Our 11th December Fine Arts Sale had some interesting and varied lots, but a few stood out from the crowd with buyers making strong bids to secure them. A rare and unusual owl perfume bottle went well over estimate; a scrapbook containing hand-drawn and coloured images of the Crimea attracted worldwide interest; and three amber bead necklaces proved the continuing demand for the butterscotch resin.
The tiny silver owl perfume bottle (detail above) caught the imagination of a number of bidders. The owl was a very rare if not unique example of the work of the high quality company Sampson Morden & Co. dated 1905. Specialist Robin Newcombe was unable to discover another example of the Owl by Sampson Morden, it could be the only one in existence. Bidding was brisk on the phone and internet until it stopped at the astonishing hammer price of £2,400.
Ken Howard is a popular British artist. He has painted a large number of small paintings of Venice, Cornish beaches and various other subjects. Lot 11 was a delicate evening painting of Santorini, estimate £600 to £900, and Lot 15 was a view of the Dorsoduro in Venice, estimate £900 to £1,200. They both achieved the amazing hammer bid of £2,100, which is the highest price ever reached for a Howard of their size at auction, so another World Record for Grand Auctions.
The continued demand for quality butterscotch amber was clearly shown in our sale. Lot 170 comprised three amber bead necklaces and sold over top estimate for £2,100 hammer price, making the amber worth more than 9 carat gold! If you have any amber items at home and want to sell, now is the time to do it!
The scrapbook was taken in by us at the Staines upon Thames valuation, but held back for the February 11th sale while we researched the book written in German about a visit to Southern Russia, which turned out to be the Crimea near Odessa. The book attracted a huge amount of interest world wide being a unique copy written and illustrated in1855, a year before the Crimean War came to a close. The book contains 55 hand-drawn and coloured images of mostly farm machinery, people and buildings of varied quality. The date and content suggests this could have been a spying trip! After heavy bidding the book was bought by an Englishman living in America for £1,600 hammer price.
Our next sale is at 11 am on Monday 26th February 2018. Contact us to consign.
- Posted by Jonathan Riley