Previous News - Indian Watercolours steal the limelight at The Canterbury Auction Galleries


Poor condition fails to deter London buyer who paid £21,000 for cartoons of East India cadet’s career.

A pair of Indian School watercolours stole the show in the Two Day sale at The Canterbury Auction Galleries when they overturned their estimate to sell for £21,000.

The two satirical paintings based on the images in the book ”Tom Raw The Griffin”, a poem by Sir Charles D’Oyly (1781-1845) had been sent for sale by a local private collector and they were purchased by a specialist London dealer prepared to accept their poor condition.

D’Oyly was a civil servant and an amateur painter who painted numerous topographical views which are a fascinating record of the earliest days of British involvement in India. He was born there while his father was serving with the East India Company. After being educated in England, he returned aged 17 to serve in number of government offices.

His paintings were published in a large folio size book entitled “Views of Calcutta and its Environs”. His poem of the adventures of a cadet in the East India Company's service, was published in 1828. A “griffin” was someone new to India and unaccustomed to its ways.

No newcomer to the auction scene, Damien Hirst (born 1965), now reputed to be the richest living artist in the UK, was represented by a lithographic print of one of his famous spot paintings titled "Ethidium Bromide Aqueous Solution". Signed by the artist in the margin, it sold to a local private collector bidding in the room for £4,000.

In contrast, an oil on canvas of a mountain landscape with figures, dogs and horse-drawn carts on a tree lined path with buildings and mountains in the distance was painted by a Dutch School artist in the manner of Philips Wouwerman (1619-1668). It sold to a London gallery bidding on the telephone for £3,500.

Nearest contender for top honours among the 1,000-plus lot sale was an imposing George VI bowling trophy in nine carat gold, made by Birmingham silversmiths S. Blackensee & Sons. It weighed 820 grammes and was assayed (tested) in 1937. It sold to the London trade on behalf of a local bowling club for £6,500 to a London dealer.

A gentleman’s 18 carat gold cigarette case, assayed in Birmingham in 1946 and weighing 220 grammes, sold to a Surrey dealer for £3,200, while equally desirable was a modern pear-cut fancy light orange/yellow diamond dress ring, the certified 1.18ct stone surrounded by a border of 13 small brilliant-cut diamonds, which sold to a Kent jeweller for £3,800.

Close behind was a 1960s gentleman’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual "Submariner" wristwatch, with black dial and stainless steel case and bracelet, complete with original green leather cloth covered box, which exceeded its estimate to sell to a local private collector bidding the room for £3,700.

Pick of a number of bracket and longcase clocks was a late Victorian ebonised and brass-mounted mantel clock with brass dial showing a calendar and phases of the moon in the arch by J. & H. Jump, 1a Old Bond Street, London. It sold to a Sussex internet bidder for an above estimate £3,800. Joseph and Henry Jump are recorded as working London from 1875 to 1881.

Most valuable in the furniture section, meanwhile, was a good late 17th or early 18th century Dutch rosewood and ebony cabinet on stand, which sold for £4,600. The upper part of the imposing piece had a moulded overhanging cornice with fluted frieze and a floral carved central panel. A pair of raised panelled cupboard doors had floral and leaf-carved central panels flanked by split turned columns with Corinthian capitols, and one long drawer.

The stand, meanwhile, had an attractive shaped and carved apron and stood on heavy bulbous turned supports with H-pattern stretcher and heavy turned bun feet. It was sent for sale by a London private seller and purchased by a local private collector for his new home in the Netherlands.

Our next Two Day sale will be held on October 7-8.

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