was a wonderful collection of Art Deco furniture including a very stylish cream leather-upholstered three-piece suite that fetched £2,100 (FS27/735). Other items of 20th century design sold successfully during the year were an Eames chair for £1,750 (FS26/988), a Liberty leather foot stool in the form of an elephant for £520 (FS26/990) and a set of three 'boomerang' chairs by Peter Huidt and Orla Molgaard-Nielsen for £1,650 (FS27/844).
Further highlights this year were two of the highest prices achieved by the company since its formation: these were the sale of a rare manuscript copy of the Koran (BK14/101) which sold in our August Book Sale for £230,000 and just two months later a sketch by John Constable (FS28/409) with a wonderful provenance sold for £252,000. These exceptional achievements and the continued strength in the Chinese market have meant a good year for the company and we are looking forward with some anticipation to finding those special lots in 2016.
In the meantime please accept our best wishes for a prosperous New Year.