These are a few of our favourite things...The Christmas Auction

These are a few of our favourite things...The Christmas Auction

Chosen by our specialists

This auction is our last of the year.  It has been a trying year but we have worked hard during lockdown to bring you an auction with an excellent mix of jewellery, silver, ceramics, watches, coins, art, clocks, furniture, paintings and more.  With just over a week until the sale we thought we'd share a few of our favourite lots with you.



Gerry Berwyn-Jones
Head of Fine Art

Lot 424 - Great proportions and even the veneers on the stiles and rails are matched. Super.

I think that lot 427, the George I figured walnut chest on later, Restoration style stand will do well. Note the matched figured veneers, the use of feather-banding etc., originality and the colour and figuring are way above par. It should get a good result! Lot 433 is a really solid GII mahogany mule chest.  Again, the figuring and colour are great.  It should attract quite a few bidders.  Lot 424 is a really good lot. Chippendale style of course and of the period with great proportions, but again look at the choice veneers and even the veneers on the stiles and rails are matched. Super.

George I walnut chest on stand

Lot 424: 

An early 18th century walnut veneered chest,
of two short and three long graduated drawers, feather-banded and with a quarter veneered parterre pattern top,
the sides veneered in walnut and crossbanded, well figured matched veneers and of good colour,
on a later Restoration style stand, with short barley-twist supports, united by wavy stretchers,
overall 103cm wide x 62.5cm deep x 105cm high
Estimate: £600 - £1,000



Caroline Dennard
Ceramics, Glass & Militaria Specialist

Lot 272 - That’s an exciting lot because it offers collectors the full Martinware experience
– but at a much more affordable price.

Martin Brothers, lot 272. That’s an exciting lot because as a small incised vase, it offers collectors the full Martinware experience – but at a much more affordable price than the likes of their grotesque birds, which regularly fetch £15,000+. At an estimate of £300-£400, this is the perfect lot for an entry-level collector to begin their journey collecting quality items from the important British Arts and Crafts movement.

Martin Brothers vase Christmas Auction

Lot 272:
A Martin Brothers stoneware vase
dated 1896
of shouldered ovoid form with collar neck,
incised with classical masks and scrolling foliage in cream and blue on an ochre brown ground,
incised 'Martin Brothers London & Southall',
15.5cm high
Estimate: £300 - £400



Maryanne Lineker-Mobberley
Silver & Jewellery Specialist

Lot 9 - A stylish addition to the Christmas table this year.

A stylish addition to the Christmas table this year could be lot 9, a set of Cartier silver and gilt salt and pepper shakers. Presented within their original box, their simple yest stylish design will never go out of fashion.

Cartier silver and gilt salt and pepper shakers
Lot 9:
A set of silver and gilt Cartier salt and pepper shakers,
each of tapered faceted form with pierced cover,
comprising four silver examples and four silver and gilt examples,
all stamped to base 'Cartier Sterling', within fitted Cartier box,
total weight approx 1.6oz
Estimate: £200 - £300


Lot 24 - A miniature little chap!

Dog lovers be at the ready, this little chap made of solid silver is sure to gain many admirers. Hallmarked for 1983 and modelled as a miniature Dachshund, at only 3cm high, anyone can make space to give it a new home!

Silver Dachshund dog
Lot 24:
A novelty silver model of a Dachshund, Sarah Jones,
hallmarked London 1983, 3cm high,
weight approx 1.7oz
Estimate: £100 - £200



Lot 70 - Are you looking for a statement ring?

If you’re after a statement ring, this ruby and diamond abstract cluster is the perfect choice. Offered at £400-600 it is one of numerous rings within the auction ranging from £80 to £8000.

diamond and ruby cluster ring
Lot 70:
A ruby and diamond dress ring,
designed as a central pear cut ruby claw set within an abstract surround of twelve brilliant cut diamonds,
the white metal adjustable shank not stamped, ring size M,
weight approx 6.3g
Estimate: £400 - £600




Alexander Clement
Senior General Valuer & Asian Art Specialist

Lot 329 - A charming example of soapstone carving.

This is not the most valuable lot in the auction but is a charming example of soapstone carving, even though the head has been re-stuck.  Perhaps more remarkable is that its owner is over 100 years old and used to keep the figure close at hand in case she ever had to fend off an intruder – which happily never happened!

A Chinese soapstone figure

Lot 329:
A Chinese soapstone figure Guanyin, Qing Dynasty, 19th century
Of green and russet hue, modelled standing and holding a basket containing a fish, set on a reddish-brown rocky base.
27.5cm high (head repaired)
Estimate: £100 - £200


Lot 455 - The marquetry inlay is about the finest I've seen in my career.

The marquetry inlay to the top if this table, executed in the manner of Jan van Mekeren, is about the finest I have seen in my career.  Unlike so much British and Continental marquetry of the 19th century which, though beautiful, is rather one dimensional, this has incredible depth and movement.  In addition, the carved supports and x-form stretcher make this a really stylish table, found in original condition.

Marquetry inlayed table
Lot 455:
A late 17th century style walnut and ebonised marquetry side table,
19th century
Estimate: £800 - £1200



Lot 454 - A rare object with so much charm

Another beautiful example of Continental furniture, this carved and painted chest from Italy bears a painted scene depicting the vestal virgin Tuccia bringing a sieve of water to the temple.  It’s a rare object with so much charm and in largely unrestored condition.

