Home 5 News 5 Hammer Highlights | January 2023

Hammer Highlights | January 2023

February 4, 2023

This auctioneer admires a shapely figure! The curvaceous line running though a finely chosen walnut veneer is to by much admired. The growth rings and natural structures of the timber make patterns that attract the eye and time adds colour and patina to gift us with true beauty to admire.

This figuring is well demonstrated in lot 284 of our first auction of 2023, a three hundred year old cabinet called a Scriptor. Sometimes also called an Escritoire, as the French had so much influence over fashion and design in the 17th and 18th centuries. This splendid piece held a profusion of small drawers, and two cunningly hidden secret compartments (well I only found two!) and provided the late 17th century correspondent somewhere to both keep important documents or keepsakes, and also to write on the drop down writing surface. 

This lot not only had some well chosen walnut veneers, the piece had also been profusely decorated with highly complex fretwork carved marquetry, and careful and delicate interlace of scrolls, that we call today ‘seaweed’ marquetry because of its complex web of fronds. Clearly the substantial piece attract a number of eyes and was hammered down above estimate at £3840 (including Buyers Premium).

This months sale included lots from a number of large houses across the Scottish Borders. Silver was well represented and a particularly smart tea and coffee service (lot 88), simple in design but elegantly decorated with a Greek Key border and also complemented by Butterfly finials sold above estimate at £1380 (including Buyers Premium). This reflects both the quality of the service, but also the rise in price of both silver and gold bullion. 

Browns will of course be delighted to assess and value any silver or gold artefacts you may have, including coins, silver candlesticks, tea sets etc. Don’t let them gather dust in the cupboard! 

We had a large variety of china this month, and as usual Royal Crown Derby proved a winning combination. (Lot 49) A particularly smart and tidy tea service in the classic English Imari colours (a patter based on Chinese and Japanese imports in the 17th and 18th centuries) saw significant trade and private interest. It was hammered down well above estimate at £720 (including Buyers Premium)

Carpets and Rugs, large and small have been having a bit of a comeback in the saleroom in recent months. For some years prices have struggled, in part because foreign buyers were less able to access the UK market during the pandemic. There has been an increase in interest and perhaps a dah of colour is just what is needed on our hard floors. Certainly our dogs and cats will thank us! Lot 167 was a pretty example of a hand knotted Kashan carpet. These are now often called Keshan, which is where they originate in modern day Iran. Carpets have been made here since at least the Safavid Dynasty in the 16th century.  This example was likely circa 1920 and well knotted wool on a cotton weft. With a typical central medallion on a deep red ground, it had over the years gently faded, which a little like furniture can improve the patina of the carpet. A real work of art the lot sold above estimate for just under £600 (including Buyers Premium)

This months auction was over 92% sold on the day, and buyers still have the chance to pick up the few unsold lots in our ‘Second Chance’ online auction, available for a few days after the sale. Please do contact us if you would like us to consider items for the next sale. Our valuers will be delighted to help you. 

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