Triumphant Fine & Decorative Arts Sale

RICHARD Winterton Auctioneers' Christmas auction of Fine & Decorative Arts was a veritable treasure trove of delights, writes Sarah Leedham, with many items included that will no doubt provide much pleasure when received as gifts in the next couple of weeks!

The standout lot of the auction had to be a modern 18ct gold impressive large yellow fancy diamond cluster ring with a calculated weight of 4.00ct.

The ring, pictured, came with a gemmological certificate which certainly proved to potential bidders that they were competing with confidence for an item of incredible quality. Two telephone bidders battled over the ring until it reached £29,500, a tremendous result and the top selling lot not only of the day but the year, a perfect end to the final auction of 2018.

The jewellery section provided many other highlights with Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian pieces achieving excellent results including an early 20th Century gold, emerald and diamond buckle shaped bracelet (pictured above) weighing 62.7 grams selling well above estimate at £2,500 and an Edwardian black opal and diamond pendant making £2,000. Modern pieces of note were a modern abstract design enamel and diamond brooch signed by Joanne Godwyn, the diamonds totalled 3.5ct and sold for a triple estimate £1,800 and a girl’s favourite – a pair of 18ct white gold 0.5ct diamond stud earrings found a delighted new owner at £1,250.

Two small gold boxes amongst the jewellery were also heavily contested, the pill box pictured above with amethyst cabochons and diamonds to the cover took £1,300, whilst a late 18th Century French pill box with a bead decoration made £1,500.

The 135 lots of silver included a cross section of antique and modern, as well as an intriguing piece that had connections to the ill-fated Titanic, this came in the form of a late Victorian silver framed easel back table top mirror.

The item was reputedly owned by the captain of the liner Edward Smith and came with provenance of being in the possession of his housekeeper in lieu of wages and thence by descent through the family. Intense international interest in the media prior to the auction triggered a fierce bidding battle over the internet and the hammer came down at £2,800. The irony being that the mirror will be heading over the Atlantic Ocean to the USA – Las Vegas, to be precise.

Two Edwardian novelty silver teddy bear shaped pin cushions dating to 1909 were another potential candidate for a perfect Christmas gift for the collector of small silver, measuring only 6cm and 4cm in height and in used condition they took £840, with the new owners in the room fending off competition on the phone and from the internet.

The ceramics, glassware and works of art sections had many outstanding results and of particular note was a Continental blue glass jug, pictured below, enamelled with the date 1599 and a band of hunting dogs, free from damage apart from a bit of loss and repainting to the enamels and an almost invisible crack in the body it seemed incredible that an object made from glass almost 420 years ago could survive in such a well preserved way.

Two telephone bidders, internet bidders from the continent tried to compete with a determined bidder in the room who took it to a final price of £6,500. Four pieces of modern Royal Worcester porcelain in the form of a ginger jar and three pot pourri vases which were all hand painted with fruit took a collective £5,350, a wonderful result at a time when traditional high-quality British ceramics can sometimes be overlooked. A late 19th Century rosewood cased music box playing on six airs realised £1,150 and an unusual Victorian cuckoo clock to sit on a table or mantel piece sold for £580 despite the case having old woodworm damage and the movement needing attention.

20th Century art continued to flourish at The Lichfield Auction Centre with the top two selling lots of all the pictures being a modern Mackenzie Thorpe limited edition print, pictured above, titled “The Boy that didn’t get a ticket” no 438/495, with certificate of authenticity selling for £850 and an oil painting of coal miners at work by the British artist George Bissil taking £1,400, pictured below.

A mixture of antique and modern design furniture provided a cross section for all tastes and both sections of the auction provided some very pleasing results but there were higher prices amongst the older pieces on offer which was an encouraging sign after “brown” furniture being less appreciated over the last ten years, nevertheless the items from the 1960s and 1970s were also keenly sought after by the younger generations of collectors.

The final part of the sale saw this year’s largest section of wine, whisky and port at Richard Winterton Auctioneers. A rare bottle of 1968 Petrus Pomerol, pictured above, sold for £1,200, three bottles of 1983 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion Graves Cru Classe made £420 and a bottle of Macallan single malt whisky in presentation container, pictured below, took £340, with many other bottles of single malt whisky selling for in excess of £200 each.

The next Fine & Decorative Arts sale at The Lichfield Auction Centre is 20th March 2019 and entries are being accepted until 6th February. For further details contact the office on 01543 251081 or email

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