With so many sales postponed earlier in the year, the UK’s regional auction houses have emerged from lockdown keen to sell from the store cupboards deep into the summer ‘holidays’. Dealers are also gearing up to make it a busy August.
As indicated by the wealth of objects pictured across the following pages, the August 2020 calendar promises to be a lot busier than usual. And with much of the target audience choosing to staycation, it might just prove a good time to sell.
Be my valentine
There was a time when ‘sailor’s valentines’ such as this (pictured top) were thought to have been fashioned by talented lovesick seafarers while aboard ship.
It is now understood that they were made by artisans in the West Indies as part of a thriving 19th century cottage industry. Many were bought by British and American sailors as souvenirs or as gifts for loved ones.
This relatively large example measuring 15in (37cm) across is estimated at £300-500 in the August 6 auction at West Sussex saleroom Toovey’s.
This rare early 19th century porcelain circular warming plate – offered by Bamfords as part of a Gentleman’s Library sale in Derby on August 6-7 – is bat printed to the centre with the coat of arms of the British East India Company.
It might have been used on board one of the East Indiamen although a later 19th century ink manuscript collector’s label to verso reads: These pot plates were used formerly in India by each person, so that their Roast Beef should not be cooled by the draught from the Punkah c.1830.
By this time the Company, which had held the monopoly of trade with the east since 1600, was under attack from the supporters of free trade, and its sole trading rights would soon be revoked by the British Parliament.
The estimate for this dish, which has some damage, is £60-100.
The Bonhams sale of Decorative Arts and Design on August 11 includes a number of 1930s Lenci earthenware figures. This 12in (30cm) example modelled as a young nude in heeled shoes laying on a checked ground holding an apple is titled Nudino Disteso. It is signed in the mould for designer Elena König Scavini (1886-1974).
A ‘Jo Siffert’ Autavia Heuer wristwatch, c.1970, ref 1163T is estimated at £4000-6000 in the Peter Wilson auction in Nantwich, Cheshire, on August 6.
The racing driver Jo Siffert – who won both the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in a Porsche 907 in 1968 – first wore a white ‘panda’ dial Autavia in 1969. His career was brought to a tragic end in 1971 when his BRM crashed at Brands Hatch and caught fire.
An impressive pair of 19th century stone urns (one shown here) is among the items Lindsay Burns is selling from a local country house on August 4-5.
The earliest parts of Bardmony House in Alyth, Perthshire date back to the 15th century. It was later home to the Napier family – descended from Admiral Sir Charles Napier whose 60 years in the Royal Navy included service from the War of 1812 to the Crimean War.
The property was sold in June for the only time in 400 years. The urns – which were placed either side of the front entrance – stand on plinths, formed in three sections, and measure 4ft 11½in high. Estimate £4000-6000.
The Modern & Contemporary Art Sale at Tennants includes collection of works belonging to Reverend Dr Richard Davey, an Anglican chaplain and senior research fellow in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University, whose research focuses on the depiction of faith in art.
Among the notable items is this 12 x 6in (30 x 15cm) pen and ink Crucifixion of Christ by Bombay Progressive artist Francis Newton Souza signed and dated 1952. With a provenance to London’s England & Co gallery, the estimate is £4000-6000. Bidding at this timed sale closes on August 6.
The furniture sale at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on August 11 includes these two late 19th or early century ‘industrial’ timepieces. Similar examples of both are pictured in Derek Roberts’ Mystery, Novelty & Fantasy Clocks.
The 18in (46cm) torpedo clock, with an automaton propeller, is probably based on the Whitehead torpedo, the world’s first self-propelled torpedo. The centre is inset with a compass that is signed Radiguet Paris. It is estimated at £8000-12,000.
The 8in (21cm) high chrome and brass diver’s helmet clock includes extra dials flanked by a thermometer and aneroid barometer. With the presentation inscription Morton Eden 25th June 1880 from HE Surtees, it is pitched at £1500-2000.
This charming hand-illustrated stamped envelope is one of 16 featured in the August 8 auction at Horners of Acle, Norfolk. They were sent from New South Wales, Australia, to Bedford in the UK.
Dating from 1899, the watercolour shows a countryside scene with castle and is estimated at £100-150. The recipient was a Mrs R Jarvis of Castle Lodge.
An Edward the Confessor silver penny from the York mint is offered with an estimate of £180-250 at the Tennants Coins and Banknotes Sale on August 19.
Catalogued as in ‘very fine condition’, it was part of the Bishophill I Hoard, a deposit of 300-plus silver pennies laid down in a ceramic crucible, c.1066, in the Bishophill area of York during William the Conqueror’s campaign.
Estimated at £1500-1800, this retro Cartier yellow gold enamel fish pin brooch features in the timed auction held by William George that finishes on August 6.
Philip ‘Pip’ Piper regarded himself as just an “enthusiast” – however, he spent a lifetime collecting jazz recordings and his knowledge of the subject was boundless.
Born in 1926 he discovered jazz in his late teens and quicky established a reputation as a jazz historian and expert on the subject.
Piper’s broad and extensive collection is on offer at Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, in a timed online auction closing on August 9.
Boxes containing over 3800 shellac 78s plus vinyl records and CDs will be sold in more than 250 lots. They include many scarce recordings on the Vocalion and Victor labels plus Brunswick, Columbia, Blue Note and V Discs. Piper’s reference library of jazz related books and ephemera was particularly extensive.
A run of Storyville magazine, offered in the colourful hardback bindings only available for Storyville Club Members, has an estimate of £500-600. It includes the first 48 issues of the magazine that was first published in 1965.
