We saw great success with our European Furniture, Ceramics and Works of Art auction on 19 February, featuring property from a private collection, as well as a private collection of British and European ceramics, with the top lots soaring.
Jonathan Pratt, Dreweatts Managing Director, comments, 'This was an exceptionally decorative sale encompassing the traditional and flamboyant. The core collection was bought throughout Europe by one gentleman over a number of years. The style was big and bold and attracted strong bidding with the final hammer total exceeding the pre-auction high estimate, with an 83% selling rate and 20% new registrants. The sale was a fabulous example of how an auctioneer can sell these collections so successfully outside of London.'
Ashley Matthews, Head of Sale, comments, 'The market is discerning and understandably there is a huge amount of interest generated when particularly fine and rare items are on offer. We were pleased to be able to offer two such lots by the renowned makers F & C Osler of Birmingham (Lots 147 and 148). The Osler name is synonymous with exceptional quality and represents a rich tradition of English 19th century glass manufacture. When one bears in mind the fragility of these items considering they are manufactured almost entirely of glass, they have survived in a remarkably good condition.
These, like a majority of items in this sale, came fresh to the market from a private collection, and overall the results show that a sale comprising well selected high quality lots with good provenance still generates serious interest from both traditional private collectors and the established trade.'
Lot 20, this desirable model of a carved mahogany twin pedestal partner's desk in George III style, late 19th/early 20th century, from a private collection achieved £13,750.
It is produced after the design by Thomas Chippendale for Nostell Priory in Yorkshire. The original was the most expensive item supplied to Nostell and is best described in his own terms in his original accounts as 'a large mahogany library table of very fine wood with drawers within on one side and partitions on the other, with terms of ditto carvd & ornamented with Lions' heads & paws & the top covered with black leather, & the whole completely finishd in the most elegant taste - £72.10'.
Also from a private collection was Lot 64, a 19th century French carved giltwood and composition salon suite in Louis XV style which sold for £17,500.
This salon suite was comprised of a pair of sofas, a set of four elbow chairs, and a set of four side chairs, recently upholstered with beautiful blue silk damask, with the backs each headed with lion masks and the show frames with carved leaf and fruit decorations.
The private collection also featured an exquisite selection of more than 30 lots of lighting. Ranging from 19th to 20th century examples, with some showcasing earlier styles, the highlight of the auction was Lot 118, a 20th century pair of monumental ten light porphyry and gilt bronze mounted candelabra in Louis XV taste, which with competitive bidding achieved £27,500.
The collection of lighting showed the strong and enduring influence of the Louis XV and Louis XVI styles, which experienced a revival during the middle of the 19th century and all the way through to the early 20th century Belle Epoque.
The ornate styles, using motifs such as rocaille, putti, swags, scrolls and flowers, emanate aristocratic opulence. The rising middle classes of the later 19th century were keen to emulate this aesthetic, and to put their own twist on the styles. The industrial revolution, and particularly mechanical developments in the process of bronze casting, ensured that the courtly fashions of the past were accessible to this new elite.
In addition to the opulent selection of lighting in bronze, the collection also included works by the iconic British lighting manufacturers F. & C. Osler, such as Lot 147 which sold for £15,000 and Lot 148 selling for £15,625, whose fine ‘brilliant cut glass’ was popular with royalty across the British Empire, and who embraced the modern technologies of the Victorian age with their forward-thinking designs.
A nearly identical design to Lot 148 with bronze fittings (as opposed to silver plate) and different shades is illustrated in the F. & C. Osler trade catalogue from their Calcutta showroom, published circa 1900 (design number 2823), where it is described as a 'richly cut crystal glass and gold bronze chandelier for kerosine'.
The popularity of this type of gasolier across the Osler company is evident, as several others appear in the 1880 catalogue of the London showroom, pp. 144, 145. The wall applique No. 18894 illustrated in the same volume shares an identical combination of elements to the present chandelier, and may have been designed en suite.
Another highlight from the property of a private collection was Lot 287, this French wool and silk pastoral tapestry, 'la Danse' from the second half of the 18th century depicting a fete champêtre outside a tavern, with musicians and dancing couples before a wooded background, within a simulated picture frame border, which sold for £6,500.
The designs for this animated pastoral feast are usually attributed to French painters Jean-Baptiste Huet and Jacques-Nicolas Julliard, who was a pupil of François Boucher and later appointed lead designer at the Aubusson and Felletin tapestry workshops in 1755. The subject of a village dance shows the influence of Netherlandish scenes on French tapestry manufacture, particularly the oeuvre of Teniers. Though parts of this design have appeared on the market, it is rare for all figural segments to survive in one tapestry.
The auction also included an exquisite private collection of British ceramics comprising 55 lots of 18th century porcelain figures from Bow, Chelsea and Derby, as well as a rare group of toys from Charles Gouyn’s associated factory.
The highlight of the collection was Lot 157, a Derby model of a Bolognese terrier in the Meissen style which sold for £10,250.
We are now welcoming consignments for summer 2020.
10 June | Interiors
Consignment deadline: 22 April
24 June | Fine Furniture, Sculpture, Carpets, Ceramics and Works of Art
Consignment deadline: 6 May
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