Posted on: February 11, 2020

Porcelain and Precious Stones Prove Popular at our February Auction!

Our first auction of 2020 kicked off the new year with a bang achieving fantastic results from their sale of over 900 lots, which included a large single-owner ceramics collection, some rare examples of Chinese porcelain and some exceptional consignments of antique jewellery. Of the sale, owner and auctioneer Christina Trevanion said “It was a wonderful and buoyant start to our exciting 2020 series of auctions, with over 1000 online bidders alone and an 85% sold rate overall; it is a good sign of things to come this year!”

Kangxi porcelain dragon charger : sold for £4400

The top result of the day came from an 18th century Chinese porcelain dragon charger, which sold £4400 against a modest pre-sale estimate. The charger generated an enormous amount of pre-sale interest as it caught the eye of some of the countries leading Asian art collectors as well as international bidders. On auction day, the final sale came down to a battle between a bidder online and on the phone, eventually selling online to a London based collector. Of the charger, auctioneer and Asian Art specialist Ashley Jones said “I knew that this charger was special when I first saw it. Of course, you have to be cautious with pieces like this, as fakes can be of a brilliant quality themselves – but everything about this charger was right. The decoration is exquisite, with such an unusual combination of colourways that you don’t see on the market too often. That, combined with its remarkable condition, is what generated such an incredible influx of interest.”

There were further successes in the Asian art category as another charger of the same period, this time decorated with a lotus and birds, achieved a price of £2200 and a rather unassuming porcelain Ge-Ware craquelure brush pot or ‘bitong’ sold for an impressive £800. “The prices achieved in this month’s auction reinforce my view that marked imperial pieces command the highest prices in the current market for both UK and overseas buyers,” Ashley remarked. “It also demonstrates that our international audience is as strong as ever, and the year ahead looks promising for the team at Trevanion & Dean as one of the region’s leading auction houses!”

19th century Davenport wine cooler : sold for £500

Some of the most surprising results of the day came from an extensive single-owner collection of ceramics. Totalling around 125 lots, the collection contained a rare and unusual selection of pieces spanning over 300 years of European ceramic history. The collection attracted interest from ceramics collectors from across the UK and even abroad, with some bidders travelling hundreds of miles to get a closer look. After hours of competitive bidding in the room and online, the collection sold for over £16,000. Valuer Simon Grover, who personally catalogued the collection said “The of this collection had been a truly academic and scholarly collector in every sense of the word. He was interested in having samples of everything, and had a really broad and varied archive as a result. The pieces in the best condition attracted the highest prices, but there was interest in almost every lot, because it was all so unusual!”

One of the top lots in the collection was an early 19th century Davenport caneware dry body wine cooler, featuring a half length bust portrait of Admiral Lord Nelson. “Nelson commemorative pieces have an appeal to a wider audience than just the ceramics buyers, which contributed to the cooler’s success on sale day,” Simon commented. “This piece was particularly remarkable for its condition; these wine coolers were designed to be plunged into water, which then would evaporate quickly from the surface, keeping the wine cool. Consequently, coolers of this era are normally in terrible condition, so finding an example fully in tact is exceptionally rare.” After a competitive bidding war from online buyers, the wine cooler sold for £500. 

Sapphire & diamond festoon necklace: sold for £3200

Elsewhere in the sale, sapphires took some of the top prices of the day, with a bold Art Deco diamond and sapphire double-clip brooch taking a whopping £3600 against an estimate of £3000 – £5000, and an exquisite sapphire, diamond and enamel swag necklace estimated at £2000 – £4000 achieving £3200. “‘These pieces are very different, but are both exceptional examples of some of the most popular styles of jewellery selling at auction right now” said jewellery valuer Helena Waudby. “The brooch is very Art Deco in it’s style, and duette brooches tend to draw top prices at auction as they are such a versatile piece of jewellery. The necklace really was a treat – it encapsulates the romantic, feminine aesthetics of Edwardian jewellery, and the sapphire cabochons set in the piece were absolutely exquisite. Diamonds are obviously top of the board when it comes to value, but the appeal of good quality coloured gemstones should not be underestimated. Sapphires of a deep, inky blue colour and lighter hues known as ‘cornflower blue’ are the most popular shades – a good colour (combined with other factors such as size and setting) can have a huge impact on value.”

There were further surprises in store as auctioneer valuer Ian Woodward took to the rostrum for the sale of the furniture, which achieved some exceptional results and a remarkable 94% success rate. “Despite a notable amount of pre-sale interest, there were still a number of shocks for me in the furniture section. We had a Victorian rosewood pier cabinet sell for £550, and a stick barometer reached an incredible £440!” Ian noted. Part of this can be attributed to the strong bidding from our audience of regular buyers at Trevanion & Dean, but I think it’s fair to say we are seeing an improvement in the furniture market which has had it’s challenges over the last few years. We already have a fantastic consignment of furniture from two estates in Wales lined up for our 14th March auction and given February’s performance it’s certainly set to be an exciting one!”

View the full list of results from our February auction here

We are now accepting entries for their 14th March auction. If you have goods you’re thinking of selling, valuation days are held every Monday and Friday between 9am – 5pm at our Whitchurch sale room. Visit or call 01948 800 202 for more information.