Post Sale Report - December 3rd and 4th 2022 Sale


Canterbury Auction Galleries’ December auction saw some fabulous jewellery fetching healthy prices. Perhaps this was not despite the country’s economic situation but because of it. Diamonds are not only a girls’ best friend but the investors’ too.

Top lot in the sale however was a wonderful Chinese porcelain figure of the Standing Guan Yin. The blue and white statue, 20 ins high, was excellent quality but the final bid of £10,000, to a bidder in China, surprised even us.  It seems at the moment the Chinese market is loving these decorative pieces and this was extremely finely painted.

Guan Yin is known as the Goddess of Mercy and statues of her are often placed by front doors to welcome and protect those entering and allowing her to dispense her trademark compassion, good fortune and strength. She is loved by Buddhists worldwide.

Back to those Christmas sparklers. Among the bounty on offer was a flower-head gold ring set with a centre old European cut diamond and surrounded by emeralds, which sold for £2,900. And a double flower-head ring set with 18 diamonds fetched £2,500. Both lucky buyers bought an awful lot of exquisite stones with their bids.

Similarly, a diamond brooch with sunburst of sapphires flanked by yet more diamonds fetched an above-estimate £2,800. And a superb pair of gold earrings set with central yellow diamonds, surrounded by more brilliant-cut white diamonds, fetched £5,500.

The earrings had been bought as a surprise Christmas gift for a lucky recipient. We presumed that a charming gold and enamel brooch of a robin, which achieved £640, was destined to be wrapped in festive paper too...

The chaps were not forgotten. A lovely Corgi model of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 – the must-have toy of the Sixties – was snapped up for £290. So many of these cars were played with enthusiastically (and rightly so), that it is increasingly rare to find a model in such good condition. And a man's automatic Breguet watch, with an eye-catching skeleton movement, sold in its original wooden box for £7,790. Another gift that might also serve as an investment.

Good names and high quality always bring in bids and there was plenty to choose from in the December sale - such as a Panthere model ladies’ gold watch by Cartier, positively encrusted with diamonds, which fetched £5,200. And an unusual two-coloured gold cigarette case set with a blue cabochon stone turned out be made by Karl Bok, a supplier to the Imperial Court in St Petersberg in the 1900s. This inherited family piece sold for £3,500.

Another surprise came in the form of an Irish mid-18th Century mahogany hall table, carved with shell patterns on cabriole legs, which romped past its estimate of £2-3,000 to fetch £5,400, despite a later top. And the Irish maker of a numbered gold half-hunter keyless pocket watch intrigued a number of bidders. It was made by one William Simpson of 33 Donegal Street, Belfast and sold for £1,900.

A veritable goods yard of 13 huge model steam trains and ships, the former property of a Kent shipping agents, attracted a lot of attention – though admittedly they were hard to miss! One in particular, a highly detailed model of the SS Garryvale, measuring nearly 6ft long and in a bespoke case, beat its estimate of £500-700 to reach £3,900.

The Kent influence continued in the form of an exquisite portrait by Arthur Lajos Halmi (1866-1939) thought to be of society scandaliser, Guinevere Sinclair, who lived in Eastwell Manor, near Ashford, from 1930.

Despite a sober upbringing, Guinevere became a chorus girl in New York and had a long-standing affair with a married multi-millionaire 20 years her senior, with whom she had three children.

They married in 1921 but he died a year later. She then married George, the Earl of Midleton and they moved into Eastwell. But 30 years later – in a perhaps a case of what goes around, comes around - he moved out to be with his mistress. The painting, from Eastwell itself, carried an estimate of £1,000+ but sold for £2,200.

A lovely 19th Century sailor's Wool Work picture, of rigged boats, set sail past its estimate to reach £2,300. These unusual works – sometimes called ‘Woolies’ - were pictures embroidered in string, silk or wool by sailors and produced in the mid-1800s until around WW1. Until the late 1800s, seamen had to provide and make their own uniforms and be able to repair sails: as a result, many men could sew well. During long voyages, they kept boredom at bay and fingers nimble by sewing scenes of ships, flags and landscapes – lovely pieces of human history.

Lastly, excellent quality again attracted a good price for an early 20th Century Tabriz carpet, woven in colours of ivory, navy blue and terracotta, with a central floral medallion flanked by urns and trailing leaves and vines. The rich 13ft 6ins x 8ft 9ins carpet sold above estimate for £1,450 which, in our opinion, was still a bargain.

Put our next two-day sale in your diary – February 4th and 5th 2023.  Sale dates for the rest of the year can be found on the website. 

Don’t forget that we value jewellery, works of art, good quality furniture and collectors’ items free and with no obligation. We hold free valuations at the Canterbury saleroom most Fridays, 10am - 4pm. Please call for an appointment first and one of our experts will value your item for free. We can also  visit you in person or help by email accompanied by good quality images.

We are also well known for our careful and sensitive valuations of deceased estates for probate purposes.

For further information or to make an appointment, please contact the saleroom on 01277 763337 or by email at





Back To News