May Hammer Highlights

The last three auctions have consistently been 90% sold on the day. This May was no exception and 92% of lots found new homes. Mixed sales of Art and Antiques continue to be a popular hunting ground for keyboard warriors…the rise of internet bidding ensuring as wide an audience as possible, while also ensuring an effective, friendly local service.

One of Switzerland’s finest watchmakers, exceptional condition and it’s easy ready to wear style ensured that Lot 111, a fine Brietling Transoceanic chronometer watch sold well above its estimate at £1450 (including Buyers Premium). This was a simple steel cased gentleman’s watch with clean lines and above all an excellent highly accurate chronograph movement. Collectors have driven watches prices substantially in the past two years and famous names such as Rolex, Patek Phillipe and Brietling remains the stars of the show. Interest both locally and online ensured this solid example sold easily on the day.

Another ocean going lot, number 233, a pair of Maritime shipping portraits proved an interesting find for this months sale. Antonio Jacobsen is considered one of America’s best turn of the 19th century marine artists. ‘The Audubon of Marine Art’ he was a prolific painter of a wide variety of sail and steam powered vessels. Of the two ships in this lot, The Charles H Marshall was of particular note. This steam packet was named after a famous philanthropist and businessman from the New York Gilded Age. He was apparently on board the RMS Carpathia when it came to the aid of his three nieces who had to their misfortune boarded Titanic on its ill fated maiden voyage. Despite very poor condition of both canvases, which will both require significant professional restoration the lot sold for just over £1000.

Samuel Bough is a well known and regular presence in Scottish Art sales. While many buyers are looking to the 20th and 21st century to decorate their walls, there is still demand for the simplicity and beauty of a Victorian landscape and Sam Bough captures the charm and peace of the farming landscape perfectly in lot 227. A simple landscape with a plough hard at work in the back ground. Easy on the eye the oil sold within estimate at just under £600 (including premium).

May’s sale was a broad mix of silver, ceramics, collectables and furniture, with lots ranging from £20 upwards. Some lovely antique furniture, including an impressive pair of Jacobean revival wainscot chairs found new homes. If you are looking to re-locate, downsize or just wishing to sell the odd lot, do contact the saleroom for a quotation.

Angus’ Highlights | May 2022

An auction highlight includes Lot 233, a pair of maritime oil paintings by Antonio Jacobsen (American, 1850 – 1921), sometimes known as the Audubon of maritime American art, the canvas of The Charles H Marshall is signed and dated A Jacobsen 1918. The ship is named after a prominent American ‘Gilded Age’ businessmen and philanthropist. He was on board the RMS Carpathia when it came to the rescue of RMS Titanic, on which three of his nieces were on board.  The Governor Goodwin was a three masted sailing ship, the canvas is signed and dated Antonio Jacobsen, 1916, in the distance a large passenger liner of the White Star Line period.

Gods, Goddesses and a multitude of other interesting characters appear in our Spring auction. Gracefully surrounding a wonderful Classical frieze Apollo, Mercury, Venus and Aphrodite and other well known Greek deities compete for our attention. Lot 114 may have a high aesthetic appeal…but it has a rather more mundane and practical purpose, a place to keep the Chocolate Ginger Biscuits! Such treasure and available for as little as £80.

The joy of a local auction is such wonderful artworks and useful household objects can be found for generally very competitive prices. A lovely example to grace any household table is lot 128, A fine Sunderland Lustre bowl, made by Dixon & Co, and wonderfully decorated with transfer printed vignettes depicting a fine ship, The HMS Northumberland, and ‘The Mariners Compass’ amongst other maritime imagery. The bowl has a well patinated pink lustre and priced at £60-80 should sail away to a new home.

‘There be Dragons’….and this month Chinese Dragons fit for an Emperor. Traditionally decorated wares with five clawed beasts was reserved for the Imperial court. Lot 113 includes a very fine example of late Qing Dynasty cinnabar lacquer. The Chinese art of lacquering carved wood in this fashion has existed for centuries. The lot includes a lovely pair of covered baluster jars, and they are highly decorated with Dragons parading proudly around the body of each piece. The layers of lacquer on these ware can sometimes take as many as 300 coats to complete! Clearly made for export, probably in the very early 20th century, these also include a matching pair of ash trays and a small cigarette box. All in excellent condition and hopefully they will appeal to an International audience.

