The Halls Fine Art team signed off their successful 2023 sale calendar with a bumper £250,000 fine art, antiques and jewellery auction this week.
The star lot of the day was a poignant and thought-provoking bronze sculpture by celebrated Irish artist Frederick Edward McWilliam of a female bomb victim during The Troubles in Northern Ireland sold for £37,000 .
Competitive bidding saw the 61 cm high sculpture, from McWilliam’s ‘Women of Belfast’ series, surpass its pre-sale estimate of £25,000 to £30,000 at Halls Fine Art’s successful fine art, antiques and jewellery auction in Shrewsbury.
Consigned to the auction by a Midlands art collector, the sculpture sold to an art collector in Wales who edged out bidders from Ireland and Itay.
“I am delighted that the sculpture has achieved such a good price for the vendor and that she is going to a new home in Wales,” said Halls’ fine art specialist Abigail Molenaar.
“It was exciting to sell the sculpture because I have spent so much time with her since we first met in the spring. Despite being a harrowing subject, it’s a captivating and absorbing sculpture.
Oil paintings claimed the other leading prices in the auction’s fine art section, including £2,700 for ‘Cwm Idwal’ in Snowdonia by Sidney Richard Percy (1821-1886), £2,400 for ‘A Quiet Evening’ by George Stainton, £1,950 for ‘The Flower Girl’ by Frederick Williams Davis (1862-1919), £1,850 for a still life of pansies, geraniums and lobelia by Laurence Biddle (1888-1968) and £1,650 for ‘Feeding the Bords in Snow’ by Yeend King (1855-1924).
Outstanding results were achieved in all departments, including £9,500 for an Art Deco diamond set brooch by Cartier and £7,200 for an 18 carat gold necklace with baroque cultured pearl and ruby pendant.
The first part of a collection of 14 carat gold jewellery from a Wolverhampton seller, which included continental and American gold pieces, sold for £7,000.
Tiaras were very much in vogue. An early 20th century turquoise and paste fringe example, which converted into a necklace, sold for £3,600 while a late 19th century paste tiara made £1,550.
Other leading jewellery results were £3,600 for an Art Deco style ruby and diamond bracelet, £2,300 for an early 20th century diamond set pendant, £2,000 for a tanzanite and diamond cluster ring and £1,800 for a suite of Italian 'Roberto Coin' jewellery
Leading the way in the watches section was a Rolex Oyster Day-Date gentleman's 18 carat yellow gold wristwatch that sold for £4,000.
Others results included £3,600 each for an Omega Speedmaster gentleman's stainless steel chronometer wristwatch and a Patek Philippe Calatrava gentleman's 18ct gold wristwatch, £2,700 for a Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox gentleman's stainless steel wristwatch, £2,300 for a Rolex Oyster Datejust lady's bi-metal bracelet watch, £1,800 for a 1901 18 carat gold open face pocket watch and £1,750 for a Chopard Geneve Classic gentleman's 18 carat gold bracelet watch.
The ceramics section made its own headlines with a René Lalique 'Lagamar' vase, made in around 1926, and based on a drawing by his daughter, Suzanne, making £4,400.
Other leading prices were £750 for a rare Caughley polychrome mug, £480 each for a Caughley polychrome tea bowl and saucer painted with Fancy Birds and a Caughley 'Bouquets' cabbage-leaf mask-head jug, £420 for a Nantgarw porcelain 'Three Rose' teacup and saucer and £400 for a 1796 Belper salt-glazed loving cup.
Elsewhere in the saleroom, the time was right for a rare, early 18th century ebonised quarter repeating double basket top bracket clock that sold for £5,500.
A George III oak breakfront North Wales dresser and rack found a new home for £2,100, an English violin made in 1880 by a Walter H. Mayson, Manchester was on song at £1,250 and a traditional cast iron red telephone box dialled in at £1,000.
Halls Fine Art’s silver and jewellery specialist Maryanne Lineker-Mobberley said: “There were brilliant results across the board and we are delighted to end a successful 2023 on such a high note with the best sale of the year.
“We have already received a lot of consignments for our sales in 2024 when we will be holding valuation days across Shropshire and adjoining counties.”
Alexander Clement, the company’s Asian art, watches and clocks specialist, was delighted with the prices achieved in the watches section. “We are now selling high quality and interesting watches that are in good condition which is what the market wants,” he said.
Caroline Dennard, Halls’ ceramics, glass and militaria specialist, said: “It has been interesting to see the market bounce back this year for what were previously considered to be traditional and out of vogue ceramics. This auction result was a great way to end the year.”
For more information, please contact Maryanne Lineker-Mobberley at Halls Fine Art, on Tel: 01743 450700 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations adviser, on Tel: 01686 650818.