Posted on: September 13, 2019

Staff Top Picks

Kick starting our autumn series of sales, the September Fine Art auction is almost upon us, taking place on Saturday 14th September at 10am in our historic Whitchurch saleroom. With the catalogue now online and accessible via and our team have shared their stand out pieces in this month’s auction:

Simon Grover: Junior Valuer

Lot 691: A taxidermy duck billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus Anatinus). Estimate £500-£800

‘As soon as I saw this chap, I really liked him, I’ve seen small ones in zoos, but this guy is big and really surprisingly soft!  It’s the kind of eccentric thing that only the attic’s of large country houses can provide. I Doubt I’ll see another one like it again!’

Elizabeth Oliver: Junior Valuer

Lot 184: A Victorian jet coloured MIZPAH pendant. Estimate £60-£100

‘I love the form of this pendant and the combination of sentimental meaning and beauty.  The word Mizpah is Hebrew meaning ‘watchtower’ and is loosely interpreted as ‘May God watch over you.’  Mizpah jewellery is still worn as a token of love or friendship and became popular during the Victorian era.  I love the message behind this piece and I like to think of who gave this pendant as a gift to a loved one – a reminder that they are always loved, no matter where they are, apart or together’.

Ian Woodward: Furniture, Works of Art & Clocks Valuer & Auctioneer

Lot 957: Two early 20th century Arts and Crafts beech wood elbow chairs. Estimate £50-£70

‘These chairs are very fun and would suit a contemporary or antique interior, not a huge amount of value but very saleable pieces of furniture’.

Joanna Polak: Photographer & Saleroom Assistant

Lot 711: A collection of Victorian and later parlour games, puzzles and gaming boards.  Estimate £80-£120

‘My favourite lot is this fantastic games chest which is a packed full of toys and goodies, I really like to think about the people that owned these, it clearly meant a lot to them and the hours of fun that they had enjoying its contents. I think owning this lot would be like a guarantee of good fun – and provide hours of entertainment for all the family!’

Emily Ford: Saleroom Assistant

Lot 759: An early 20th Century Black Forest jewellery box. Estimate £100-£150 

‘The intricacy of the carving drew me to this piece. I was attracted to the overall detail as well as the way it was designed to be opened to showcase the jewellery within’. 

Rebecca Gilman:

Lot 317 – A collection of twenty-six pressed botanical leaf specimens depicting various species of ferns. Estimate £100-£150

‘I have thoroughly enjoyed looking through this lot, I love the care and attention that has gone into preserving the leaves that have been collected, they are so quintessentially Victorian… they are incredibly beautiful, botanical prints and works of art are very in vogue right now too so, despite being over a hundred years old, they will also appeal to the fashion forward.’

Ashley Jones :

Lot 472 – After Franz Pourbus (1545-1581), George 5th Lord Seton and his family. Estimate £300-£500

‘One of my favourite pieces included in our September Fine Art Auction is a portrait after an original by the renowned Flemish Renaissance artist, Frans Pourbus the Elder. Pourbus, a second generation artist, was firstly a student of his father and afterwards schooled by an Italian styled Flemish Artist, Frans Floris. Pourbus the Elder specialised in religious subjects, much like his father, but he also successfully explored portraiture and the picture in our next auction is an example after his work.  I find family portraits quite intriguing, so often you just get one person in a portrait, but to depict the entire family acts as a historic representation of family lineage and is a much more interesting composition’.

Elaine Griffiths: Accounts Manager

Lot 202: A seed pearl, amethyst and demantoid garnet set brooch/pendant, early 20th century, in ‘Suffragette’ colours. Estimate £150-£250

‘I do love a nice piece of jewellery and this particular piece is not only beautiful but the combination of colours represents and reflects the symbolism of the Suffragette movement.  Dignity, loyalty, hope and purity, women today owe a lot to those brave women in the early 20th century and I love the combination of history and a very wearable piece of jewellery’.

Christina Trevanion: Partner & Auctioneer

It’s incredibly difficult to choose just one or two pieces from this auction, because there are some really exquisite lots and my taste is so eclectic that my choices are all quite random!

Lot 407 – L S Lowry, Man Lying On A Wall.  Estimate £3-£5,000

‘I love the thought of the chap in this picture feeling a bit tired on his way home from work, so rather than get home and have a rest, he decided to lie on the wall and have a little break.  It’s so simple, so evocative and yet so brilliant! That sense of being so care-free and not really giving a hoot who sees you lying on a wall, despite being in the middle of a city is quite liberating.  This is an actual scene that Lowry saw while he was on a bus journey and was so struck by what he saw that he decided to capture it, and popped his own initials on the briefcase!’  

Lot 762 – A George III satinwood marquetry inlaid tea caddy. Estimate £60-£100

‘What a fantastic gift this would be for a tea lover! This is one of the sweetest tea caddies I have ever seen, what makes it so endearing is the beautiful heart inlay to the cover, could it have been a gift from a loved one over two hundred years ago or perhaps just someone as keen on their tea as I am?’