Furniture this month is a useful mix of both garden and household seating, a personal favourite being lot 286. A pair of his and hers Windsor armchairs, circa 1900. The design is a little unusual, with very slender spreading spindles, and while generally following a Victorian style appear to have arrived from further afield. The high backs and simplicity of design suggest these may be American in origin. The valuer looks forward to hearing others opinion on these unusual seats.

Soon we will be beginning the months of Summer Weddings…so if you are planning a quick engagement, we can recommend Lot 115. An excellent traditional diamond solitaire engagement ring. The central brilliant cut round diamond weighs over one carat and has a lovely clear and bright stone. Set in platinum it makes the perfect statement of intent.

The sale as always is available both online and Live in the auction room. Bidders can bid online now, leave commission bids with the auction room, or where appropriate book a telephone to bid live on the day.


‘Tinkering on the Ivories’

It has involved many years of discussion, media hype, argument, and trade consultation, and now it is important that clients, auction houses, and dealers make themselves aware of the new Ivory regulations.

From the 6th June 2022 it will be an offence in the United Kingdom to sell or deal in Ivory. The consultation run by DEFRA over several months allowed some flexibility for the art and antiques market, however the new rules are to be regulated very strictly and auction rooms, dealers, collectors, and individuals need to take care to ensure the law is not broken.

The penalties for dealing in Ivory are eye watering, with a maximum fine of £250,000 or up to 5 years in jail. We also expect authorities to be looking for test cases and examples to highlight in the media.

It will be illegal to sell any object containing elephant ivory (from the animal’s tusks). Also consider that some marine ivory, such as Narwhal Tusks are already controlled by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).  The rules for these and other endangered species are not covered in this article.

There are a small number of exceptions that allow certain Ivory artworks and objects to still be traded. However, to be exempt they will need to register the sale with a new online service run by DEFRA.

Browns can assess and make such applications on your behalf.

The Standard Exemptions are for:

  • Musical instruments made before 1975 with less that 20% ivory by volume.
  • Items made before 3 March 1947 with less than 10% ivory by volume

This might include for example silver teapots with ivory heat dividers on the handle or ivory inlaid furniture.

  • Portrait miniatures made before 1918 with a surface area smaller than 320 square centimetres

 Many important and quality miniatures are painted on thin panels of ivory.

  • Items that a qualifying museum intends to buy or hire

Special Exemptions:

There is a further exemption for a pre-1918 item that is of outstandingly high artistic, cultural or historical value.

This requires a more complex application and is judged by a panel made up of experts from assorted UK museums and institutions, including The National Museum of Scotland.

This final exemption is for those exceptionally rare and extraordinary objects that would be considered of cultural or historic importance. It is hard to know at this early stage how this will be judged and many objects that might be considered as important may fail the tests. An appeal system is in place to assist with occasional disagreements.


The fee to apply for a standard exemption with DEFRA will be £20 per item, or £50 for a group of objects if sold to the same buyer (20 maximum)

The ‘Cultural/Historic Object’ exemption is subject to a £250 fee per item.

Browns reserve the right to charge a processing fee, agreed in advance.

Any export requirement will still need to be obtained separately and vary from country to country.

Finally, it is important to note that EVERY sale of an individual object with require registration on each occasion it is offered for sale. It is not clear yet how that might affect re-offers of unsold lots. Such issues will hopefully become a little easier to follow once the new regulations are up and running.

Browns will update this article and the new regulations ‘bed in’ over the coming months.  If you have items of ivory you are looking to see, please feel free to get in touch to discuss with one of our team.

01835 863445 | info@brownsasr.co.uk

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.

February Hammer Highlights

Victorian splendour trumps Immortality!


The first auction of the year encouragingly shows that fine furniture can still shine. A very fine credenza, with strong kingwood and satinwood veneers and ornately decorated with finely cast ormolu figures, was contested both online and in the saleroom to sell for for £2,200 including Buyers Premium. This is a pleasing result for a large piece that in recent years has often been considered a tricky piece of furniture to sell and accommodate. We hope it goes on to grace a fine Scottish drawing room for many years to come. (Lot 189)

Favourite with the valuer in this sale, a wonderous Japanese vision of Immortality in the form of a huge and timeless White Pine about which a parliament of Red Crowned Cranes gather. Depicting the home of the Japanese ‘Seven Lucky Gods’, these mythical figures were in fact a blend of Buddhism, Taoism, and crossed continents from India to China and Japan where stories very much intertwine. The silk backed painting, probably originally in scroll form was popularly sought and sold above estimate for £1,000 including premium. (Lot 83)

Highlighted in this month’s paintings section was an early studio nude portrait by Earl Haig, an important 20th century juggernaut of Scottish Art. He had two studios at his home nearby to the saleroom at Bemersyde and was prolific and varied in his output. This recently re-discovered painting, exhibited in the well-regarded annual exhibition at the Demarco Gallery in Edinburgh in 1968, the same year it was painted, has a strong personality and simple honesty. Selling above estimate for £500 including buyer’s premium. (Lot 84)

With a 92% sale rate on the day, it again demonstrated that a varied and eclectic range of items in our regular Antiques & Collectables auctions is both a popular and effective place to buy and sell. Silver and smaller works of art continue to outperform with very strong bidding from the internet and interest from as far as Australia and the USA.

