Posted on: October 4, 2019
Staff Top Picks : October 2019
Autumn is always an exciting time in the auction calendar and our October 12th auction is no exception. This sale boasts a fantastic collection of antique costume, a rare tennis set with an important place in sporting history and a fabulous selection of Victorian mourning jewellery amongst a wide array of other curios sure to catch anybody’s eye. The team have selected their favourite items from this month’s auction:
Ian Woodward: Furniture, Works of Art & Clocks Valuer & Auctioneer
Lot 790: A mid-19th century oak, walnut and green leather library sofa Estimate £600 – £1000
I have never seen anything quite like this piece before, it is an astonishingly well built and solid piece, it was clearly purpose built for a library, courthouse or solicitors and is still a very functional item combining seating and storage. It wouldn’t look out of place in a contemporary interior – imagine how fantastic it would look in a ‘man cave’ or home study!
Simon Grover: Junior Valuer
Lot 344: After Peter Rindisbacher (1806-1834), six hand coloured lithographs on paper, made by William Day Estimate £1000 – £2000
The images from which these rare lithographs were made are the earliest pictorial record of Canada west of the Great Lakes and show some of the earliest interactions between colonists and the indigenous people. As such, they’re an extraordinary record of the pioneering spirit of the early settlers, the power of the Hudson’s Bay Company and its impact on the life of the Red Lake tribe of western Canada. They’re also extremely beautiful!
Elizabeth Oliver: Junior Valuer
Lot 459A: A collection of thirty unused dance cards, for ‘Edge Hall’ ‘January 8th, 1914 Estimate £50 – £70
There is just something so wistful about these cards. They are reminiscent of a halcyon time in Britain teetering on the brink of WWI. A time that was wonderfully carefree – before an entire generation of young men were wiped out in the war and the demise of the great British country house began. They are illustrative of a real shift in social change due to a combination of the cost of war, death duties, crippling taxes and declining farm rentals which put an end to the life of sophisticated glamour and privileges previously enjoyed by Britain’s landed gentry. These cards with their little itineraries and dances, capture the romanticism of early 20th century courtship and entertainment.
Rebecca Gilman: Saleroom Co-ordinator
Lot 468: An ivory striped woven cotton waistcoat Estimate £200 – £250
This waistcoat is a classic style of the early 19th century – very Mr Darcy! However, on closer inspection you see the beautifully embroidered snakes and floral embellishments which give it such character – it’s a clever and stylish way of incorporating the associated family crest. Considering its age, the condition is remarkable – the colours are so vibrant, and the detail is so incredibly fine
Christina Trevanion: Managing Director & Auctioneer
Lot 381 & 382 Emile Baes ‘Dressing’ and ‘Figure Study’
These two paintings by the Belgian artist Emile Baes are my top picks for our October auction. Baes started his career in a very traditional academic style but quickly turned to portraiture and became known for painting nudes in a soft impressionist style, the paintings are very typical of his work at this date. I find the vibrancy and broad spectrum of the colour palette used absolutely phenomenal, and the intimacy in which they are painted appeals to me. These are not the usual artists muse, they are not super models posing – these are real women with beautiful curves intimately observed doing relatively mundane tasks; ‘Dressing’ – a real celebration of the female form!
Ashley Jones: Valuer & Auctioneer
Lot 589: A Carved Indian hardwood swing seat Estimate £400 – £600
This carved Indian swing is a favourite of mine in our upcoming auction. I like to think back to 1800’s India in places such as Bombay, where on every verandah across the city you would expect to see the gentle swinging of a Jhula such as this, where people would spend an idle half hour ‘people watching’ from their balconies. Sadly, in modern day India they have become considered cumbersome and almost dormant. However, thankfully there is a renaissance emerging. The almost Throne like appearance demands appreciation and continues to have an allure, with its tremendously decorative appearance and still very much utile operation, pieces like this are becoming more and more popular with interior designers, lovers of the unusual and collectors of Indian art.
Helena Waudby: Jewellery, Digital Marketing & PR
Lot 507: A 19th century Chinese ivory and paper painted fan Estimate £200 – £300
Fans have a history dating back as far as 4000 years, having been used in religious ceremonies and as symbols of power amongst royalty in ancient societies. For me though, there is something quintessentially feminine and playful about them that I just love. This particular example truly is a work of art. The minute details are just breath taking – from the applied ivory faces on the dancing figures to the intricately carved scenes on the sticks – you just want to dive in and start exploring!
Elaine Griffiths: Accounts Manager
Lot 209: An early 20th century Art Nouveau pendant
I love the style of this pendant – it’s so wonderfully Art Nouveau and jumped out at me immediately. The Art Nouveau movement was a real ‘art total’ – in the 1890’s it completely dominated every art form from jewellery to painting to architecture, and it disappeared as suddenly as it arrived. By the 1910’s, the taste had shifted towards clean lines and edges – but the romantic designs of this earlier period still captures the hearts of many today. I love the peridots set in this pendant as well; they have such a vibrant oily green colour that makes then really distinct and compliments the gold pendant beautifully.
Joanna Polak: Photographer & Saleroom Assistant
Lot 506: A suitcase containing a pair of lace gloves worn to ‘Waterloo Ball’ 1815
Hidden amongst the lace and silk of this lot, I found a note saying that these gloves were allegedly worn to the Waterloo Ball in 1815. The ball was hosted in Brussels and attended by the Duke of Wellington and many of his senior officers. As the men and women danced, the Duke received news that Napoleon and his troops were approaching Brussels at great speed. The ball met an abrupt end as the men rushed off into the night to face their enemy at The Battle of Quatre Bras. It’s so poignant that whoever wore these gloves probably set out for a magical evening, not knowing the tragedy to come.