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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.