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Angus’ Highlights | January 2023

February 2, 2023

It’s fast approaching February and the pheasants and game birds will be soon hunkering down in Scottish Border woodlands as the Sporting season closes for another year. The guns may be put away, but Lot 53 in this month’s bumper sale will allow the lucky buyer to celebrate and admire the beauty of pheasants year round. 

James Stinton (1870-1961) is one of the Stinton dynasty of painters, largely working at the Royal Worcester factory. Harry, John and James were all enormously accomplished and prolific painters of Highland Cattle, and Sporting Birds and the excellent porcelain made by Royal Worcester made a perfect canvas for their works. Lot 53 is a splendid example, and each of the twelve pieces is painted with a colourful pheasant and signed by James. Full services like this example are becoming rare, especially in such fanatic condition. It would brighten up any Sporting lunch or dining table.

The January sale has an enormous mix as our valuation team has been busy with family estates and removals. Of note this month is a group of furniture that for many years was pride of place at a large Scottish Country House on the edge of the Borders at Biggar. This included an impressive and beautiful object, lot 284 is a practical and substantial desk, with many useful small drawers. 

Scriptor is the English term for a late 17th century folding desk, and is sometimes called an Escritoire, because the French and Dutch had significant influence over fashion. Whatever you prefer to call it, the seaweed marquetry on the case, and its many compartments and drawers, along with some nicely chosen walnut veneers create a dramatic and effective piece for any drawing room. At 300 years old it looks fabulous and will long outlast any flat-pack furniture you might buy at a well known superstore. 

A personal favourite this month is a huge camphor coffer, probably made to order for the Western market in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Almost certainly 18th century, it makes an impressive statement for a large hall or sitting room and the interior is large enough to hold a vast array of household clobber. I encourage you to open the top and breathe deeply, the smell of camphor wood is quite intoxicating! The wood is also very effective at keeping moths away from your most precious textiles. Lot 285 has some impressive brass mounts to both secure and embellish the piece. A rock solid buy for anybody needing a large blanket chest.

Variety is the spice of life and this month we have a good selection of gold and silver, including decorative chains and pieces that might prove handy for Valentines Day, which is already not so far away. We also have a large selection of pictures and prints, including a fine pair of oil paintings by Paul Jones, a welsh painter who adds drama and amusement to many of his canine paintings. Lot 144 depicts a pair of naughty terriers who have cornered the house cat, and may have met their match. The cat is clearly very unamused! Its pair is a well executed study of two lurchers who hope to corner a wily fox. 

There are so many lots to choose from this month, any bidder has a sporting chance of coming home with a boot full of interesting goodies. All our sales are live online and in the saleroom simultaneously, so buyers have the best opportunity to secure there lots. Do call our expert anytime if you want help with condition of any of our lots. We are delighted to help and may be able to suggest alternatives. We are always happy to discuss single items or entire houses that you may want valued.

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