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Angus’ Highlights | December

November 30, 2022

You don’t need Black Friday to find an absolute bargain. Brown’s regular Antiques and Collectors’ Auctions always have a huge selection of beautiful and useful works of art. Now is the time to hunt out a Christmas surprise or find a stocking filler for your family.

This month we truly have a wide variety, including fine Scottish paintings, exceptional silver and some unusual historical artefacts. James Stuart Park was devoted to painting…and painting one subject which he did to great success. Roses feature in the majority of his works, often painted in an oval. This month we have a lovely example of pink roses which would grace any hall or dining room and make an excellent present under the Christmas tree. Despite being both talented and well known in the Scottish Art world, his pictures remain very affordable.

A regular entry in our sales is Tom Scott, a local artist, and in December we have several fine examples of his work to choose from, including a joyful work depicting the bridge crossing the river Tweed at Kelso…the perfect present for salmon fishermen everywhere.

A rare find this month is a traditional silver salver. The design is the standard circular platter with lobed sides and set on three feet. This month’s example shouts quality, with thickly gauged silver and excellent casting, as we would expect from the very well regarded maker Robert Abercrombie. This silver tray is hallmarked 1740 in the reign of George II and is a classic example of silver from this period. I am sure Father Christmas would appreciate a mince pie and fine dram left upon it on Christmas Eve.

Furniture is vary varied this month, and the stand out piece for me is a George IV rosewood Davenport. These desks have been long undervalued. The quality of the timber and its clever design yells quality. The famous firm of Gillow’s of Lancaster is known to made this design, with its sliding forward top and concealed drawer locks. Small, well made, practical and excellent for hiding the odd Christmas stocking filler this will charm any drawing room or hall. Buy it, before someone else does!

This month we have a number of items consigned from the family of one of ‘The Few’, those exceptionally brave and historically vital winners of the Battle of Britain. While a simple bayonet is not perhaps the highest value item in our sale, it is rare to be able to offer one that belonged to a Spitfire pilot. Wing Commander Marshall Smith has a fascinating story, a Canadian, he flew many sorties over the channel and was himself blown out of his cockpit, having been hit in the head by an exploding shell, amazingly he survived a tricky parachute escape and was in three months flying again despite serious injury. We owe a huge debt to such rare airmen. You can read about him in ‘So Few, the Immortal record of the RAF, 1941’.

It is well worth a look through our online catalogue this month, we have furniture, ceramics and silver and even an excellent pair of Chairs from the Coronation of Elizabeth II. These were made to a very high standard by William Hands and Sons and are becoming scarce to find in such good condition. 

Happy hunting.

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We have a diverse and interesting selection, gleaned from houses large and small across Scotland. Below is just a taster of the fine jewellery, paintings and works of art we have to tempt you.

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