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Hammer Highlights | August 2023

August 21, 2023

A sleeper proves to be a sleeper! This months wide ranging auction proved highly successful, and objects came in for sale from far and wide. Lot 32 this month found amongst the estate of a World War 1 artist and military scout, originated in central Africa. 

Carved tribal items have an increasing following Worldwide and collectors find they sit well in a contemporary interior set against western art and even Old Masters. Designed for sleeping, this cunningly carved dual tone pillow proved irresistible to collectors. It had a pleasing patina, but without any real provenance it was hard to date. In any event it was chased way over estimate to £1700 (including BP).

Another charming piece, Lot 140, a heavy gold curb chain bracelet, set with a dozen of so varied and well made charms, these included a rather splendid model of Sir Walter Scott’s monument in Edinburgh and also a more typical gold cube, carefully concealing a folded bank note. This pretty piece attracted many followers and sold well above gold spot price for £1400 (including BP).

Staying with gold, a rarity which looked like it may have been caught by a passing plough sometime in its long life. Lot 95 was a very rare William & Mary half guinea coin, dated to 1694. It was very delicate and thankfully the double portrait of the King and Queen was still easy to make out. With a folded and abraded surface and only weighing in at 4g it seemed likely that many collectors might avoid it, however the coin defied the odds and sold well for just under £500.

A favourite for the valuer this month, Lot 97, a truly exceptionally well cast bronze medal, made as a first prize for an exhibit at the extraordinary 1851 Great Exhibition. 

‘The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations’ was conceived by Prince Albert and Henry Cole to bring the world to see the best of design, industry, and technology. The medal is a heavy piece and in this case appears to have been one by a firm of colliers, at a time when steam was very much taking the world to new places. Coal production was seen as critical and it would be interesting to know what the exhibit may have been to catch the judges eye. In any event the medal found a winner at £380 (including BP). Over estimate, but still a modest price for such an interesting piece of history.

Do of course get in touch with us if you have your own historic artefacts you would like considered for auction. We are happy to consign Art, Furniture, Collectors items, Jewellery, Gold coins, Garden sculpture, Carpets and Books, as well as many other household items.

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Our May auction proved a diverse mix of old and modern, with Lot 161, a group of rather splendid local photographs, selling above estimate and proved to be a top lot in the sale yesterday.

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