04/01/2013 : Review of 2012
A brief look back at 2012 reveals a host of fantastic results for Adam Partridge Auctioneers in Macclesfield, including several world records.
The highlight of 2012 aptly arrived in the final sale of the year, December 13th and 14th.
From Stockport came a magnificent pair of Exhibition quality cloisonné and ormolu vases by Elkington & Co. Considered to have been made for the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, eight phone lines and two bidders in the room hotly contested the lot and the hammer fell at £86,000 to a determined London bidder. An impressive figure, thought to be a record for Elkington & Co.
It was somewhat refreshing to see the might of 19th century British industry attracting such a handsome sum. One is used to Chinese works of art grabbing headlines with record sums, and at The Cheshire Saleroom this was ever present throughout the year.
The first of two specialist Asian Art sales in 2012 saw 3 five figure sums; a Chinese Imperial porcelain Jiaqing vase (£22,000), a Chinese porcelain Qianlong period bowl (£21,000) and a Japanese Meiji period cloisonné vase (£12,000), not to mention the hundreds of other Asian Art lots which attracted considerable attention from across the globe. The success of this specialist sale elevated the November Asian Art auction which coincided with Asian Art Week in London. This auction saw one piece alone eclipse the three aforementioned works of art. Consigned from a holiday bungalow in Rhos-On-Sea, North Wales, this spectacular object had buyers chomping at the bit. Discovered by Adam Partridge as a humble lamp, it soon became clear this had been converted from a porcelain wig stand. Dating from the reign of Daoguang Emperor (1821-1850) this magnificent object was elaborately decorated in enamels with five-clawed dragons on a yellow ground, a colour traditionally reserved only for the Emperor. This too was contested by eight phone bidders, a Chinese bidder in the room and an anonymous internet bidder. The hammer fell at £80,000. This again thought to be a world record for this item, as a similar example made a modest £23,000 in a large London room not long ago.
The specialist Chinese department at Partridges continues to go from strength to strength and wonderful objects are already being consigned for the two scheduled specialist sales of 2013.
2013 will also see two further Militaria, Medals and Sporting Guns sales following two highly successful sales last year. The first was in April, where a superb and rare gallantry medal group awarded to one who took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War made £9,400. At the same sale a pair of Auguste Francotte duelling pistols made £4,100.
The militaria and sporting section in September contributed over £100,000 to a record sale total of more than £330,000 in two days of selling. Notable results were in abundance including a single owner collection of 59 German helmets making just over £22,000. From several centuries earlier, a full size suit of armour in the same sale sold to a German buyer for £6,000. Medals were well represented once more and a fascinating WWII medal group awarded to a member of the Parachute Regiment of the French SAS made £5,600; a worthy sum for the soldier’s bravery which assisted with the liberation of Holland from the Germans during the war.
The sporting guns side of things did not disappoint either as two shotguns from a farmhouse in Gloucestershire; a J & W Tolley 8 bore and a Holland & Holland made £7,000 and £6,400 respectively.
A plethora of medals and militaria has already been consigned for the April specialist sale; an encouraging step forward for this thriving specialist department headed by valuer Bill Forrest.
The paintings department also saw several superb results from both the traditional and the Northern and contemporary artists. Two fantastically executed 19th century oils by Andrea Landini made £26,000, an oil by renowned Northern artist Arthur Delaney took £5,000 and an oil by Donald McIntyre sold to a collector in London for a strong £4,600 (one of several works by this artist sold throughout the year).
From the aesthetic to the functional now as we glance back at some noteworthy results in the jewellery and watches department. Two rings shone in particular, one mounted with a beautiful and large cornflower blue sapphire made £7,800 and another mounted with two considerable diamonds soared to £8,000 despite each diamond being riddled with carbon flaws. A local lady was very lucky this Christmas as she was (presumably!) gifted an 18ct white gold Cartier wristwatch, bought at the pre Christmas sale for £4,500.
Despite the constant murmurings that ‘traditional furniture is not selling’ and ‘no one has the room for these big bits of furniture anymore’, around 2,000 pieces of furniture were sold through Adam Partridge Auctioneers in 2012. Either there is a growing trend for expensive firewood or these murmurings are mere hearsay. It is doubtful that the London buyer of a carved oak bed in the sale uses it for anything other than enjoying a regal night’s sleep after bidding £4,800 earlier in the year.
Another remarkable result came in a smaller form; £6,800 for a pair of early Moorcroft cornflower pattern vases confirming that the market has never been stronger for works by the ‘Potter to HM the Queen’, much to the delight of a Welsh collector who consigned his collection towards the end of 2012, netting over £15,000.
Now the largest saleroom in the North West, not forgetting additional rooms in Liverpool, items are consigned from the farthest reaches of the UK; a Chinese jade snuff bottle from the Shetland Isles (£720) and a Narwhal tusk from the South (£2,900) to name but a few. Many items however are found right on the doorstep of the saleroom, or rather the hallway of a local house; a WWI period Triumph motorcycle and sidecar was arduously taken from the small hallway where it had been for many years and sold to a Dutch buyer for £9,000. This just one of around 20,000 sold in 2012, displaying the successful and continuing expansion of Adam Partridge Auctioneers. 2013 promises to be even better, starting with a sale on 31st January in which one of the highlights will be a fascinating and rare collection of 18th and 19th century fencing related items.
Free valuations every Monday from 9.30-12.30 and 5.30-7.30 at The Cheshire Saleroom and every Wednesday at The Liverpool Saleroom.
Full calendar for forthcoming sales is available through the website. Specialist sales will be held throughout the year and include Judaica and Northern Art (7th March), Militaria, Medals and Sporting (18th April and 26th September), Asian Art (30th May and 30th October), Scientific and Musical Instruments (11th July), and Toys, Wines and Spirits (12th December).
Please contact the office for any additional information, on 01625 431 788.