Our newly strengthened valuation and cataloguing team are here to help you. We aim to be a fine regional saleroom with a Worldwide reach and perspective and your first choice for an excellent service.

We are now collecting for our monthly and specialist auctions. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss your requirements. Don’t forget we offer complimentary collections* in the Borders, Edinburgh and Northumberland with our removal team are on hand to assist with more complex moves and house clearances.

Forthcoming Auctions:

12th March – Antiques & Collectables
Consignment Deadline 2nd March

9th April – Antiques & Collectables
Consignment Deadline 31st March

14th May – Antiques & Collectables
Consignment Deadline 4th May


Angus’ Highlights | February 2022

For the first sale of 2022 we can offer you immortality! Not only that, a Grand Tour around the World, taking in France, Germany, China and the wild landscapes of Japan. If you prefer to stay at home, we have a trip to Leeds, London and enjoy much that the Scottish Borders has to offer.

This month we start in Japan. Lot 83 is an extraordinary vision of the world of the Immortals. An Edo period (mid 18th century) landscape centred by a huge White Pine, backed by mountains, and thronging with hundreds of red crowned cranes, long a symbol of luck longevity and fidelity. They were believed to live for one thousand years and reside alongside the Immortals of Japanese legend. The painting on silk is unusually bold and it is a rare an unusual staging, with a single and impressive tree. If any Japanese speakers can decipher the text, clearly both a signature and perhaps a verse we would love to hear from you. This large painting would uplift any hall, or dining room.

Japanese painting of tree and red crowned cranes on silk

In 1900 an unfortunate young woman was discovered in the river Seine, her much publicised death was perhaps a little strangely remembered, because she apparently looked so much at peace. The mask was popular amongst the avant guard artists of the period and could be found gracing many a studio wall. Lot 8 is a good example of ‘L’Inconnue de la Seine’ and we hope it finds a peaceful wall to grace.

L’Inconnue de la Seine mask

Bold, elegant and beautifully built, we can offer you a wonderful example of High Victorian furniture making. Lot 189 is a splendid example of an inverted breakfront display cabinet, with high quality veneers of exotic timber from overseas, and further lifted by lovely ormolu Classical corner mount depicting joyful ladies playing cymbals and similar. The mirrored base and back is designed to show off whatever treasures are set upon it. Almost certainly made by one of the better London makers and complimented by a substantial highly coloured piece of Italian ‘Crema Valencia’ type marble. This cabinet would be a wonderful highlight in any drawing room.

Victorian display cabinet

If you enjoy supporting local artists, we can recommend taking a closer look at the art of Angela Lemaire. She has long been associated with her bold woodcut prints, often influenced by well known literature. We have a small selection to offer this month, including a dramatic chess match, taken from ‘The Seventh Seal’, the 1957 tour de force film by Ingmar Bergman. Also available are several paintings and we particularly like the joyful watercolour of Columbine, the paramour of Harlequin in the Commedia Dell’Arte.

This month’s auction has much to offer both collectors and somebody just looking to set up home. Don’t overlook the amazingly good value furnishings we have available, including a very stylish 1970’s bedroom suite, well built to last, carefully selected timber, and increasingly sought after, yet astonishingly good value when compared with modern chipboard based furnishings from a well known household store.

The last item to highlight this month is a ravishingly attractive portrait of a Pharaoh. Leeds Art Pottery, in this case, signed by Webb & Co., (later became known as Burmantofts), and in the late 19th century created some extraordinary glazed ceramics as art pieces. Lot 52 is a very rare example and has truly luscious glazes in creamy brown and jade, the relief portrait head is strong and imposing. It deserves a royally commanding bid on sale-day!

Online bidding is now open with the live auction starting at 10am on Saturday 12 February.  Call 01835 863445 or email info@brownsasr.co.uk to leave a commission bid or to arrange a phone bid.  Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you on the day.

