Published 10th July 2014
Day One of the July 2014 Quarterly Fine Art Sale held at our newly opened saleroom complex in Exeter started with the silver auction of the sale, with many good prices achieved. One of the top lots amongst the silver was a two handled vase by Josef Hoffman for the Wiener Werkstatte - A 'Gitterkorb' (FS23/100).
Being of oval outline with repeating rose motif decoration and similar decoration to the swept handles, it also bears the WW monogram, Hoffman monogram and Diana Hallmark. Carrying a pre-sale estimate of £1,000-£1,200, this unusual piece exceeded expectations, finally going under the hammer for £4,800.
Another unusual lot was the Elizabeth II silver novelty three piece cruet set (FS23/51) in the form of seals. The salt and pepper were in the form of young seals, whilst the mustard pot was in the form of a large seal. There was a great deal of pre-sale interest in this interesting lot, which realised £900.
Although the Jewellery and Watches auction was smaller than usual, there were again some excellent prices. A gentleman's stainless steel oyster perpetual Rolex wristwatch (FS23/161) was highly sought after by both telephone bidders and internet bidders and finally went under the hammer for £3,100.
Amber was showing very strong prices on the day.
An unstrung amber bead necklace (FS23/182) exceeded all expectations fetching £4,900. Another amber bead single string necklace (FS23/185) sold for £1,600 and a graduated amber bead necklace, together with another (FS23/186) sold for £2,800.
The picture auction followed and there was keen bidding throughout the whole section from telephone and internet bidders, producing some outstanding prices. The section kicked off to a fantastic start with a painting by Paul Jenkins (1923-2012) entitled The Leap, 1955 (FS23/222). This oil on canvas measuring 53cm x 80cm, signed bottom left and on the reverse sold for £5,800 against a pre-sale estimate of £300-£400.
The watercolour by William Russell Flint (1880–1969) being an illustration for Mallory's Morte d'Arthur (FS23/245) sold for £6,000, whilst a painting by Samuel John Lamorna Birch (1869–1955) entitled My Studio Garden (FS23/246) sold for £3,000.
An interesting Eastern Mediterranean harbour capriccio with a Dutch man-o-war offshire by Jacobus Storck (1641–c1693) (FS23/291) realised £5,800.
A few lots into the start of Day Two saw the top price for the sale come from the ceramics auction. A Chinese porcelain bowl (FS23/336) of finely potted circular form with hidden decoration, the white body incised with a pair of dragons chasing pearls, having six character Yongzheng mark in concentric circles. Measuring just 6cm in diameter, there was huge interest from both telephone bidders, internet bidders and in the room that led the bowl to sell for £56,000.
A Chinese armorial part tea and dinner service (FS23/334) also exceeded expectations selling for £1,800 and a Cantonese porcelain vase (FS23/357) of hexagonal form dating from the late 19th Century sold for £2,900.
Another Chinese piece that sold very well was a sang de bouef bottle vase, dating from the late 18th/19th Century (FS23/370). This vase, measuring 31.5cm, realised £2,400.
Moving on with the sale, a collection of nine early 19th Century creamware bin labels of traditional form (FS23/387) inscribed in black Table beer, ale, Champagne, Brandy, Port, Sauterne from Famin Village 1815, Madeira for General Use, Sherry for Kitchen Use, Sherry for General Use Vintage 1805 - Bottled 1824 sold for £3,300 whilst a massive Staffordshire pearlware jar (FS23/391) realised £1,000.
The Works of Art auction of the sale provided a few surprises too. A rare Chinese embellished hardwood rectangular box on stand (FS23/496) exceeded all expectations. Decorated with precious objects and motifs in gold, silver and red lacquer, this stunning piece sold for £36,000.
A fine Chinese celadon jade phoenix and chilong vase (FS23/526) also sold well at £5,800.
A Japanese Komai iron miniature cabinet (FS23/534) engraved and gilded overall with a river and landscape scenes with pagodas, boats and irises within diaper and floral borders realised £11,000 with fierce bidding again from the internet and telephone bidders worldwide.
A late 17th/early 18th Century oak dresser base (FS23/679) realised £2,350; a George I walnut and crossbanded tallboy (FS23/699) sold for £4,200 and a mid 18th Century padouk tripod table (FS23/702) realised £3,600.
The star lot of the furniture auction was the 19th Century red lacquer and chinoiserie circular breakfast table (FS23/770). The top was decorated with a scene of figures in a pagoda garden landscape within an ogee floral foliate and lattice panel border heightened in gilt. It was raised on a turned central column and tripod splayed legs. Estimated at £1,500-£2,000, this unique piece went under the hammer for £16,000.