AUCTION Round up
Plath’s Tarot cards sold for 25 times their estimate
SOTHEBY’S, LONDON Recipes annotated by Sylvia Plath and her rolling pin sold for more than four times their low estimate at the auctioneer’s recent sale of personal possessions of the poet.
The 33 cards, typed by Sylvia Plath and her mother, Aurelia, included family favourites such as “Grammy’s Fish Chowder” and “Ted’s mother’s Scots Porridge Oats Biscuits,” referring to the poet Ted Hughes who Plath married, aged 25, in 1956. Expected to make £800-£1,200, they sold for £27,720.
The rolling pin and family favourite recipes sold for £27,720
In the same sale a deck of Plath’s Tarot cards, given to the poet by Hughes on her 24th birthday, estimated at £4,000-£6,000, made £151,200. Occult lore went on to influence Plath’s work, including her 1960 poem The Hanging Man.
The couple’s gold wedding rings, estimated at £6,000£8,000 sold for £27,720. The collection was consigned for sale by the couple’s daughter, Freida.
The couple’s wedding rings were one of the lots in the £780,000 sale
SWORDERS, STANSTED MOUNTFITCHET An unassuming playbill bought in an Epping charity shop for £5 sold for £4,750 at the Essex auctioneer’s recent sale after it was found to be a rare theatrical advertisement printed on the H.M.S Resolute during its Arctic expedition in the 1850s.
The silk advert, which had pre-sale expectations of £800-£1,200,
The playbill attacted significant interest from the UK and
America advertised two performances by the ‘Royal Arctic Theatre’, namely The Taming the Shrew and The Two Bonnycastles.
DIX NOONAN WEBB, LONDON A group of 11 medals awarded to Group Captain Peter Townsend (1914-1995), Princess Margaret’s great love, sold to a private collector for £260,000 at the Mayfair auction house’s recent sale,
DNW’s medal specialist, Mark Quayle, said: “This iconic group of medals was a reflection of a glittering service career as a Battle of Britain fighter ace.
His story, combined with a tale of royal love and heartbreak, provided the ultimate
The medals celebrated Group
Captain Peter Townsend’s military record human interest.” Townsend,
the first pilot to bring
The dashing war hero stole
Princess Margaret’s heart down an enemy aircraft on English soil, later commanded and took part in 300 operational sorties.
The overlooked work of St Gregory came from a routine valuation in a Leamington Spa
KINGHAMS, MORETONIN-MARSH A car mascot by the legendary French jeweller turned glassmaker René Lalique sold for £135,000 at the Gloucestershire auctioneer’s recent sale.
Estimated at £80,000-£120,000, the car mascot in the shape of a fox attracted global interest before going to a UK-based bidder.
Lalique produced 29 mascots in the ’20s and ‘30s in shapes including fish, horses, wild boar, birds and dragonfly, with the rarer fox being the most sought after.
At a previous auction a small oil painting, which experts spotted as being a 17th-century work from the Flemish school, sold for £12,600.
The fox car mascot by Lalique attracts most attention from collectors
12 ANTIQUE COLLECTING