June Auction - The Wittenberg Collection09/06/16
Clem Wittenberg bought his first antique – a Victorian writing slope – aged seven. It cost him sixpence. Since then, the former De Beers diamond valuer has amassed the eclectic and joyous collection of medieval and early English and continental antiques and works of art offered here, which previously graced his early Tudor home in East Sussex. We are thrilled and honoured to have been chosen by him to disperse the collection.
Lot 1115: A late 16th Century Cologne salt glazed stoneware Bellarmine jug dated 1594 - Estimated at £1500-2000
The son of a Dutch Resistance fighter who met and married his English wife while serving with the Dutch Army stationed in Aldershot, Clem Wittenberg was born there in 1948. He left school at 18 with a yearning to travel and fortuitously wrote to De Beers to ask for a job. He retired in 2004 after 37 years with the company, during which time his duties as an appraiser and valuer of rough diamonds took him all around the world.
Lot 1335: A 17th/18th Century horn powder flask engraved with stylised motifs and worded "Robert Owen, His Horn" - Estimated at £300-500
His work and the opportunity to appreciate the cultures of the various countries he visited only added fuel to his love of collecting, while the acquisition of his historic timbered home with his wife, Christine, who has an eye for spotting the odd treasure, presented the couple with the ideal setting in which to place the historic objects that fascinate them both so much.
Lot 1344: A 17th Century "North Country" oak joined armchair - Estimated at £1000-1500
With two children who are both interested in the history of the objects in their parents’ collection, but not in actually physically owning them, Mr and Mrs Wittenberg have decided, somewhat reluctantly, that now is the appropriate time for them to be sold to give others the opportunity to own and enjoy them as much as they have.
Lot 1284: A mid 17th Century stumpwork picture depicting two ladies in a central oval cartouche - Estimated at £4000-6000
The collection comprises some 300 lots and includes Flemish, Dutch and English paintings; Tudor and later wood carvings; English and Dutch Delft; an important group of medieval and later decorated tiles; early furniture and metalwork; armour and rare collectors’ items.
Lot 1097: A late 17th / early 18th Century English Delft blue and white charger - Estimated at £2500-3000
Each of the pieces holds a special significance for the family during the time they have been in their custody, making it difficult to single out favourites. However, a late 15th century German carved limewood figure of St. George and the Dragon, carved perhaps under the influence of Tilman Riemenschnieder (circa 1460-1531) [Lot 1247] has always been particularly enjoyed, while also worthy of mention is a fine and rare 17th century English carved oak bust of a Saracen's head, possibly from a tavern or coffee house [Lot 1254]. To the delight of all concerned, its features are identical to those of the Wittenbergs’ former neighbour.
Lot 1247: A late 15th Century German (Thuringia) carved limewood figure of St. George and the Dragon - Estimated at £8000-10,0000
Further Highlights of this collection include...
Lot 1070: A 17th Century English Shaft-and-Globe glass wine bottle, 9ins high (circa 1670) - Estimated at £800 -1200
Lot 1119: Four rare inscribed Medieval encaustic tiles - Estimated at £3000-5000
Lot 1272: A 14th/15th Century English carved sandstone figure of a bear supporting a shield - Estimated at £2000-3000
Lot 1277: A late 15th Century English limestone octagonal font - Estimated at £3000-5000
Lot 1297: Follower of Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) - Oil painting - Shoulder length portrait of Charles I - Estimated at £4000-5000
Lot 1341: A pair of late 19th/early 20th Century miniature Gothic suits of armour - Estimated at £3000-4000
Full Descriptions of the items to be published in our catalogue.
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