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Summer 2018 Fine Art Review

Rachel Littlewood reports on the excitement in the auction room and amongst those participating through the Internet or by telephone as several lots exceeded expectations during the two-day Summer 2018 Fine Art Auction recently held in Exeter and online, making the sale a most enjoyable occasion.

A Large Chinese Yellow Ground 'Dragon' Charger with Chuxiugong Mark (FS39/437) sold
        for £29,000.

A Large Chinese Yellow Ground 'Dragon' Charger with Chuxiugong Mark (FS39/437) sold for £29,000.

There was a lot of excitement from the auction room, the Internet and the telephone bidders when lot 437 came under the hammer in the recent Fine Art Auction on 10th/11th July 2018.

This was for the large Chinese yellow ground dragon charger with Chuxiugong mark (FS39/437), incised and painted in green, white and aubergine with two five clawed dragons chasing a flaming pearl amongst cloud scrolls and flames within a central medallion. With thirteen telephone lines booked enthusiasm and excitement rose, as the bidding rose beyond expectations resulting in a final hammer price of £29,000.

Also fiercely contested for was the William and Mary walnut veneer and feather banded bureau cabinet (FS39/783), which realised £24,500.

A rare Chinese cloisonné enamel and gilt bronze tripod censer from the Ming Dynasty (FS39/607) also exceeded expectations. The censer had been purchased at a house sale in Devon in the 1960s for a modest sum. It was used as a plant pot for several years, but after being itemised in a late 1970s insurance valuation, it was 'upgraded' to a desk tidy for paper clips and pens and thankfully so, as the huge interest in the lot led to a hammer price of £23,000.

Sir Alfred James Munnings (1878–1959) Children Playing Bagatelle (FS39/316), a watercolour, heightened with white, sold for £10,000 and an Art Deco style diamond solitaire ring (FS39/245), the centre stone estimated to weigh 2.55cts, sold for £5,500.

A rare pair of Charles Gouyn, St James's factory Girl-In-A-Swing tea canisters and covers (FS39/532) also sold well at £9,200.

Other highlights included a Christopher Dresser (1834–1904) silver plate tureen, cover and ladle, manufactured by Hukin & Heath which sold for £4,000 and a diamond solitaire ring, the diamond estimated to weigh 2.20cts, which realised £4,600.

Entries are currently invited for the next Quarterly Fine Art Sale to be held on 9th/10th October 2018.


  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • Fine Art Auctions
  • Sir Alfred James Munnings (1878–1959)
  • Charles Gouyn
  • Christopher Dresser (1834–1904)

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