ANTIQUES UNDER THE HAMMER Period oak and folk art
Three single owner collections make up a Suffolk auction house’s 500-lot inaugural period oak and folk art sale this month
Above right A Charles II oak long bench, c. 1660, 184cm wide, 28.5cm deep, 55cm high, has an estimate of £4,000£6,000
Below left A rare Charles II oak coffer, West Country, dated 1661, 139.5cm wide, 58.5cm deep, 73.5cm high, it has an estimate of £2,000-£3,000
Above A James I shoe horn by Robert Mindum, 20cm long, dated 1613. Made from a cow’s horn and carved finely with flowers and a geometric design, the text reads Robert Mindum Made this Shooing Horne for Willyam Wheatlee Gentleman. It has an estimate of £2,000-£3,000 in this month’s sale
Suffolk auction house Bishop & Miller launches a series of designated period oak and works of art sales this month, with the expertise of former Bonhams specialist David Houlston. The Stowmarket auctioneer’s inaugural sale is on October 14, with three sales planned annually.
Houlston spent 15 years heading Phillips’ and then Bonhams’ vernacular furniture sales, but earlier this year moved to a consultancy role.
The auction house’s first sale will feature period oak, vernacular furniture, textiles, metalwork, folk art and related works of art including early jewellery.
Highlights include a newly-discovered Robert Mindum shoehorn (above, estimated at £2,000-£3,000) and a small Yorkshire court cupboard, c.1630 (far right, expected to make £8,000-£12,000).
Below A gilded late 17th-century East Anglian hammer beam roof angel, 64cm high, has an estimate of £700£900 at this month’s sale
Right An early 20th-century shorebird dipper decoy, with a painted body and later base, 18cm long. Estimated at £300-£500 at this month’s sale
Below far right Unusual 18th/19th-century slipware pottery dish depicting a mermaid, 34cm diameter, estimated at £400-£600
CHARLES II FURNITURE Also on offer is a rare Charles II oak coffer, from the West Country, dated 1661 (below left). Its front features three panels each depicting large, stylised male faces. The central face, with a distinctive pointed-beard, may even portray Charles I as the chest was made within a year, or possibly just months, after the Restoration of the Stuart Monarchy.
As many Royalists returned from exile they were keen to demonstrate their support for Charles II and his father, the executed king. The coffer has a pre-sale estimate of £2,000-£3,000.
After the years of Puritan austerity in the 1600s, the Restoration brought the English furniture tradition back in line with European design movements but, in provincial areas, craftsmen continued making furniture in the semi-gothic Jacobean and plain and simple Cromwellian styles.
Consigned from a Grade I-listed Tudor manor house in Worcestershire, a Charles II bench, c. 1660 (above) has the initials ‘RT’ stamped twice to a leg.
Another Carolean piece in the sale, dated to 1670, is a Charles II joined oak, open armchair from southwest Yorkshire, which has an estimate of £1,500£2,000. With distinctive linear carving of a pair of exotic birds and stylised flora beneath an arch, the piece is attributed to Burnley in Lancashire.
FOLK ART As well as period oak, the sale offers a number of folk art pieces, including a large collection of decoy birds.
Intended for use by water fowlers, hand-carved and painted decoys capture the nature of real birds in a stylised, impressionistic manner.
Usually made from indigenous local materials,
14 ANTIQUE COLLECTING