Fine jewellery, including a solitaire diamond ring seen at The Canterbury Auction Galleries’ recent Hole Park valuation day, brought some of the top prices when it was subsequently offered for sale at the Kent fine art and antiques saleroom.
The solitaire had an emerald-cut stone of 1.06ct in a modern platinum setting by David Morris, and was purchased by a West Country private buyer for £3,900.
The most valuable ring was set with three diamonds, the central brilliant cut stone of approximately 1.6ct shouldered by two further stones, each of approximately .60ct and three small rose diamonds to each shoulder set in platinum. It sold to a local buyer in the room for £7,500.
However, overshadowing all the other jewellery in the sale a stunning late Victorian diamond necklace, which comprised no fewer than 78 old-cut stones graduating in size with a total diamond weight of 12cts and suspended in a gold and silver fringe setting. Retaining its green Morocco leather gilt and red tooled fitted case, the necklace sold to a local private buyer in the room, for £14,000.
A pair of Edwardian lavender pearl and diamond set pendant drop earrings, the pearls each surrounded by a border of 11 small old-cut diamonds and suspended from a diamond-set chain, had been consigned for sale by local vendor and was purchased by a Kent jeweller on top estimate for £1,000.
In silver, an unusual late 18th or early 19th century Dutch silver pocket corkscrew, modelled as a horse in harness and with a case to cover the helix, had been taken to one of the saleroom’s free Friday valuation mornings. It was purchased subsequently by a Romanian collector bidding on the telephone. It sold for an above estimate £920.
A set of four George III silver pillar candlesticks by Tudor & Leader with fluted columns and square bases embossed and engraved with leaf and gadroon ornament, assayed (tested for silver content) in Sheffield in 1775, had been sent for sale from a home that was downsizing. They were purchased by a local private buyer for £2,900 against an estimate of £1,500-2,000.
Good furniture was a strength of the sale, a good pair of early 19th century Continental mahogany-framed Bergere library armchairs upholstered in red hide by Wallaert of Brussels, selling to the Irish trade on estimate for £2,000.
The chairs had curved backs inlaid with boxwood stringing, leaf-capped scroll arm terminals and carved leaf and tongue mounts to the swept arm supports, the maker’s name being stamped to front rails of each chair.
A good pair of early Victorian rosewood open-front dwarf bookcases, each fitted with three adjustable shelves, the tops with wide crossbanding and a shaped frieze carved with scroll ornament sold to a local collector for £1,600.
Complementing the furniture was a selection of colourful oriental rugs and carpets, pick of which was an early 20th century Kazak Farchalu rug, woven in reds and blues with two rectangular medallions of filler motifs on a dark blue ground, within conforming borders. It attracted the attention of a buyer in Wales who secured it with an Internet bid of £600.
Pick of a number of longcase clocks was an early 18th century example in a walnut and marquetry case, the movement by London maker William Speakman Jnr. His father, also William, is recorded as being apprenticed in 1654, free in 1661, and Master of the Clockmakers’ Company in 1701-1717. Speakman jnr. was apprenticed in 1688. The clock had an 11-inch square brass dial with wide silvered chapter ring marked with Roman and Arabic numerals, subsidiary seconds dial and date aperture and cast cherub’s head and leaf scroll spandrels.
The case was inlaid all over, the trunk door with a marquetry panel depicting cupids, urns of flowers, birds and trailing floral ornament and a plain glass lenticle. It stood 83.5ins (212cms) high and had been sent from a Faversham family which was downsizing. It was purchase by a Buckinghamshire collector bidding on the Internet on estimate for £3,500.
In paintings, an oil on board by Duncan Grant (1885-1978) of a male nude bather drying himself in front of a mirror, unsigned but inscribed on the reverse “Paul by Duncan Grant” measured 22 by 15 inches (55.9 by 38cms) and sold for £4,900. From a North Kent estate, it was purchased by a private Somerset telephone bidder.
The artist was a member of the Bloomsbury Group, “Paul” possibly being the poet Paul Roche (1916–2007) his lover who cared from him in his later years and was co-heir of his estate.
From the same North Kent estate was an appealing bronze figure by the Glasgow-born sculptor Sir William Reid Dick (1879-1961) modelled as a young boy drawing and aiming a catapult, which gave the piece its title. It sold to a local private buyer in the room for £2,300 against an estimate of £1,200-1,500. Elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1921, and an Academician in 1928, Dick was President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors from 1933 to 1938 and Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland from 1938 until his death. He was knighted by George V in 1935.
Sales at The Canterbury Auction Galleries invariably include an eclectic group of collectors’ items, such as a narwhal tusk that had been given to a priestly member of the Shelley family around 1898 whilst he was doing missionary work among the native Mohawk tribe of Qu-appelle in the Saskatchewan Province of Canada.
Measuring 70ins (178cms) and in its original spiral form, it had been sent for sale by a West Country collector and was purchased by a North Country dealer in decorative arts, bidding by telephone. It realised £7,200 against an estimate of £3,000-4,000.