The August 7-8 sale at Great Western Auctions of Glasgow features a Troika wheel lamp, c.1978-79, by Tina Doubleday. It measures 10½in (27cm) to the top of the fitting.
Doubleday worked at Troika in Newlyn for just two years from 1977-79. The firm closed in 1983 after two decades of existence.
A Picturesque Tour of the English Lakes by TH Fielding and J Walton includes 48 hand-coloured aquatint plates and title vignette.
Printed by R Ackermann in 1821, it is estimated at £500- 800 in the August 6 auction at Thomson Roddick in Carlisle.
Toy soldiers from most of the major German makers – Noris, Heyde, Krause, Haffner and Heinrichsen – are represented in the Peter Cowan collection which features at Special Auction Services of Newbury on August 11.
Some of the largest-size figures produced in Germany are available, such as the 70mm scale mounted British Boer War-era officer shown here. Probably depicting General Sir Redvers Buller, the estimate is £250-350.
Noris was the brand name for the Gebruder Heinrich company which was a big rival to the more famous Heyde factory.
This early 20th century pewter biscuit barrel is unmarked but in the style of the Liberty model (No 0194) designed by Archibald Knox for the Tudric range. It has an estimate of £100-150 at Durrants in Beccles on August 7.
This watercolour on buff coloured paper is signed Laura Johnson. It was painted by Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) before she was married in 1903.
Mother and child, 7½ x 6in (19 x15cm) is typical of her style during her early 20s. It is likely to have been completed when she was based in St Quentin, France, in the late 1890s.
It is estimated at £800-1200 at Roseberys London in the Modern & Contemporary British Art auction on August 11.
Among the more unusual lots offered by Charterhouse in Sherborne on August 7 is this late 19th century vinaigrette fashioned from the tooth of the pre-historic shark the megalodon. Mounted in silver, it is estimated at £150-250.
A William and Mary ‘Pacification of Ireland’ silver medal by D Drappentier is estimated at £1000- 1500 at Dreweatts in Donnington Priory, Berkshire, on August 12.
Busts of William and Mary feature on one side of the 2in (5.5cm) coin, with the reverse showing a lion trampling on a hydra while a spaniel fawns submissively at the feet of a lioness. The Latin inscription translates as 'To spare the humble and to subdue the proud' with the date in Roman numerals of 1691.
Typical Wemyss cats are on offer at Lyon & Turnbull’s August 12 Scottish Works of Art & Whisky auction in Edinburgh. This one is estimated at £3000-5000.
Another at the same guide features sponged black on white decoration and typical marks for the factory and Thomas Goode, the London retailer that had exclusive rights to sell Wemyss Ware in England.
The marmalade-coloured example pictured here was decorated by Joe Nekola – the son of Karel who had moved from Bohemia in the 1880s to head the decoration shop at Robert Heron’s Fife Pottery.
This late 19th century silver and gold locket brooch with rose-cut diamond surround has Dutch marks. The estimate in the Online Jewellery auction at Fellows in Birmingham on August 6 is £200-300.
This late Victorian silver-plated spoon warmer modelled as a nautilus shell on a rocky base by the Army & Navy Cooperative Society has a guide of £40-60 at 1818 Auctions of Milnthorpe, Cumbria. The online sale closes on August 16.
A George III silver soup tureen by Charles Boyton, London 1788, is guided at £3000-4000 in a timed online sale at Kent auction house C&T which ends on August 9.
It measures 19in wide x 11½in high (48.5 x 29.5cm).
Estimated at £500-700 in the Dix Noonan Webb August 27 British Tokens, Tickets and Passes auction is this brass halfpenny or medal, 13.82gm, 1800. It shows Shakespeare on one side, while on the other it states This is my work John Gregory Hancock aged 7 years 1800 Industry produceth wealth.
Child prodigy John Gregory Hancock (baptised 1792), of Birmingham, was the son of die sinker John Gregory Hancock (c.1750-1805), but seems to have pre-deceased his father as there is no real trace of him after these prodigious token issues, the last of which are in 1800.
Harris’s Sausages Are The Best according to this late 19th century transfer printed advertising plate made by Wedgwood & Co for the retailer S Fullalove of 61 Farringdon Street, London.
The scene depicts a jockey on a pig who, the inscription tells us, is The Winner of the Pork Sausage Derby. Below is the legend Wholesale London Bridge and Meat Market. It carries hopes of £50-80 at Humbert & Ellis of Towcester on August 6.
A 1937 first ‘Coronation’ edition of the Café Royal Cocktail Book, featuring a rare variant dust jacket with a classic design by Alex Jardine, carries an estimate of £500-600 in Keys’ August 13-14 Books & Ephemera sale.
The book contains a huge collection of cocktail recipes compiled by William J Tarling, who was head bartender at the Café Royal, and president of the then recently formed United Kingdom Bartenders’ Guild. The book contains some of the earliest recipes using tequila and vodka. It was illustrated by Frederic Carter.
The Café Royal, in London’s Regent Street, was founded in 1865 by French wine merchant Daniel Nicholas Thévenon (who anglicised his name to Daniel Nichols). Closed for renovation in 2008, it reopened as a five-star hotel in 2012.
Victor Mee Auctions holds its first Irish Pub Memorabilia & Collectibles sale of the year on August 12. A stand-out lot is this Persse’s Nunns Island Galway Whisky advertising mirror – one of the rarest the firm has offered – that is estimated to sell for €6000-12,000.