THE first sale at new premises for Ipswich auctioneers Lockdales, now at the former officers’ barracks in Martlesham Heath, included two pieces of silver and enamel ware of the type associated with the Solvychegodsk region.
In the 16th and 17th centuries,
Solvychegodsk, or Usolsk as it was then known, was a commercial,
handicraft, and cultural hub of Northern Russia and especially
famous for these wares typically decorated to a white ground with
colourful flowers, exotic birds and characterful folk
It was this category of wares that so often
inspired the Imperial workshops in the late 19th century.
Usolsk enamels are rare visitors to the UK
auction market but, courtesy of the same Suffolk deceased estate,
Lockdales could offer both a 6½in (17cm) bowl
or chasha decorated with flowers to the
interior and a bird to the foot (estimate £2000-3000) and a lobed
box and cover with a portrait (estimate £600-900).
The auctioneers had been reluctant to date
the pieces but even several weeks prior to the sale there were
signs that both, deemed mid to late 17th century in date and in
relatively good condition, would far exceed expectations.
On March 1, the bowl sold at £44,000, the box for £22,000. Both
lots, subject to 15% buyer's premium, sold to a Russian buyer who
attended the sale in person.
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