1. London delft wine bottle – £4800
Dated and inscribed wares are among the most desirable of all 17th century English delftwares. This 7in (18cm) dated London delft bottle for Claret is dated 1642 – the year of the opening salvos of the English Civil War.
It has a paper label for the Robert Hall Warren Collection – source of much of the English delft in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and the subject of a 1968 reference book – and was consigned from the estate of his descendants Christopher and Rosemary Warren.
It had an estimate of £1500-2500 at the live online sale on May 19. The hammer price was £4800.
2. Silk robe by Balenciaga – £360
This couture gown, sold for £360 at Sworders on May 19, was once owned by the woman who hosted the wedding of Wallis Simpson and the Duke of Windsor. The electric blue and gold silk long robe by Balenciaga belonged to Fern Lombard Bedaux (1892-1972), the daughter of Michigan lawyer who became the second wife of French-American millionaire Charles Eugène Bedaux (1886-1944).
The couple bought the 16th century Château de Candé, near Tours in France in 1927 and had completed the renovations in time to host the wedding of the former king on June 3, 1937. Bedaux, who enjoyed connections with the Nazi high command, later arranged the royal couple's infamous visit to the Third Reich.
Charles Bedaux committed suicide while awaiting charges of treason in the US and the château was virtually abandoned after the war, but in the 1950s Fern sought to restore the family name and left the property in her will to the French Republic.
Much of Madame Lombard Bedaux's collection of couture clothing is now held at the V&A and the Louvre Paris. The robe, that has the label for 'Balenciaga, 10 Avenue George V, Paris', dates from around 1965. It was inherited by Lombard Bedaux's late niece Elizabeth Hanley and came for sale from her estate with an estimate of £250-300 as part of a live online sale of Jewellery, Couture & Handbags.
3. Henri Lioret phonograph – £17,500
The Parisian clockmaker Henri Lioret (1848-1938) entered the market for ‘talking machines’ in an unconventional fashion – his first patented device of 1893 was a talking doll.
The celluloid cylinders he created for the toy proved more robust than others on the market and could be easily duplicated by the moulding process. By the late 1890s he was recording and manufacturing several sizes of musical cylinders (some 1400 titles in all) to be played on a range of patented clockwork phonographs he called Lioretgraphs.
Perhaps the most ambitious of these was Le Lioret No. 3, a nickel-plated brass phonograph on a wooden tripod that was driven by weights. A contemporary engraving showing Lioret demonstrating its merits to an audience at the Trocadéro auditorium c.1898 is perhaps better known that the instrument itself.
Relatively few have survived. The example offered for sale at technology specialists Auction Team Breker on May 16 came with its original reproducer and horn plus three celluloid that confirmed it was in ‘playing condition’.
Estimated at €7000-9000, it sold to a phone bidder at €20,000 (£17,500).
4. German imperial snuff box – £35,600
This German rococo revival two-colour gold enamel and paste snuff box was a gift from Wilhelm II to a loyal courtier. Made by the Hanau goldsmiths Carl Weishaupt & Söhne, c.1897, to the centre is an ivory miniature of the emperor wearing military uniform and various insignia.
An engraved dedication inside the lid reads Kaiser Wilhelm II an Oberstallmeister Adolf von Holzing Centenarfeier Berlin 1897.
Adolf von Holzing (1823-1905) was Master of Horse to the Grand Dukes of Baden and husband to Countess Amélie von Berstett, chief stewardess to Grand Duchess Luise of Baden. She brought the castle and manor house of Bollschweil into the marriage.
The royal gift of a gold box probably marked the so-called Centenarfeier, a centenary celebration held from March 21-23, 1897 marking the ‘100th birthday’ of Wilhelm I who had died in 1888.
It came for sale at Berlin auctioneer Lempertz by descent with an estimate of €6000-8000 but did rather better, bringing €40,000 (£35,600) on May 16.
5. Banksy screenprint
Authenticated Banksy (b.1974) screenprints rank among the strongest subsets of the modern and contemporary prints market. This 2ft 4in x 20in (70 x 50cm) copy of Toxic Mary published by Pictures on Walls, London in 2003, is signed and numbered in pencil from the edition of 150.
It has been authenticated by the Bansky ‘watchdog’ Pest Control Office and a certificate will be issued by them to the buyer who bid £22,000 (estimate £15,000-20,000) at London’s Forum Auctions on May 19.