Two Day Sale - 11th and 12th June08/06/22
Leading the oriental section of the two-day sale is a well known Chinese School view of ships and junks in Hong Kong harbour with the Hongs, the trading centres of the burgeoning port, in the background. Measuring 7.75ins x 10.75ins, in a white painted and glazed frame, it was found in the roof space of the Kent building where the late owner’s offices were situated. It is estimated at £1,000-1,500.
Fine art from closer to home includes two oils by “Cow Cooper”, the Canterbury-born Thomas Sidney Cooper (1803-1902) who earned the nickname from his pictures of cattle and sheep. Cases in point are "Cattle at Pasture", the two beasts and three recumbent sheep standing in a Kentish landscape, lit by a moody sky in the background, 16ins x 20ins, signed and dated 1860, and "A Group of Sheep", the small recumbent flock in a similar landscape beneath a stormy sky, 19.5ins x 24ins, signed and dated 1869. Both are sent for sale by a local owner and are estimated at £3,000-5,000 and £2,000-3,000 respectively.
From the same owner as the Chinese School painting is a small collection of coins, pick of which is a Victoria Gothic Crown, which dates from 1847 and, due to its condition, is valued at £2,000-2,500. It was purchased by its late owner from The Canterbury Auction Galleries in 2018.
The two-day sale opens on the Saturday with a small section of good silver from a deceased estate, the undoubted pick of which is a superb William III Britannia silver porringer, possibly by Robert Peake, (London 1699, 10.2ozs), with bead mounted scroll handles, the body with reeded and fluted ornament and stamped with foliate decoration and a raised oval cartouche engraved with initials "S. I. M." within a scroll border. Engraved "E S" to the base, it is estimated at £1,200-1,600.
Leaping from the 17th to the 20th century, a beautifully made scroll box is being sold by the silversmith who created it. James Williams Powell studied at Medway College of Art and Design. In 1986, he entered a competition to design a scroll box, which won. His prize was 1kg (32ozs) of silver which he used to make the box, subsequently assayed with the Medway College of Art mark. The box front, lid and back are incised with concentric circles and lined in wood, and it measures 7.5ins x 2.375ins x 2.5ins high (estimate £800-1,200). Williams Powell and his business partner, Jonathan Charles Beeby, who both studied at Medway, specialise in making bespoke silver models, trophies and table centrepieces.
A highlight in the usual entry of excellent antique and contemporary jewellery the Canterbury sales attract is an 18 carat gold sapphire and diamond ring, which was inherited by its vendor. The Sri Lankan (Ceylon) central stone of approximately 12 carats exhibits a rare and highly desirable natural and untreated cornflower blue colour and is surrounded by approximately 22 small diamonds. It is estimated at £5,000-7,000.
A fine 19th century burr walnut, ebonised and gilt brass-mounted bracket clock with matching wall bracket by Thomas Mercer, London and St Albans, is one of the highlights of the clock section, estimated at £4,000-6,000. The eight-inch arched brass dial with silvered foliate spandrels has silent/chime, regulation, and eight bells/Westminster chime dials in the arch, a substantial eight-day, three-train movement with anchor escapement, striking and chiming on eight bells and a gong, and is contained in a walnut and ebonised case with cushion moulded top set with flaming urn finials and with caryatid and floral mounts, lion mask ring handles and radiant mask side frets.
Competing for top honours is a Victorian rosewood four-glass mantel clock by renowned London maker John Frodsham, Green Church Street, the 3.75ins silvered dial engraved with shell and foliate scroll spandrels and separate seconds dial, the twin chain fusee movement with English level platform escapement, striking on a coiled gong, contained in a rosewood case with bevelled glass top and side panels and gilt handle cast with mythological creature heads, the whole standing on a plinth base with four gilt flat bun feet. It is estimated at £3,000-4,000, while for horologists with a love of Liberty & Co’s Tudric designs, a hammered pewter arched top mantel clock with 3.25ins copper chapter ring and blue/green enamel centre dial, and a French movement is estimated at £500-700.
The latter was found on a house call along with a group of Lalique glass collectors’ items: a St Christopher clear and frosted car mascot, designed by René Lalique, (£400-600); a “Lys” opalescent bowl on four stem feet, etched 'R Lalique, France’ (£350-500) and, to be sold as one lot, four Lalique models: a miniature "Sanglier" car mascot, a “Deer" paperweight, an "Owl", and an ashtray modelled with two swans, all with etched marks, and one other frosted and clear glass polygon paperweight moulded with a stag's head (£200-300).
Time-keeping on a smaller scale is an “Air-King” Oyster Perpetual wristwatch, a much sought after model in the current market hot for vintage Rolexes. The Model No 5500 watch, has a 33mm diameter silvered dial with silver baton numerals, and original stainless steel flip lock bracelet. To be sold with some original papers, it was purchased new by the vendor, now deceased, and is being sold by his executors with an estimate of £800-1,000.
The brothers Luigi and Angiolo Falcini, the sons of Gaetano Giuseppe Falcini, a Florentine cabinet maker (d. 1846), were restorers and creators of Renaissance and Baroque marquetry, who, in the 1820s, became renowned for their superbly executed and elaborate use of inlaid woods. They opened workshops in the via del Fosso, Florence, in the late 1820s and in 1836, their first exhibit at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts, a marquetry table, won a prize and was purchased subsequently by Grand Duke Leopold II for his private collection. The firm continued to exhibit at the Academy throughout the 1840s and completed important commissions for a number of prominent patrons, among whom were Prince Anatole Demidoff, the Duchess of Castigliano and Countess Borghese. After the death of Angiolo in 1850, Luigi was joined by his two sons, Alessandro and Cesare, who continued the business until 1882. The Falcini brothers also exhibited at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 to great acclaim.
Attributed to the workshops is a stunning ebonised and marquetry centre table, the rectangular top inlaid elaborately with various woods and mother of pearl with floral sprays, serpents and leaf scroll ornament. Beneath are two frieze drawers with cushion fronts and the table stands on spiral reeded legs with bun feet, the shaped stretcher carved with leaf scroll ornament. It measures 60ins wide x 31ins deep x 29.5ins high and is estimated at £6,000-8,000.
The 1,000-plus entries in the sale will be available for public viewing on Wednesday, June 8th (12pm to 5pm), Thursday, June 9th (12pm to 7pm) and Friday, June 10th (12pm to 5pm), with no viewing on sale days.
The sale will be conducted online only, with auctioneers on the rostrum executing absentee bids and taking other bids from registered bidders on the telephone and over the internet in real-time, starting at 10am. Printed catalogues are available from the auctioneer (price £10 including p&p), and can also be seen online at thegalleries.live (www.thegalleries.live), the saleroom’s own free to use in-house bidding platform and at www.thecanterburyauctiongalleries.com.
For further information, please contact the auctioneers, telephone 01227 763337.