Pilot’s Rolex Daytona flies in Yorkshire salesroom

A Rolex Daytona wrist watch presented to a pilot by the Sultan of Oman was the top lot in a recent North Yorkshire sale, hammering down at £120,000.

The 1979 Rolex Daytona ‘Big Red’ watch led the way among a strong offering of collectors and vintage watches. Examples of unusual watches, those in original condition and Rolexes were much in demand at Tennants Auctioneers, with international bidders joining in from around the world

Rolex Dayton wrist watch

Further highlights of the watch section include a rare 1958 Rolex Explorer (ref. 5504), which sold for £11,500, and a rare World War II RAF ‘Weems’ Pilot’s watch made by Omega c1940, one of the most collectable RAF watches on the market, which sold for £3,200.

Good prices for early English oak furniture were again in evidence when a rare 13th to 15th-century clamp-fronted chest sold for a hammer of £22,000. The vendor of the chest had originally purchased it with the belief that it was of a later 19th-century period, due to miscataloguing.

An antique 15th century chest

Other furniture that performed well included an ornately carved 17th-century joined oak settle, on which was carved ‘Thomas Rerersby, 1621’, which sold  at £2,300 against an £1,000-1,500 estimate. Elsewhere in the furniture section good decorative pieces produced good results, such as an 18th-century walnut and parquetry bureau cabinet (South German or Austrian), which sold for £6,800, and a Louis XV style marquetry and gilt metal mounted bureau plat, c1870, which sold for £5,000.

In the clocks section of the sale, results included encouraging signs for long cases. Early clocks, or those with unusual features sold strongly, such as George III Mahogany Quarter Striking Table Clock, signed J Hawthorn, Newcastle, c1770 that sold for £2,600, and an unusually ornate inlaid and heavily carved chiming longcase clock, signed John Lewis, London, c1900 that sold for £4,000.

Philip Mercier paintingThe sale also saw good results across the picture section, which included family portraits and a collection of portrait miniatures from the Estate of Mary, Countess of Gainsborough. Highlights from the estate included a charming ‘Portrait of Sir Walter Vavasour, Bt., when a young boy with a Greyhound’ by Philip Mercier (1689-1760), which sold for £12,000; a miniature ‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Philip Cross (c1650-1724), which sold for £5,500 ; and miniature ‘Portrait of a Gentleman’ by Christian Friedrich Zincke (1683-1767), which sold for £5,200.

Away from the Gainsborough Estate, animal and sporting art saw much interest, with an appealing drawing of two slumbering dogs by Cecil Aldin (1870-1935) selling well above estimate for £5,000, and an impressive hunting scene by Heywood Hardy (1842-1933) selling for £13,000.

Some of the most competitive bidding of the day came right at the end of the sale, with five phone lines competing for three watercolour on vellum studies of amaryllis, iris and guava by Georg Dionysus Ehret (1708-1770). Ehret was a German botanist and entomologist, who started out life as a gardener in Heidelberg and went on to collaborate with the likes of Carl Linnaeus. The watercolours sold for £14,000, £15,000 and £12,000 respectively.

The sale took place on July 13.

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