Previous News - Hatpins, Tunbridgeware, Hummel figures caddy spoons, vinaigrette's all find eager buyers and top prices in our July sale


Hatpins, Tunbridgeware, Hummel figures caddy spoons, vinaigrettes all find eager buyers and top prices.

A Rainham lady’s collection of precious gold and silver antique hatpins pricked buyers into action in the July Two Day Sale at The Canterbury Auction Galleries. Every one of the several hundred pins, offered in 14 lots, found buyers eager to add to their own collections, raising a total of almost £15,000.

For years her late husband, a retired headmaster, had collected antique pottery tobacco jars, a collection which was dispersed at The Canterbury Auction Galleries in 2010. But prices of hatpins far outstripped anything he had owned.

The most valuable proved to be a small group of late 19th Century Japanese pins which overturned a presale estimate of £200-300 to sell for £4,400. The group included one “shibyama” pin, the finial inlaid with wisteria set with mother of pearl and semi-precious hard stones; a “Satsuma” button pin decorated with birds on blossom; a further 10 “Satsuma” mounted hat pins and a selection of ivory, bone, seed and leather mounted examples which added an exotic touch to the Victorian fascination for anything connected to the orient. They were purchased by a Canterbury collector.

A George V silver and enamel moth pattern pin, the finial enamelled in blue, turquoise and green, sold with four other silver enamel mounted butterfly examples in the manner of Charles Horner, and 10 others with finials modelled as a bird, bee and spider and other naturalist subjects sold to an Essex collector for £1,400 against an estimate of £150-200.

Collectors’ items and silver sold well in the sale in which 30 lots sold for more than £1,000. Almost 200 commission bids were received from as far afield as Australia, the U.S. Italy, Norway, France, Belgium and Ireland, while 69 telephone bidders were in such countries as Hong Kong, Israel, the Netherlands, France and Belgium. Interestingly, they were all mostly underbidders in the lots they contested. Internet-registered bidders numbered 460, who purchased 116 lots.

A private collection of Victorian Tunbridgeware caused much excitement both in the saleroom and on the Internet, raising a total of £8,460. Again, the collection was 100% sold, the most valuable lot proving to be an octagonal work with domed lid box in the manner of Robert Russell. It sold to a Harrogate commission bidder for £1,700 against an estimate of £250-350.

A late Victorian rectangular jewel cabinet, the top inlaid with a view of the historic Tunbridge Wells landmark Eridge Castle, seat of the Marquess of Abergavenny, sold to a West Sussex collelctor for £860, another multiple of its estimate. The front of the box, which was fitted with four interior drawers, was also inlaid with a view of an unknown house.

In ceramics, a locally formed collection of Hummel figures, the endearing, rosy cheeked girls and boys made famous by the Franciscan Sister Maria who designed them for the Germany Goebels ceramics factory, sold for a total of £720. All five lots, comprising some 61 figures, were purchased by the same avid local collector.

A private vendor from the Isle of Sheppey was pleasantly surprised when his Doulton Lambeth vase by George Tinworth sold to a Newcastle-on-Tyne bidder on the Internet for £1,700. Incised with a scrolled seaweed design and with winged mythical beast handles, it had been estimated at £500-700.

Among continental ceramics, two circular Vienna porcelain plaques decorated in coloured enamels by Jager after paintings by respectively Benjamin Vautier (1829-1898) and Franz Von Deffregger (1835-1921) sold to a Brighton dealer for a total of £2,950. One scene titled “Tanzpause” (Dance Room), showed a man toasting a group of young women dancers with musicians and figures in the background, while the other, titled “Ankunft Am Tanzboden” (Upon Arrival at the Dance Floor), showed dancers in Tyrolean costume greeting fellow dancers. From a Wingham home, each had retained its square walnut frame.

In silver, a collection of caddy spoons, vinaigrettes and snuff boxes sent for sale by from a North Kent home sold for a total just short of £5,000. Notable here was a Victorian “Castle Top” vinaigrette, the lid cast with a view of Windsor Castle within cast floral and leaf pattern borders. By famed maker Nathaniel Mills, and assayed in Birmingham in 1844, it had retained its maroon leather covered case and sold to a Broadstairs private buyer for £1,100.

Jewellery was contested eagerly, producing some of the top lots in the sale. A pair of 1930s diamond set flowerhead pattern earrings of approximately 4.4cts contained in red leather covered case marked Harrods, London was sent for sale from the capital and sold to a local private buyer for £6,000.

A 1950s platinum mounted diamond crossover ring set with two brilliant cut stones each approximately 1.25ct sold to the London trade for £4,600, the same price being paid for a 1950s solitaire diamond ring, the brilliant cut stone weighing approximately 2.5cts. Brought in to one of the saleroom’s free Friday valuation mornings, the ring was purchased by a private buyer from Deal.

