Sale success for dealers’ collection in Suffolk

The auction of the estate of husband and wife Suffolk antiques dealers, Richard and Miranda Goodbrey, produced some strong bidding in a recent sale at Lacy Scott & Knight in Bury St Edmunds.

Over more than 40 years of trading the Goodbreys built a name for interesting and quality art, antiques and furniture at their shop in Framlingham, Suffolk, which attracted royalty and celebrities alongside fellow antiques traders and collectors. The auction house said that the sale saw tributes from the couple’s former friends and colleagies by taking part in the sale, which totalled just over £190,000 including buyer’s fees.

At just under 600 lots, the auction showcased the Goodbrey’s expert eye for the quirky, interesting and fine quality, with a particular focus on folk art; ranging from decoy ducks and rare marbles, through to sailor’s woolworks and Grand Tour tables. Every lot sold, most for well above estimate, and there were several surprise results amongst the collection.

Possibly the biggest surprises of the day were for the smallest items. Two lots of rare “naked” solid core swirls 19th-century marbles sold for £2,700 and £4,400.

Elsewhere, a scarce circa 1848 Staffordshire figure group of a lion with a lamb, which was supposedly inspired by a visit to the UK by the American lion tamer Isaac Van Amburgh, sold for £1,900, and two 19th-century pine artist’s lay figures sold for £1,800 and £1,200.

Among a beautiful selection of Victorian sailor’s woolworks, a depiction of a three-masted frigate titled ‘M. SHIP RALEIGH. 50. GUNS’ and annotated ‘By George Smith 1846’, sold in the room for £1,300. H.M.S. Raleigh was built at Chatham in 1845 and served around China and South America before being wrecked upon rocks off the coast of Hong Kong in 1857. Alongside scrimshaw and other carvings, woolworks became a popular pastime amongst naval men from the 19th century onwards and, in a time before photography, were often their only visual reminder of the ships they had served in.

Animal art works proved their enduring popularity amongst the paintings section, with a James Scraggs oil on canvas of a prize bull selling for £2,500 and a naive but lovely study of a spaniel and puppies achieving £1,450. The bird world was also well represented by an unsigned 19th-century study of a barn owl, which two telephone bidders battled up to £2,100.

The renowned quality and desirability of Howard & Sons helped a Victorian mahogany three-seater sofa sell for £6,600, while a selection of specimen inlaid tables included two which sold for £1,800 each.

The final section of the sale comprised stunning wrought iron garden furniture including a Coalbrookdale style bench which made £1,250, and, in a fitting homage to the Goodbrey’s place of home and work for so many years, an enamel on metal advertising sign for ‘Pratts Framlingham Depot’ sold for £1000.

Auctioneer Edward Crichton commented: “It was a delight to have so many people bidding in the room again, and was possibly the most enjoyable auction we’ve held since the Angus McBean collection back in 2013; which ironically was actually referred to us by Richard and Miranda.”