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April Hammer Highlights – A French Triumph!


Sale results from our Easter auction of Antiques & Collectables proved regional salerooms can provide Worldwide appeal and strongly supported results. 90% of lots found buyers on sale day.

A clear winner is now heading to its next home in Paris. Scotland has long had a close relationship with France, and so it was no surprise to uncover a fine and delicately crafted Louis XV / XVI ‘Transitional’ period marquetry bonheur du jour in a Roxburghshire Dower House.

antique veneer bonheur

The piece was beautifully veneered in a variety of exotic woods and decorated with assorted musical instruments and household objects. This would once have been the pride a joy of a fashionable 18th century French lady, no doubt of some standing in society. The small desk was designed to lock securely small keepsakes in its two cabinets and be a place to write a mass of correspondence…the iPad of the 18th century!

Recent sales of such pieces have not always been easy, however the quality of the this example and the fact it was veneered on the reverse, so it could stand centrally in the room if required, created interest both local and international. Lot 212 sold significantly above estimate at £3890 (including premium). It will shortly be negotiating Brexit and heading home to France.

Also of note and from the same house (lot 85), a wonderful maritime oil by George Chambers (1803 – 1840). The artist painted this view of shipping coming into safe anchorage beneath the castle and priory at Tynemouth several times. The ‘Mary’ was a trading barque and is perhaps laden with brandy having sailed perhaps across from France under the watchful eye of a small Royal Navy brig sloop. Maritime paintings are timeless and will grace any wall, ancient or modern and this canvas sailed safely away at £2200 (including premium).

Other stand out winners on sale day include (lot 2), a glamorous and shimmering circlet of three colours of gold in a tight fish scale weave, a substantial necklace in 18 carat gold by the well know Italian maker Oritalia. The weight of gold and its obvious charm ensured a thumping £1700 sale result (including premium).

Every sale needs a sleeper. In truth our valuer had a feeling lot 126 might fly away, and on the day it drew International support. A very late Qing Dynasty porcelain vase was priced to sell, especially having been drilled and converted into a table lamp, however the famille verte decoration was better than many similar Chinese vases of the late 19th or early 20th century period and demand for such porcelains remains energetic everywhere. The lot sold with strong underbidding for £1580 (including premium).

Browns Auction Rooms of Jedburgh would be delighted to assess and value any artworks, antiques or collectables you are looking to sell. We can sell a single item or clear an entire house. While our reach is international we offer a friendly local service across the South of Scotland.

We are now consigning for our 14th May Antiques & Collectables Auction.  To request a valuation, click here, alternatively you can call 01835 863445 or email info@brownsasr.co.uk

Angus’ Highlights | April 2022


This month we have a veritable Noah’s Ark of interesting and unusual auction lots. The first items to highlight arrive two by two. Lots 53 & 54 are both rare maritime Sympiesometers. What are they I hear you ask? A Sympiesometer was an improved type of double barometer that allowed a more compact instrument to be carried safely on board ship. The two excellent and almost identical examples in this sale both came from a local Dower house, a time capsule Scottish Borders home with a veritable treasure trove of furniture, paintings and works of art. Of course, as instruments they are just as happy on the wall at home or in the cabin of your sailing boat.

George Chambers classic oil painting of a ship

Continuing the maritime theme and from the same house, lot 85 is a classic oil painting by the eminent British marine artist George Chambers. The sailing Barque ‘Mary’ is coming home to Tynemouth in company, possibly a flotilla of ships returning from a long trading voyage. She is watched over by a small sleek Royal Navy brig sloop, one of the smaller warships that regularly were used for both escort duty and as a courier to the fleet. This view was painted a number of times by the artist in the 1820’s, with Tynemouth Castle and Abbey in the background. The size and condition of this version should ensure it sails away safely on sale day.

This month’s auction includes at least two sleepers! We have an excellent oak panelled bedhead (lot 216) and a fabulous gilt bed with a separate canopy mount (lot 206). This would make a gorgeous addition to any grand bedroom rehung with silk.

The Dower house contents also included a group of early English oak furniture, including a lovely Jacobean refectory dining table, probably circa 1700 (lot 222).  Despite 300 years of good use, the planked oak is still proving to be an effective and visually attractive workhorse. On the wall near the table hang a protective pair of Regimental Scottish Basket hilt swords (lot 58) and to keep the Laird on time, the dining room was set with a timeless brass lantern clock (lot 55), fitted with a dependable double fusée movement and signed by John Saunders of London.

Other properties include ‘The Doddie Weir Family Dining Suite’, being generously sold in aid of the ‘My Name’5 Doddie Foundation’. A charity set up to support research into curing Motor Neurone Disease (MND). George ‘Doddie’ Weir OBE needs little introduction as once of Scotland’s finest Rugby Union players with 61 International appearances. He was diagnosed with MND in 2017. The substantial dining table and its attendant set of ten chairs have been donated by the family and we hope buyers will support this excellent charity.

We have a significant group of Jewellery and silver in this month’s sale, including an attractive heavy gold necklace in three colours and some classic pieces by Sheila Fleet.

Every Ark needs a wide variety of beasts to join Noah’s family on board. We invite you to take a close inspection of Lot 60. A fabulous handmade felt Noah’s Ark, made by a local Jedburgh lady in 1973, and it includes a diversity of creatures including giraffes, lions, hippos etc, all arriving two by two.

The staff at Browns Auction Rooms want to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Easter.

Online bidding is now open with the live auction starting at 10am on Saturday 9 April.  Call 01835 863445 or email info@brownsasr.co.uk to leave a commission bid or arrange a phone bid.  Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you on the day.

Viewing available from 6 – 8 April between 10am – 5pm.