Viewing available from 9 – 11 February between 10am – 5pm.

November Highlights

Antiques & Collectables Auction | 20 November

The joy of cataloguing a totally mixed Antiques & Collectables auction is the sheer variety of objects and the discovery of a long-hidden treasure. This months sale is no exception and if you are looking for a set of excellent kitchen chairs I can recommend (Lot 84) a well constructed set of six superb oak ladderback chairs, simple, built to last and with honey coloured oak in excellent condition. Why buy new, when you can go green and re-cycle! 

Hiding in a drawer this month was the perfect 18th century Gentleman’s everyday ‘Swiss Army’ equivalent! A rare pocket knife, (Lot 42)  still in perfect condition despite being three hundred years old, the two folding blades are enigmatically stamped BER NADO and set into a silver and polished agate handle. James Bernardeau was a maker of medical instruments such as lancets as well as knives and razors and is recorded as working out of the ‘Pistol & L’ in Drury Lane, London from 1726. I love the simplicity of this elegant object, with its carefully engraved silver edges and comfortable handle.

For the fishermen out there we can offer the perfect Christmas present…The Hardy Bros ‘Perfect’ 3 ¼ inch reel, (Lot 32) this is a wonderful example from the pre-war period, in excellent condition and with its original leather case. The reel has a reassuring click as it turns and is ready to go hunting for trout tomorrow.

Everyone enjoys simple pleasures, so come along and relax amongst the many varied lots on offer this month. If you need to rest awhile, I can recommend (Lot 92) the Ekornes ‘Stressless’ reclining chair!

Auction starts 10am on Saturday 20 November or bid online at brownsasr.co.uk/auctions.  Alternatively, to leave a commission bid or arrange a phone bid email info@brownsasr.co.uk.

September Hammer Highlights

Period pieces attracted strong online bidding with an early Mouseman Bookcase by Robert Thompson of Kilburn drawing a lot of interest online before being sold to the room for £3,100 (est. £800 – £1,000). Lot 101, a stunning Charles II Oak Dresser Base attracted several online bids before the hammer went down at £1,300 (est £350 – £400) and Lot 103, Edward Hassell McCosh, “Game Birds with Hare”, had several online bids, finally realising £1,700. 

Antique furniture continues to prove popular with Lot 42, a 19th Century Mahogany Side Table making over treble its estimate for £190 (est. £40 – £50).  Lot 109, George III Oak Tripod Table made £120 (est. £40 – £60) and Lot 124 Hardwood King Size Bed realised £190 (est. £50 – £70).

4 Vintage Luggage Trunks (est. £40 – £50), realised £110 and Lot 131, A Lloyd Loom Lusty Chair in Gold realised £80 (est. £20 – £40).  If you have items you would like valued for auction, please fill out an auction request >> https://brownsasr.co.uk/auctions/auction-estimate/ or call 01835 863445 to arrange an appointment.

A Second Chance Timed Auction will now run from 20 – 26 September, with the first lot closing at 8pm.  To browse and bid visit: https://brownsasr.co.uk/auctions

Consignments are invited for upcoming auctions with complimentary group collections offered in the Borders, Edinburgh and Northumberland.


20 – 26 September | Second Chance Auction

23 October | Antiques & Collectables

Consignment deadline | 13 October


For estate, insurance or settlement valuations, please contact us to discuss >>


A stunning Country Oak Refectory Table, in the 17th Century Manner, proved to be a sought-after piece with several bidders online and in the room with the hammer dropping at £850 (est £300 – £500).  A 30 Day Grandfather Clock, estimated at £600 – £800, gained interest in the room and online for a final price of £900.

Lot 66, Set of Eight Lancashire style Ash & Elm Dining Chairs, went to an Edinburgh based interior designer on behalf of a client for £420 and Lot 68, George III style Oak Dresser (circa late 18th / early 19th century) sold for £380 online.  Lot 87, George III Mahogany Apprentice Chest / Work Box was bought by the same buyer for £200.

A Second Chance Timed Auction will now run from 12 – 18 July, with the first lot closing at 8pm.  To browse and bid visit: https://brownsasr.co.uk/auctions

Consignments are invited for upcoming auctions with complimentary group collections offered in the Borders, Edinburgh and Northumberland.


12 – 18 July | Second Chance Auction

14 August | Antiques & Collectables
Consignment deadline | 4 August

10 – 15 August | Affordable Timed Auction
Consignment Deadline | 4 August


For estate, insurance or settlement valuations, please contact us to discuss >>