Italian Baroque style cassone

Lot 454:

A 17th century, Italian, Baroque style cassone
The lid painted with a central cartouche enclosing a tree, flanked on each side by grotesque-like decoration,
including masks, dolphins and foliate scrolls, the conforming sides with wrought iron carrying handles,
the inverse breakfront painted with a panel depicting the vestal virgin Tuccia bringing a sieve of water to the temple,
flanked on each side by a lion’s mask holding a fruiting pendant on carved mask feet.
128cm wide x 53cm deep x 65.5cm high
Estimate: £1,500 - £2,500



Lot 337 - Steeped in ceremony and cast with fantastic detail.

Objects made during the Ming Dynasty are always exciting, especially when they survive well and this gilt bronze buddha is a fine example.  Steeped in ceremony and cast with fantastic detail, this figure has retained most of its original gilding with just the right amount of patina.  They usually generate interest from collectors in mainland China as well as those in the West and so that often makes for an exciting round of competitive bidding.

A good Tibetan gilt copper figure of Shakyamuni Buddha 15th century
Lot 337:
A good Tibetan gilt copper alloy figure of Shakyamuni Buddha, 15th century
Finely modelled seated in dhyanasana on a shaped base,
the hands at the chest in dharma chakra mudra, wearing a sanghati draped over the shoulder and over the legs in folds,
the face with serene expression, the long ears cut with vertical holes, the hair arranged in tight curls surmounted by a domed ushnisha,.
17.5cm high
Estimate: £6,000 - £8,000



Derek Ainsworth
Watches, Coins & Medals Specialist

Lot 192 - A superb collection of half crowns.

The most obvious choice for me is the collection of over 300 gold coins including a £5 gold piece, many sovereigns and half sovereigns and a superb collection of half crowns from William and Mary to George VI.

Gold coins Christmas Auction
Lot 192:
Four Edward VII sovereigns, dated 1906, 1909 x 2 and 1910 (4)
Estimate: £1,000 - £1,500



Abigail Molenaar
Modern & Contemporary Art Specialist

Lot 241 - The images Lançon has created are so expressive and haunting

Lot 241 is a folio of etchings by French artist Auguste Lançon dated 1870-1871. This is one of my absolute favourite lots in the sale as the images he created are so expressive and haunting. He created a series of etchings based on his experiences of the Franco-Prussian war during which he was captured, spending 6 months as a Prisoner of War. Rather than celebrating the heroics and victories of the campaign, Lançon's  etchings convey the suffering of the civilians and soldiers, depicting the horrors of wartime through these very moving and emotive images. 

Auguste Lancon etchings

Lot 241:
Auguste Lançon (French 1836-1885),
Etchings from Franco-Prussian War dated August 1870-January 1871,

titled and signed in the plate, a folio with 32 sheets in total,
sheet sizes 40 x 55 cm,
various sized plates 14 x 18 cm, 22 x 34 cm and 18 x 25 cm. (32)
Auguste Lançon was a French artist known for his etchings of military scenes and animals. During the Franco-Prussian war 1870-1871 he was a sargeant of a batallion and was captured, spending six months as a prisoner of war. He created a series of 70 etchings based on his experience of the conflict and exposing the horrors of armed conflict.
Estimate: £300 - £500


Lot 217 - I love the way the artist has depicted the folds of material of the figure's cloaks, how they drape onto the floor.

Another of my highlights from the Christmas sale is lot 217, an oil on panel depicting Vertumnus and Pomona, which is attributed to Charles Victoire Moench (French 1787-1867). The tale of Vertumnus and Pomona is a myth of the Roman era, taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Vertumnus was a god of the seasons, gardens and fruit trees who was enamoured with Pomona, a beautiful wood nymph who dedicated herself to cultivating her orchard and rejecting all potential suitors. He disguised himself as an old woman in order to gain entry to Pomona's orchard and sought to convince her to choose the youthful and handsome deity Vertumnus. He then transforms and reveals himself in his true form in order to woo her.

I love the way the artist has depicted the folds of material of the figure's cloaks, how they drape onto the floor, combining light and shadow in a manner that gives the impression of texture and also alludes to outline of the figure beneath. The artist has incorporated a basket of apples next to Pomona, one with a cheeky bite taken out of it, as well as the mask and walking stick from Vertumnus' disguise lying discarded upon the floor. 


Lot 217 Vertumnus and Pomona

Lot 217:
Attributed to Charles Victoire Moench (French 1787-1867)
Vertumnus & Pomona,
oil on panel, framed.
Measurements 83 x 67 cm, frame 102 x 85 cm.

Label verso: for Arnold Wiggins and sons picture framers and a wax seal verso bottom - PO1491H
Provenance: previously sold at Christies Old Master Pictures in London, July 2000, lot 179
Estimate: £15,000 - £20,000




   If you are looking for a unique and meaningful Christmas gift this year be sure to take a look at our Christmas Auction catalogue and give the gift of history this Christmas.

View Catalogue & Auction Details

The Christmas Auction
Wednesday 9th December 2020 10:00

Viewing by appointment:
Sunday 6th December 2pm - 4pm
Monday 7th December 9.30am - 4.30pm
Tuesday 8th December 9.30am - 4.30pm

Christmas Auction catalogue


For further information about this auction please phone 01743 450 700 or email





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