As we round off the year, we have our final two-day auction of Fine Furniture, Sculpture, Carpets, Ceramics and Works of Art taking place on 30 November & 1 December. Day One of the auction comprises Lots 1-406, offering an impressive selection of antique pieces, representing some of the best examples of their type and period. Here we take a look at some of the highlights.
A Charles II embroidered stumpwork panel
To start the auction, we will be offering a wonderful Charles II embroidered stumpwork panel (Lot 1). Dating from the 17th century, it is finely embroidered in colour silks and metal threads. The work depicts a noble family, beneath a mansion, with a mermaid bathing amongst sea creatures in a watery grotto above. These are surrounded by flowers, domestic and wild beasts, birds and insects.
Lot 1: A Charles II embroidered stumpwork panel, 17th century | Est. £1,500-2,500 (+ fees)
This comes to auction from a deceased estate in Merseyside. It probably originally hung at Balls Park in Hertford, the property of Sir Lionel Faudel-Phillips. It belongs to a small but distinct set of mid-17th century stumpwork panels characterised by the inclusion of a small scene of a mermaid bathing. Often, as with this lot, they illustrate the mermaid regarding herself in a hand-mirror. This motif seems to have been drawn from bestiaries and earlier psalters - with the suggestion that as 'femme fatales' the mirror is present as the mermaid grooms herself to appear more comely to approaching sailors.
Derby white porcelain models of boars
From the selection of ceramics, we have Lot 90, a pair of Derby white porcelain models of boars of so-called 'dry-edge' type, dated circa 1750-54. They are modelled with one seated on it haunches, the other en passant.
These come from a private collection in Hampshire, having been bought from Winifred Williams at 3 Bury Street in London, on 6 May 1974 for £1,200. They now carry an estimate of £5,000-7,000 (+ fees). Examples of this type can be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Lot 90: A pair of Derby white porcelain models of boars of so-called 'dry-edge' type, circa 1750-54 | Est. £5,000-7,000 (+ fees)
An Irish George II mahogany drop leaf hunt dining table
From a private London collection, we have Lot 93, a mid 18th century Irish George II mahogany drop leaf hunt dining table. It bears the stencilled mark for 'HODGES DUBLIN'. The stencilled title 'HODGES DUBLIN' is almost certainly the trade stamp of the 19th century Dublin auction house of this name on Grafton Street.
These Irish oval-topped drop-leaf tables are traditionally known as 'hunt tables'. The term 'hunt table' originated from their use for hunt meets, when they were carried outside for dining at or to hold the food and drink.
Lot 93: An Irish George II mahogany drop leaf hunt dining table, mid 18th century | Est. £4,000-6,000 (+ fees)
A carved pine eagle console table
We then have Lot 112, an 18th century carved pine eagle console table. It is beautifully carved and mounted with a variegated fior di pesco marble top.
Lot 112: A carved pine eagle console table, 18th century | Est. £3,000-5,000 (+ fees)
The use of an eagle as a support for a table was popularised in England by William Kent (1685/6 - 1748), the remarkable designer of furniture, objects and architecture. Kent's designs drew on his decade in Italy from 1709-1719, spent often in the studio of painter Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari.
Kent's design for an eagle table support is likely to be derived from designs by Giovanni Giardini, published by Disegni Diversi (1714), which includes in particular an elaborate table which featured an eagle with spread wings in the centre. The earliest recorded tables of this type were made for the Duke of Beaufort, between 1728 and 1733 by the carver John Phillips who was paid £444 9s 6d for work at Badminton House, Gloucestershire.
A George III side cabinet in the manner of Henry Holland
Another highlight is Lot 231, a George III rosewood and gilt metal side cabinet, circa 1800. It is almost certainly by Marsh & Tatham, and made in the manner of Henry Holland.
Lot 231: A George III rosewood and gilt metal side cabinet, in the manner of Henry Holland, circa 1800, almost certainly by Marsh & Tatham | Est. £8,000-12,000 (+ fees)
This fine side cabinet is characteristic of the work of Henry Holland, architect to the Prince of Wales, later George IV, having particularly marked affinities with a pair of chiffoniers in The Whitbread Collection at Southill Park, Bedfordshire. These were originally supplied under Holland's direction to the great 18th century brewer Samuel Whitbread, circa 1796-1800.
Henry Holland was the Prince Regent's architect from the late 1780s, and worked at both the Brighton Pavilion and Carlton House. He was an authority on contemporary French design and decoration, an influence which he employed with great success in the interiors of Carlton House, integrating colours and styles to form complete interiors such as the Flesh Coloured Room or Rose Satin Drawing Room.
In association with the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, Holland purchased French Neoclassical furniture for the Prince Regent by makers such as Weisweiler, Jacob and Hervé, and it is from these sources, rather than his British contemporaries, that Holland's own furniture designs derive.
Holland employed most of the major cabinet-making firms of the day in one or another of his projects - notably Morel, Marsh, Tatham, Mayhew and Ince, and Bailey and Saunders - and exerted considerable influence on a whole generation of British designers.
After Mathurin Moreau, gilt and patinated bronze figure of 'Leda and the Swan'
Finally, we wanted to take a look at Lot 239, a late 19th/early 20th century gilt and patinated bronze figure of 'Leda and the Swan', after Mathurin Moreau (French 1822-1912).
Mathurin Moreau came from a distinguished family of artists, studying initially under his father Jean-Baptiste Moreau before he enrolled at the École des Beaux Arts in 1841. As well as carrying out a substantial oeuvre of classical and genre bronzes in his own right, he also produced designs for the Val d'Osne foundry. The Royal Collection holds his 1855 set of four large figures emblematic of the Seasons at Osborne House.
Lot 239: After Mathurin Moreau (French 1822-1912), a gilt and patinated bronze figure of 'Leda and the Swan', late 19th/early 20th century | Est. £1,000-1,500 (+ fees)
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Fine Furniture, Sculpture, Carpets, Ceramics and Works of Art
Wednesday 30 November, 10.30am GMT
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Property from the Phillip Lucas Collection, Spitalfields House and other Properties including Garden Furniture and Statuary
Thursday 1 December, 10.30am GMT
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- Viewing in Newbury:
- Friday 25 November: 10am - 4pm
- Saturday 26 November: 10am - 3pm
- Sunday 27 November: 10am - 3pm
- Monday 28 November: 10am - 4pm
- Tuesday 29 November: 10am - 4pm
- Day of sales: from 8.30am
- Dreweatts 360 Virtual Auction Tour | Available from Friday 25 November