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Angus’ Highlights | September 2023

September 1, 2023

It’s Harvest time and we have plenty in September to be safely gathered in. It’s a typical wild mixture of home furnishings and works of art, fine china, pictures and a few oddities thrown in for good measure. 

Lot 129 would make an interesting statement inside or out in the garden. Based on a Roman original sarcophagus, and revived as a style by the likes of the master sculptor of the early Renaissance Donatello, this planter would make its presence known in any household. Made to look like finely carved Carrara marble (think Michelangelo’s David) and covered with sporting winged putti it looks rather splendid sat upon its Lion set plinths. Putti are essentially Classical babes, sometimes with wings that decorated Classical and European works of art and paintings for hundreds of years. Often up to mischief they always bring a smile. This planter has been re-purposed with a hinged lid, to make a handy console table, but could easily be planted up and set in a sunny spot. 

Paintings include a charming Victorian watercolour by George Kilburn. Lot 94 “The Entanglement” is a typical genre work depicting ladies winding yarn in a smart sitting room. Embroidery and tapestry were pleasant pastimes enjoyed by many ladies in the 19th century and some of these works can often be found in our sales. Many a fire screen panel will have been decorated in this way, possibly working in a happy huddle to pass the evenings by a fireside. The watercolour is well composed and thankfully the colours remain strong despite being nearly 130 years old.

We have a lovely and comfortable Victorian suite of seat furniture, including a deep but not overlarge settee, with two matching chairs. These we know we were made in 1895 and bought to furnish a large local house at Gilston. The invoice for many of the items bought to fill the house remains today and the suite has remained in the same family ever since. With a low roll edge to each piece it makes for an elegant design. The upholstery remains in generally good condition, or with a fresh contemporary cloth could be transformed into something truly special. Certainly worth a closer look.

A personal favourite this month, there is always one! Lot 24 a cold painted Austrian bronze figure of a Cocker Spaniel, set on an onyx pen stand, it is really surprisingly large for such decorative bronzes. Often made by Gershutz, although this one appears unstamped, it makes a really impressive statement on a desktop or sideboard. These figures were enormously popular in the early 20th century, and have remained in demand ever since. Perhaps a perfect gift for a shooting host?

As usual we have a vast quantity of ceramics, glass, jewellery, furniture and other works of art. Our valuers are always happy to discuss any lot in the sale and provide further information or suggestions. We also visit people at home to discuss sales of single items or whole collections. We can also provide most valuations by electronic means…do visit our website of call us anytime.

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