14/07/2014 : Report for Sale of Asian Art, Stamps, Musical Instruments, Wines & Spirits
Arguably Adam Partridge Auctioneersí best ever auction was conducted over the 10th and 11th of July.
The sale began with over 250 lots of Chinese, Japanese and Eastern works of art, a section spearheaded by a fabulous pair of 19th Chinese porcelain wig stands consigned by a collector in Sunderland which realised £31,000 against an estimate of £10,000-£20,000, despite damage to both. The successful telephone bidder saw off five other telephone bidders in a fierce battle and will return them to their country of origin. Remaining in the UK however, thanks to the ban on the international trade of endangered species, is a 19th century rhinoceros horn bowl which sold for £3,600 (est. £300-£500).
Moving westwards, a small collection of Indian silver made £2,300 and a very unusual African tribal triple headrest sold to a telephone bidder for £1,100 against interest online. The usual array of tea caddies was topped by an Anglo-Indian horn example, c.1830, as it sold to an online bidder in London for £1,750.
Quality always sells well, that is the general rule, particularly when it comes to the world of ceramics. Big names like Moorcroft and Wedgwood were represented in the decorative arts section by a massive Finches pattern vase (£1,000) and a Fairyland lustre bowl designed by Daisy Makeig Jones (£1,100) respectively. But more traditional ceramics also sold well, with a small collection of hand painted Royal Worcester selling for just over £2,000. Perhaps the most remarkable of all results in the ceramics section was £1,400 for a very badly damaged Doulton Burslem golfing vase.
Traditional paintings have suffered over the last decade or so and the school of Northern artists has emerged as one of the strongest picture markets, with L.S. Lowry being at the top of the collectors’ list. Taught by Lowry, Arthur Delaney is becoming an increasingly unaffordable artist popular for his Manchester tram scenes. A painting consigned for sale by the daughter of a friend of the artist for whom it was painted sold for £5,200. 300 years earlier an unknown artist painted a fine portrait of Elizabeth Trevor, the Duchess of Marlborough with the coat of arms of the Spencer Churchill family. This was consigned as part of a large estate from Saddleworth and sold for £3,900 to a dealer in fine portraits in the South.
The evening of the first day saw around 150 lots of wine, port, whiskey and other medicine go under the hammer, most of which consigned from the cellar of a local restaurant. A 1934 bottle of port made £230 and a bottle of Cognac, 1928 Croizet vintage sold for £240; these were the most expensive bottles, drop for drop.
September will see a fine silver and jewellery auction, so unsurprisingly there was nothing of great note this time, apart from a collection of hat pins which realised just over £2,500.
One does not often come across 18th century gold pocket watches, but 17th century pocket watches are few and far between. From a house in Sandbach came a gold pair cased pocket watch hallmarked for 1690, stamped for Brounker & Watt, which was finely crafted with typical pierced Egyptian pillars supporting the fusee movement. The outer case was thought to have been replaced at some stage, and the hands were not original, but despite this, it sold to a telephone bidder for £2,000. From pocket to wrist, as an Omega Speedmaster from the 1960’s sold for £2,000 and an 18ct gold ladies Rolex made £2,800.
This auction too was the first in which stamps were specifically consigned, and subsequently catalogued by a newly appointed stamp specialist. A roaring trade with several small collections sold over around 30 lots realising just over £5,000.
Recognised as the go to place to sell musical instruments in the North, Adam Partridge Auctioneers offered for sale 150 musical instruments. Attracting interest globally, stringed, woodwind and brass instruments soared. A German cello in distressed condition sold for £5,000 to an internet bidder, many violins sold in the high hundreds and several violin and cello bows made over £1,000.
Following this, a good collection of mechanical music was topped by a fine exhibition quality Swiss cylinder music box with cupboard base and five spare cylinders by Paillard (£6,000). Edison phonographs, polyphons and gramophones all featured in this section making good money throughout.
Arguably the strongest section of the whole sale lot for lot was the clocks. Starting with longcase clocks, a charming Edwardian chiming longcase took £3,200, an Italian carved walnut cased longcase made £6,400, a rare Act of Parliament or Tavern clock sold for £5,150, a massive 18th century Boullework mantel made £1,900, and a superbly original 18th century walnut mantel clock sold for £6,400.
Probably the most interesting lot of the 2300 lots sale was a Victorian oak extending dining table. The extending action was patented by Robert Jupe and John Johnstone in 1835 and radiated to three sizes, 5ft, 6ft and 7ft, with extra leaves to slot in filling the gaps as it extends. Being an extremely rare table, this attracted phenomenal interest and no less than twelve phone lines were booked prior to the sale. Bidding was fierce between individuals in the room and on the phone. The hammer finally fell at £23,000 to a man at the back of the room.