Christmas Gifts Galore for Buyers at The Canterbury Auction Galleries


Christmas gifts galore tempted bidders in the December two-day sale at The Canterbury Auction Galleries – even if buyers were treating themselves.

Luckiest lady was the recipient of a magnificent emerald and diamond piece of jewellery capable of being worn as either a brooch, pendant or hair slide, which doubled its estimate to sell for £14,000, while a keen sporting shot paid £10,000 for a pair of shotguns from a limited edition of 100.

The former was the most wanted in a dazzling array of pre-owned and loved jewellery. Dating from the early 20th century, and retailed originally by Dublin-based Jeweller to the Irish Court, Edmond Johnson, 94 Grafton Street, the 18ct yellow gold-set piece was modelled appropriately as a star with faceted emeralds weighing approximately 7ct and 4ct of cushion-cut diamonds. The piece had retained its fitted case containing an18ct gold hair slide with tremblant screw fitting.

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Purchased as another Christmas present was an early 20th century emerald and diamond ring, the centre faceted emerald of approximately 2ct surrounded by small diamonds set in 18ct white gold. From a local vendor, it sold for £3,600 against an estimate of £800-1,000.


Elsewhere in jewellery, a 20th century three stone ring set in 18ct gold set with a centre sapphire of approximately 2ct, flanked by two brilliant cut white diamonds, each approximately .50ct, sold to the South of England trade for £2,900, with another buyer paying £2,400, considerably above estimate, for a late 19th century or early 20th century faceted aquamarine pendant set in a decorative mount with a diamond-set bale.

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The shotguns, meanwhile, were a sequentially numbered pair of 12-bore over and under limited edition model silver pigeon guns by the Italian makers Beretta, described as “originally purchased as an investment and in immaculate unfired condition, a rare opportunity”.


Numbered respectively 63 and 64 from an edition of 100, they were commissioned to celebrate the 1908-2008 centenary of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). Each had 30ins blued steeled barrels with elevated top rib and actions decorated with engraved game scenes, signed by the artist Bottege C. Giolanelli. Each was housed in its original fitted Beretta case that retained their original accessories.

 There was also a great deal to appeal to collectors, the most determined among them being the Netherlands buyer who fought off strong competition for a collection of 19th and early 20th century woodwind instruments with a guide price of £300-400. The collection comprised Baroque single key flutes by Weemaels, Bruxelles, and Folkers & Powell Baroque; an Oxford single key flute; 10 other flutes and a small number of instrument parts. They came from a local estate and sold for £15,000.

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Another lot selling for a multiple of the estimate was a group of coins that included eight early Chinese silver examples sent for sale from a Kent home. They were recognised by a Chinese buyer who paid £7,400 to secure and return them to his country. The group also included a Victoria 1895 Crown, a Victoria 1840 Rupee, and nine others which were originally found by the vendor in a dressing table drawer.


Also arousing considerable interest was a Chinese hardstone peach-shaped cup, carved with a dragon handle and flowering stems. Measuring 6.5ins (16.5cm) wide x 2.5ins (6.4cm) high, with carved hardwood stand, the cup was consigned by a local vendor and sold to a Kent collector for £3,500, against an estimate of £150-200 reflecting its damaged and discoloured condition.


Another strong performer was the Waterloo Medal awarded on June 18, 1815 to Assistant Surgeon J A Alexander R.N. Brit.Reg. (The Scots Greys). Retaining its original crimson ribbon, it sold to a North West trader buyer for £6,600 against an estimate of £1,000-1,500.


There are multiple ways to consign antiques, works of art and collectors’ items to the Canterbury saleroom. Taking advantage of one of the free Friday morning valuation days, one local vendor was delighted with the above estimate £2,600 bid for their early 19th century French ormolu 'Pendule d'Officier' mantle clock, by F.S. Antoine Konner, Bruchsall.

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The handsome clock had a 4.25ins diameter white enamel dial with Roman hour numerals and Arabic quarter numerals, a concentric date ring with gilt pierced and engraved hands and blue steeled hands for date and alarm set. The eight-day quarter striking and repeating movement, with balance wheel escapement and alarm striking on two bells, was contained in a case decorated with a coiled serpent handle, the sides applied with oak leaves and foliate bosses. It had been purchased from a London saleroom in June 2007.

 The clock was purchased by a private buyer in the Netherlands for an above estimate £2,600, the same sum being paid by a London collector using the, the saleroom’s own live bidding platform, for an English silk work picture dating from circa 1660, that had been consigned following an exchange of emails and a valuation made from digital photographs, The framed and glazed picture measuring 9.5ins x 14.75ins depicted the Old Testament scene from the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael by Abraham, worked in satin stitch with applied coil and laid silver thread.


In furniture, of particular local significance was a good Victorian mahogany Gothic sideboard, designed in 1869 for the Granville Hotel, East Cliff, Ramsgate, Kent, by Edward Welby Pugin (1834-1875), son of the architect who designed the Palace of Westminster.

The sideboard’s mirrored back with castellated frieze and triple cluster columns was surmounted by standing figures of saints, each holding a shield, while the base had a frieze drawer and cupboards enclosed by a pair of panelled doors with overlaid Gothic tracery flanked by moulded columns. It measured 47.5ins wide x 22ins deep x 70ins high and was purchased by the vendor from the Granville Hotel at the time of its renovation in the 1980s. Happily, it will be staying in the area, its private buyer paying an on estimate £1,500 to take it home.


Entries of good quality furniture, antiques, works of art, jewellery and collectors’ items are invited for the first two-day weekend fine art sale on the New Year at The Canterbury Auction Galleries, which is on February 5-6. Free saleroom valuations can be arranged, either in person with an appointment or by email, accompanied by good quality images. Valuations for probate purposes are carried out under strict Covid safety conditions. For further information, please contact the saleroom, telephone 01277 763337 or



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