Auctioneer and TV regular Catherine Southon is celebrating after achieving the highest price so far in any of her auctions, when a Frederico del Campo oil painting depicting a scene in Venice sold for £27,140, against an estimate of £4,000 to £6,000.
The unusually small size of the oil on canvas, measuring just 10.7cm x 19.4cm, suggests it was most likely a sketch for a bigger painting. Larger paintings by the Peruvian painter often sell for hundreds of thousands, but this may also be a record for his smaller-sized works. ‘San Giorgio Maggie, Venice‘, signed lower right F. del Campo Venezia 1885 went to a private buyer. The vendor had no idea what he had been looking at for years – it had belonged to his grandmother’s father and he had not realised the importance of this artist.
Elsewhere in the sale, a rare 18th century Meissen porcelain plate decorated in the Chinese style and attributed to Christian Friedrich Herold sold for almost twelve times its high estimate for £4,130. The plate is hand painted and gilt decorated with maritime scenes and Chinese figures, birds and flowers. A 20th century Royal Doulton Titanian ware figure of a grotesque imp in a mottled blush colour also proved attractive for buyers, selling for £2,124 online – six times its low estimate.
Among the Royal Worcester, an impressive pedestal pot pourri twin handled holder fetched £1,888, while a gilt framed plate by Charles Henry Clifford Baldwyn, dated 1906, saw fierce internet bidding and went for £1,770 to an Australian buyer. As part of the Asian section of the auction, a 19th century Chinese embroidered alter hanging was estimated to sell for £200–£400, but went on to achieve £2,124, while a fine quality Meiji period silvered and gilded metal Japanese presentation box with the inscription ‘From H.I.H Prince Kan’in of Japan to Major Hamilton ‘the Buffs’ A.D.C. October 1882‘ sold for £1,770.
An attractive antique Georgian emerald and diamond cluster ring in an associated Mappin & Webb box sold for £3,068 to a telephone bidder against an estimate of £1,200 – 1,500 and carrying the same estimate, a beautiful late 18th century large rose Dutch cut diamond set star brooch sold for £2,714 to a telephone bidder. A miniature brass lantern alarm time piece by John Hatton London sold for almost three times its low estimate for £1,298 to a telephone bidder.
A stunning watercolour by Edmund George Warren (British, 1834-1909) depicting a charming picnic in a woody glade beside the waters edge dated 1866 was estimated to sell for £800– £1,200 and sold for £2,950 to a telephone bidder.
Among the Collectables, a wooden Papua New Guinea dance shield from the late 19th/early 20th century sold for eleven times its low estimate for £1,298 after a bidding battle online between the US and Netherlands. A signed black and white publicity photograph of Laurel & Hardy, which the vendor had signed after she saw them performing at the Hippodrome in Norwich, sold for £472 online. A Royal Opera House programme signed by Dame Margot Fonteyn from the first night of the Royal Ballet Romeo & Juliet at Covent Garden on 9th February 1965 together with a pair of shoes made for her, but never worn, sold for £189 against an estimate of £100-120 and was bought by a father as a present for his ballet teaching daughter.
An interesting collection of Ivor Novello and Madame Clara Novello Davies memorabilia, dating from the 1920s to 1950s sold for £177 to the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. The buyer was delighted to be able to purchase the collection for the library and it will be on public view as soon as possible.
After the sale, Catherine Southon commented, “I am really pleased with this sale, which was 85% sold and above the high estimate. The del Campo is obviously a real highlight in our relatively short auction house history, but proves we are going in the right direction.”
Read our interview with Catherine Southon in Trade Talks, where she discusses her life in the trade, ones to watch and shares buying advice.
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