Home 5 News 5 Angus’ Highlights | March 2023

Angus’ Highlights | March 2023

March 29, 2023

Browns Auction Room prides itself on being open to selling those household items other salerooms might often prefer to avoid. We like to offer our customers a complete service, selling both the finest art, antiques and works of art on an International scale, but also handling all that other stuff we collect in corners over the years.

This months sale is enormously mixed from several local family estates and there is something here surely for everyone. It’s also an opportunity to highlight some of the amazing value that can be found in a family run saleroom when you look.

Lot 147 is a great example of something that is both practical and becoming more popular as a collectible. The Ladderax shelving system was created by Robert Heal, designer and eponymous shop owner and was retailed by Staples in 1962. He was influenced by Danish design, something we see again 60 years later. The design was so simple, yet practical and is copied today by Ikea and many other mass produced furniture companies. The framework is a simple grid that teak (sometimes rosewood) shelves are adjusted on. It was further enhanced by adjustable cupboards, some with glass fronts, and corner units. Many an early turntable and vinyl collection sat on shelves like this, alongside the fine china and whisky collection of many households.

When travelling it rather helps knowing where to go! Today we have GPS and satellite technology, in the 17th century those on a journey would rely on hand measured and drawn maps, and these were usually only available to wealthier individuals. Lot 108 is a lovely group of early maps, and this includes a number of hand coloured ‘strip maps’. These are not topographically accurate, but designed to be followed from place to place in a strip to provide your route. I suspect they were read from the comfort of your armchair in advance of any journey and not while tramping the mud of the road. John Ogilby produced many fine maps in this manner, which were published in 1675. He drew out 100 maps covering 2519 miles of Great Britain using a ‘Waywiser’, a great measuring wheel he deployed. He made allowance for roads that ascended hills yet drawn in two dimensions on paper. The were published together in a folio edition called ‘Britannia’. His surveys helped to standardise ‘The Mile’ at 1760 yards. The maps are well worth a close look.

Lot 87 is an excellent present for any wine lover. A very nicely wheel cut glass mallet form claret jug, with a well made simple silver spout and handle. Fill this with your favourite Bordeaux and enjoy both the wine and the object. It would make an excellent water jug for any table.

Amongst our many pictures this month a great local view stands out to me. Lot 107 is a lovely and large watercolour by William Heatlie. The view still remains intact today. Melrose Abbey, that wonderful ancient ruin where the heart of King Robert the Bruce was interred after its return from Spain. The heart was originally on it’s way to the Holy Land to be presented at Jerusalem, carried by his famous right hand man Sir James Douglas, known as the Good Sir James to the Scots and The Black Douglas to his foes!  A battle in Spain saw the end of Douglas and both were returned to Scotland for burial. The casket was re-discovered in 1996 and you can visit the burial site still today.

Other lots include ceramics, glass, silver, jewellery and furniture, both practical and collectible. Every sale needs a Chinese pot or two, and this month is no exception. Lot 44 is an impressive pair of crackle glazed Warrior vases, Qing Dynasty and decorated with figures around the body of the piece. Sadly both rims are broken and restored, but they are large and impressive nonetheless well worth a look. I am sure they would add a little exoticism to any hallway.

Do of course get in touch if you want to discuss any of our lots this month. Our expert team will be delighted to provide condition reports and further details.

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