A pair of 18th century Italian oil paintings of capriccio scenes with boats and figures amongst ruins and an impressive French ormolu singing bird automaton mantel clock stole the headlines at our collective country house auction on Wednesday.
The paintings sold for £8,800 and were included in the contents of Kinnersley Court, Severn Stoke, near Worcester, which were consigned to the fine art auction.
The automaton mantel clock, which was attributed to Blaise Bontems (1814-‘93), came from a Mid Wales country house and sold to a Chinese bidder for £8,000.
The works of art section had a series of notable results, including £4,500 for two large bronze sculptures of named Irish Red Setter dogs, commissioned in the 1920s or ‘30s by successful breeder Mrs M. Ogden, of the famous Borrowdale Kennels. The bronzes sold to the professional dog breeding community.
A collectable 1955 Dunhill and ‘Aquarium’ table lighter, designed as fish, plants and rocks, sold for £4,200.
Stars of the books section were a 19th century illuminated Koran, which was given to the vendor’s father in 1911 by the Khedive of Egypt and sold for £2,800, ‘The Rival Pupils’, a late 18th century book, one of only five known examples kept in institutions worldwide, which made £1,450 and an 1826 ‘Geological Map of England and Wales’, which sold for £1,400.
Top furniture prices went to an 18th century Italian crossbanded walnut serpentine bureau at £4,400, a George IV mahogany dining table in the manner of Gillows at £3,000, a Gillows early Victorian rosewood circular centre table at £2,200, a pair of William and Mary style winged enclosed armchairs at £1,350 and a set of 12 mahogany Chippendale style dining chairs at £1,000.
A 1925 Daisy Makeig-Jones for Wedgwood vase in the ‘Candlemass’ pattern lead the ceramics section at £1,450, while a Rene Lalique ‘Ondines’ plate made £1,250 and a large black and white pig, possibly by Wemyss, sold for £1,000.
The 375-lot auction featured a good selection of quality furniture, paintings, works of arts and ceramics from country houses across Shropshire and surrounding counties.
“Overall the market is still buoyant for the right things and we had a few very nice surprises in this auction,” said Halls’ fine director Jeremy Lamond. “We are now accepting entries for the next country house auction on September 28.
“Vendors and buyers like these auctions because they attract to the saleroom fresh to the market items from country houses.”