This stunning pair of 19th century blue john pedestal urns was the outstanding star at Tennants’ £1.8m summer sale at Leyburn.
Consigned from a Leicestershire estate for
the auction on July 13-14, the 9¼in (23cm) diameter urns, standing
15in (38cm) on their marble bases, were not only superb examples of
the unique Derbyshire fluorspar, but the ormolu mounts, in the
manner of the great French bronzier Pierre-Philippe Thomire, were
particularly fine, hence the £15,000-25,000 estimate.
With eight phone lines involved, bidding in
the packed North Yorkshire saleroom quickly rose to £65,000, before
the battle came down to two phone bidders. To the fascination of
the hushed saleroom they fought it out until the urns were finally
knocked down to a UK dealer at £120,000 (plus 18.5% buyer's
Underlining their special quality was the
fact that the previous lot, a pair of 20in (52cm) tall,
ormolu-mounted blue john obelisk candelabra, looking just about as
impressive, failed to electrify the room in the same way, selling
just short of the lower estimate at £11,000.
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