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October Hammer Highlights

November 3, 2022

I was delighted this month to see furniture coming out top in our auction of Art, Antiques and Collectables. The team had to work hard to remove a substantial Victorian ‘Jacobean’ Revival oak dining suite from a house in Jedburgh. It may not have had to travel far, but the heavy, solid oak top of the dining table and it’s weighty companion set of chairs ensured that the technicians had to work up a fair sweat to shift it all! (Lots 189/190)

In recent years heavy Victorian furniture has not been the easiest to sell, however the quality of both the table, with it’s finely carved cup and cover legs and smooth extending movement, and the reassuring strength of the chairs ensured an estimate breaking result of £2500 combined hammer (with BP). I hope the buyer of the table has a strong floor!

The winning sleeper this month was again won by the Chinese. (Lot 30) Two table lamps from a local cleared house, both blue and white porcelain vases, made in China in the late Qing period and both later made into useful table lamps. The large export baluster piece was in excellent condition and had attractive slightly birdlike blue and white decoration. It’s companion was a a rather splendid bottle vase, with long neck and a gentle blue glaze and finely decorated with a network of tendrils. If it had been complete the estimate would likely have been higher, sadly it was very badly damaged at the neck, and much was missing. It had been cleverly capped with the lamp top, but despite the damage attracted fair interest from the Chinese trade and sold significantly above estimate at £1400.

The varied picture section included a charming print by that quintessential British artist ’Snaffles’. His real name is Charles Johnstone Payne (1884-1967). His watercolours of horse racing, military life, hunting and equestrian life are found in country houses everywhere, usually as lithographs which he often signed in pencil, and if you are really lucky added a humorous hand drawn touch to the bottom. Snaffles created wonderful gentle humour to his work, perhaps best known in his well known painting ‘Pass Friend’, depicting a fox passing a sentry of the Home Guard. Lot 81 this month was a slightly unusual version of his print “A Point to Point’, and despite being produced on low grade post war paper, the vignettes of a day at a local point to point was hand coloured to great effect and both signed in pencil with a dedication. This was a smaller version than I have seen before and appears to be limited to a run of only 10 prints. Buyers lined up to secure this and a determined bidder secured it for just over £720.

This month’s sale included a wide range of ceramics, silver, furniture and household items. With strong local following and bidders from around the World, both online and by telephone the auction was 89% sold on the day. Any unsold items are given a second chance to sell online the following week, so overall sale rates at Browns remain very high and our auctions have remained at a 90% sale rate all year. If you have a single item or a whole house to clear, do get in touch with our valuers. We would love to hear from you. The next pre-Christmas sale is already looking like a cracker!

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