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August Hammer Highlights

August 25, 2022

It’s not cricket…the Australians are winning again! The top lot in this month’s Antiques & Collectables Auction sale was a fascinating window into the life of 19th century Australia, a rare album with about ninety varied images of the people, settlers and flora of the huge continent. Stand out photographs included a whisky distillery, a massive fig tree and portraits of First Nation people. Such albums are always hotly contested as such photographs have become important to both museums and collectors, especially in the Antipodes. Lot 71 was gathered in well above estimate for £1320 (including BP).

Winter is coming and clearly some of us our preparing our firesides for the chill days to come. Lot 240 is a rare and rather lovely brass fire surround. The flat bass plate is well engraved with scrollwork and applied decoration and is very much in the style of that great Architect and designer Robert Adam. Originally the brass-work is likely to have been part of a larger marble chimneypiece now sadly lost, however with careful installation it could either stand alone in a contemporary setting or perhaps be re-incorporated into an original marble piece. Clearly the market thought it attractive and with promise and quickly sent the estimate tumbling and it sold for £1100 (with BP)

The sale as usual had a wide variety of furniture, paintings, ceramics and jewellery. We thumped home 95% of the lots, an excellent rate for any auction, once again proving that internet-based bidding has widened access to local sales to the World. A typical Victorian silver tea set, the staple of many silver auctions sold at the top of our expectations at £660 (inc BP). Our jewellery section including some fine gold pieces, which all found new homes, along with several pretty jades. This included a well carved rectangular Chinese jadeite pendant that saw strong competition online and in the room, selling for £480.00.

A number of rare books were offered this month in addition to the Australian album. The included a wonderful early 17th century two volume encyclopaedia of extraordinary beasts, real and imagined, humans and flora. In its many pages numerous engravings that included a wonderful giraffe, an otter, lions and humans. The pages also reveal beasts of horror, with two headed humans and strange fish. While the condition of the two volumes was sadly poor its rarity was obvious and keenly sought. It is now off to restoration having hammered down at over £400.

Next month looks like a bumper auction, so keep an eye out for our sale announcement soon.

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