AUCTION Round up
AROUND the HOUSES
A round up of some curiositysparking sales from around the UK
BONHAMS, NEW BOND STREET A rare 1650 London delftware drinking cup, 17.5cm high, in the shape of a postillion’s boot, which sold for £17,000, was one of the highlights of Pelham Olive’s collection of antique oak furniture at the London auction house on January 31.
Estimated at £16,000£25,000, the boot – which was a popular drinking vessel in its day – was inscribed ‘OH. MY. HEAD’ around the top.
The ‘Glastonbury’ armchair dates to the reign of
An impressive Henry VIII joined oak and walnut livery cupboard, c 1530, with an estimate of £60,000-£80,000, made £62,500 at the same sale. Elsewhere, a rare Elizabeth I oak ‘Glastonbury’ armchair, West Country, possibly Somerset, c. 1570-1600, fetched £28,000, against an estimate of £20,000-£30,000.
Pelham was the son of Gabriel Olive, one of the founders of the Regional Furniture Society, and grew up surrounded by his father’s antiques. Gabriel dedicated his life to the study of British regional furniture-making traditions while owning a shop in Wincanton, Somerset. The pieces, amassed over Pelham’s lifetime, were selected and researched with the help of his close friend the author Victor Chinnery.
The oak and walnut livery cupboard was a sale highlight
Drinking cups in the shape of boots were popular in the 17th century, but few survive
The micro mosaic inset box sold for
LAWRENCES, CREWKERNE A George IV silvergilt snuff box inset with a micromosaic plaque depicting Pliny’s Doves made £5,000 at the Somerset auctioneer’s recent sale.
But the top prices on the day went to freedom boxes: an Irish provincial box for Cork made £6,100 and another by William Clare of Cork, 1727, sold for £8,050. Freedom boxes were typically Irish, and used as presentation pieces to distinguished non-residents receiving the honorary freedom of a city.
Originating in the rigid guild system of the Middle Ages, ‘freedom’ conveyed the right to join a guild and work and sell as a principal in that city.
Another Cork freedom box dated 1727 was the sale’s top seller
The sale’s second best seller was a freedom box for
MOORE ALLEN & INNOCENT, CIRENCESTER An early 18th-century walnut bachelor’s chest-on-chest achieved the top price at the Cirencester auction on January 11. The piece had been expected to make £1,000-£1,500, but determined bidding saw it hammer at £7,000.
Georgian furniture did well throughout the sale, with an 18th-century walnut chest selling for 10 times its lower estimate at £3,200; a bachelor’s chest with a baize-lined interior from the same period making £2,700 and a late George III mahogany serpentine-fronted chest selling for £2,500.
Auctioneer Philip Allwood said: “The market for quality furniture is strong among dealers, collectors and people wishing to fill their homes with beautifully made pieces of furniture.”
Fine furniture from the 18th century topped the list of big-sellers
12 ANTIQUE COLLECTING