Growing confidence in online bidding

One of the most unusual aspects of Dreweatts’ Furniture & Works of Art sale at Donnington Priory on 26th January, was that a pair of cabinets sold for £32,900 (including Buyer’s Premium) and the underbidder was on the internet, making this the highest price Dreweatts has achieved in online bidding in a furniture sale, although there have been higher internet bids for their Asian sales.

As Emma Terry, Dreweatts’ furniture specialist remarked, “The cupboards were fiercely contested by a bidder in the room and one on the internet, showing the growing confidence in the online bidding process."

The pair of George III coromandel lacquer press cupboards (lot 216) with shelves and drawers were datable to around 1760 and had been made from earlier Chinese lacquer screen panels decorated with figures amongst pavilions. They had come from Paul Paget, of Seely and Paget Architects who had inherited them from his uncle, Samuel Hoare, 1st Viscount Templewood and MP for Chelsea in 1920’s and 1930’s.

The saleroom had been very busy over the viewing days with a high volume of private individuals, many of whom came to bid on the day. The auction attracted European trade as well as private buyers and as is often the case at Dreweatts, the ‘phone lines were fully booked on many of the items. Other notable pieces included the handsome Viennese cold painted bronze model of an alighting eagle with wings outstretched, landing on a large stone (lot 19). This early 20th century piece by Bergmann was inscribed and sold for £4,880 against an estimate of £800-1,200.

Another attractive lot was the William and Mary walnut and featherbanded chest of drawers, circa 1690, with a rectangular top, moulded edge and two short and three long graduated drawers (lot 141). It came from the Hardy family of Chilham Castle in Kent and thence by descent; it fetched a healthy £6,700 against an estimate of £800-1,200.

To view the sale catalogue online, please click here.

For further information on the sale, please call Dreweatts’ Donnington Priory Salerooms on 01635 553553 or email

For press information and illustrations, please contact Vanessa Clewes-Salmon, email: or telephone: 020 8458 3288

Dreweatts - 28 January 2011