Georgian knee-hole desk beats estimate

A striking George I burr elm knee-hole desk was just one of many lots that outperformed at Mallams’ recent Abingdon House & Garden Sale, selling to a telephone bidder for £4,300. Measuring 83cm wide, it featured one long drawer over a central recess with cupboard, flanked by three further drawers to either side and was guided at £1,500 – £2,500.

Other furniture also piqued interest, including a Howard & Sons Limited armchair with square tapering front legs terminating in brass castors, and one of the back legs stamped and numbered ‘8940’. The winning, mid-estimate bid of £2,800 came from an online bidder.

A George Smith two seater sofa with turned tapering front legs terminating in brass castors and label underneath, also proved popular. Estimated at £800-£1,200, it provoked a flurry of bids and eventually sold to an online bidder for £1,900.

Going for the same price, and just below top estimate, was a matched set of twelve Oxford pattern ash and elm Windsor kitchen chairs which went to an online bidder.

Paintings also drew keen interest and a signed oil painting by Patrick William Adam (Scottish, 1854-1929), entitled An Edinburgh Interior and dated 1915 – proved particularly popular, selling to an online bidder for £2,200, ten per cent above top estimate.

Bid to £1,800 was a 19th-century English School, full length oil on canvas portrait of a young man in full Scottish regalia, which was conservatively estimated at £600-£800. Measuring 90 x 70cm it came complete with a label stating that this could either be Maxwell William Munro (1827-1854), fourth son of General J Munro of Teaninich, or Maxwell Munro (1857-1877) eldest son of James St. John Munro of Teaninich.

In the garden section of the sale a Victorian cast iron urn and cover on a stepped plinth base after the Sosibios vase, was a particular highlight. Standing 145cm high overall, it was possibly made by Andrew Handyside & Co. Derby (at a cost of £4 0s 0p in 1880), and was secured by an online bidder for its top estimate of £2,000.

An Edwardian copper weathervane, in the form of a whale with cast iron cardinal points above a copper sphere was also highly contested and was eventually knocked down to an online bidder at £950, against an estimate of £600-£800.

Elsewhere, a carved stone circular bowl of gadrooned form measuring 76cm in diameter and estimated at £200-£400, sold for £650 to an online bidder.

One of the more unusual lots in the sale was a group of four early 20th-century preserved fish in bow fronted cases, consisting of a perch with a label for ‘J Cooper & Sons, 28 Radner Street, St Lukes’; a 3lb 5oz chubb preserved by WF Homer and caught at Tadpole 14th March 1927; together with two trout, the first caught at Bampton June 18th 1926 and the second caught at Rushy 22nd June 1929. Guided at £300-£500, an online bidder placed the winning £900 bid.

Henry Cooke, Mallams’ Director and Head of House & Garden Sales at Abingdon, said: “It was a sale with great variety and some strong prices. I was especially pleased that the Patrick William Adam painting sold so well as it was a personal favourite of mine.”