A 1920s diamond and aquamarine set three stone ring, the central emerald cut diamond approximately 1.5ct shouldered by two trap cut aquamarines, each approximately .75ct, from a local estate sold to a Scottish buyer for £1,250.

Among objects of vertu, a good 19th century Continental two colour gold, guilloche enamel and seed pearl set bodkin case, the cover enamelled with a full length portrait of a young girl carrying a tambourine, sold to a West Kent private buyer for £2,500 and a George V lady’s crocodile leather dressing case containing 20 9ct gold topped, backed and handled fitments by C. D., London, 1918 and a matching watch case containing a Goliath pocket watch, manicure set and journal, sold to the Surrey trade for £2,400.

A Chinese brown patinated bronze model of a mythical beast, dating from the Ming period and measuring just 4.75ins (121mm) high, taken in at a saleroom valuation day at the Cranbrook office of Lambeth and Foster estate agents, sold to a Guernsey collector for £1,050.

High prices were also recorded in the picture section of the sale. Top lot was an historic genre oil on canvas by Francis Sydney Muschamp (1851-1929) titled “Enid - Then breaking his Command of Silence given She told him all that Earl Limours had said.”. It showed a warrior raising himself from his bed with the fearful maiden bending to address him, a scene signed and dated 1895. The picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy 1895 with artist’s address given as 18 Goldhirst Terrace, South Hampstead, and it was sold with a copy of original receipt from William Kedge, Picture Dealer, Print Seller and Frame Maker, 337 The Strand, London, dated February 11th 1896, with a purchase price of 30 Guineas. Sold by the same Margate family as had purchased it, it was purchased by a U.S. buyer for £3,000.

A watercolour by David Cox (1783-1859) showing a wooded valley with gnarled tree to the foreground and cattle in meadow in the middle distance, signed and dated 1856, was sent for sale by a Deal vendor and sold to a UK buyer bidding on the Internet for £1,100.

An early 19th century needlework sampler depicting a portrait of Admiral Vernon, victor of the Battle of Portobello, together with depictions of ships, castles and religious texts within a freely running border of flowers, by Sarah C. Bingham Fright, 1837, sold to a Norfolk buyer for £980. It was offered with an early 19th century sampler worked with the Lord’s Prayer by Susanna Hookeys, June 30th 1823.

The furniture section produced the highest price of the two days. From a Canterbury estate, a George IV mahogany library table estimated at £350-500 to reflect its faded by the sun and damaged throughout condition, sold to the London trade for £6,800. The table had a top inset with red leather and adjustable writing slide and was fitted with three frieze drawers to either side, while the left hand edge had a slide. It stood on turned and tapered legs with brass caps and castors.

A good Edwardian mahogany “Carlton House” desk, the whole inlaid with rosewood bandings and chequered stringings, and a writing slide inlaid in green tooled leather sold to a Canterbury buyer for £2,200 and an Irish Victorian mahogany extending dining table on bold cabriole legs with five extra leaves capable of extending it to almost 15 feet, sold to a Cheshire trade buyer for £2,000. It had been sent for sale from Ireland where it had failed to sell at auction.

In clocks, a Lincolnshire collector beat local opposition to buy an early Victorian rosewood and brass inlaid drop dial wall clock by I. Bate of Whitby, who is recorded as working there from 1851-1866. The clock had a painted dial and eight day fusee movement and an octagonal front inlaid with brass floral ornament. It sold for £600, while a late 18th century oak longcase clock by James Warren of Canterbury, sent for sale from a Faversham estate sold to a Canterbury buyer bidding on the Internet for £480. The clock had an arched painted dial with subsidiary seconds dial and date aperture and a plain oak case, probably by Goulden of Canterbury. James Warren is recorded as working in Canterbury from 1757-1793.

In collectors’ items, hopes that the 1948 London Olympic torch that was carried from Dover to Wembley via Canterbury would stay in the area were dashed when it was purchased by a collector from Manchester. Royal Marine Eric Dance, stationed at Deal Barracks, was one of 48 runners who carried the torch into Canterbury through streets lined with cheering crowds of 50,000, police cars in front and a convoy of supporters behind.

He subsequently gave it to Smugglers’ Cove landlady Nellie Wakefield to pay off his bar bill and she in turn gave it to a neighbour who had helped her in her old age with gardening and other odd jobs. It sold for £1,100.

And the perfect pastime while rain stops play, a “Ku-Zu Oval Cricket” board game with painted lead figures and full instructions gave an unexpected windfall to its owner who took it along to a recent saleroom valuation day at Rainham. Estimated at £80-120, it sold for £440 to an enthusiast from cricketing county Hampshire, who was bidding on the Internet.

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