AMONG the great grails of Maling collecting are the so-called Urbino style vases: 16in (41cm) high exhibition pieces c.1945 decorated in relief with a celebrated moment from classical mythology by Lucien Boullemeir to a design by Norman Carling. The scene shows Perseus holding aloft the Medusa’s head to petrify the sea monster and save the beautiful Andromeda, who is chained to the rocky shore.
Perhaps as few as four of these quite atypical factory
productions were made and most collectors only know them from the
vase long on loan to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle and a pair
pictured in R.C. Bell's 1971 book Tyneside Pottery.
But they do occasionally appear on the market. The pair pictured
in Tyneside Pottery was sold in the mid 1990s at Anderson &
Garland's former salerooms in Marlborough Crescent, Newcastle at
£5100, then a record for the factory.
A decade later, the owner of the vase in the Laing chose to
consign it for sale at A&G's new saleroom in the Newcastle
suburb of Westerhope where it was estimated sensibly at £2000-3000.
It was competed to £4400, selling to a collector from the North
While Maling remains a predominantly locally-based collecting
field, the best productions of the Burmantofts factory are admired
well beyond the confines of their native Yorkshire. As mentioned in
last week's report of the Decorative Arts sale at Lyon &
Turnbull, the Edinburgh auctioneers had achieved a substantial
£11,000 (plus 15 per cent premium) for a massive 21in (53cm) high
vase decorated in the Anglo-Persian style with fish on blue ground
by the artist known only from his monogram LK.
In recent years, this has somehow become accepted as a reference
to one Louis Kramer, but new research conducted by Dr Scott
Anderson has suggested the much less exotic Leonard King as a
likely candidate for some skilful and stylish decoration.
A vase of the same size, form and subject matter was offered in
Westerhope carrying, incidentally, the same estimate of £3000-5000.
It had been found by Jack Dudgeon, former Borders auctioneer turned
A&G representative, in a home in north Northumberland
It was marginally more sophisticated, in terms of its border and
background decoration, than the Edinburgh example and was also
considered a better firing with little of the 'orange peel' that
can occur on pieces of this scale. Underbid by the Scottish dealer
who had purchased the vase two weeks previously, this one sold to a
dealer from the South at £13,000.
A fine Wedgwood Fairyland lustre Imperial shape bowl decorated in
the Woodland Bridge pattern with mermaid centre, 10in (25cm)
diameter, sold more as expected at £2100 to a private British
Performing well above expectations in the silver and vertu
section, was a 19th century, tortoiseshell-covered, singing bird
box. The enamelled hinged cover was decorated to the exterior with
a landscape with a lake and to the interior decorated a bouquet of
flowers. Well undercooked at £250-350, it made £2200.
Another predictable favourite was a fine and impressive Edwardian
cast of the twin-handled campana-form Warwick Vase with its iconic
decoration of bearded masks, fruiting vines, and acanthus motifs.
Standing 91/2in (24cm) high, weighing close to 93oz and marked for
the London silversmith H, Wilkinson & Co., 1909, it sold at
£5800 (estimate £3000-4000).
A strong £4300 (estimate £1000-1500) was bid for a Cumbrian-made
18th century oak longcase. It was rather stout in appearance,
standing 6ft 10in (2.08m) high with a hood some 19in (47cm) across,
but incorporated a 13in (33cm) arched brass dial inscribed Joshua
Harrocks, Emont-Bridge with a painted rolling moon phase
Harrocks is listed in Brian Loomes' Clockmakers of Northern
England as working first as a journeyman alongside the Lancaster
clockmaker Robert Parkinson (who produced some very fine clocks
using cases made by Gillows) and then on his own in the tiny
settlement of Emont-Bridge, near Penrith from c.1764-1783.
The connection to a very rare and early maker from the north
Lakes, an area now so popular with period-furnishers and second
homers, helped in the price.
The furniture proper was more routine, as were the prices it
realised. However, helped by some modest estimates and the
occasional input of free-spending private buyers, there was a
stronger take-up than has become the norm.
Two pieces shared the top bid of £3200.
Measuring 4ft 8in (1.42m) diameter was a fine-quality, and very
Scottish, Regency period, rosewood breakfast table. Its gadrooned
tip-up-top was raised upon an ornate carved thistle pattern column
and triform legs embellished with foliate roundels and terminating
in large lion paw feet. Another nice find for Jack Dudgeon in the
Berwick-upon-Tweed area, the estimate was £2500-3500.
The same amount was bid on a pair of Victorian burr walnut and
part ebonized cabinets, each 3ft 11in (1.19m) wide by 3ft 6in
(1.07m) high and embellished with pierced brass galleries and a
fluted and parcel-gilt pilaster either side of a pair of glass
Not an easy sell in the current market but, with more light than
black wood on show and some nice features, the cabinets pushed on
past their estimate of £2000-3000. Picture highlights from this
sale were reported in last week's issue.
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