Tuesday - 21 October 2014

Gold from Geordie shores: £150,000 collection emerges from Cullercoats bungalow

25 July 2014Written by Roland Arkell

The centrepiece of Anderson & Garland’s sale in Westerhope, near Newcastle, last month was the eclectic Walton Temple collection.

Starting his career in the Merchant Navy, Mr Temple (1921-2014) later returned to his native North East to work for an engineering manager at the Swan Hunter shipyard in its heyday.

The fruit of his labour displayed in his modest North Tyneside home was a substantial assemblage of ceramics, glass and antiquarian books acquired across four decades from local sources and the best South of England dealers. A £147,375 collection included Sunderland Bridge rummers from Asprey, Liverpool, Jacobite glass from Delomosne, ship jugs from Jonathan Horne and period Meissen figures from Yvonne Adams.

"Walton was known in the salerooms," said Anderson & Garland director Julian Thomson, "but you never know what people have managed to amass so when we entered a bungalow in Cullercoats we didn't know what to expect. As it turned out, the collection was wonderful."

Creamwares and pearlwares printed with maritime and related subjects had been the early focus of Mr Temple's acquisitiveness. Buying in the 1970s and '80s, close to 100 pieces were offered here - a perfect cross-section of the commemoratives produced in the pottery strongholds of Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Staffordshire in the late 18th and early 19th century. Many items came with their original purchase receipts.

 

14-07-25-2151AR05X Walton Temple.jpg 

Above: Walton Temple (1921-2014), a former engineering manager at the Swan Hunter shipyard, whose collection was sold by auctioneers Anderson & Garland.

 

In relative terms at least, prices in this area have fallen since Mr Temple was buying. But, alongside the modest £190 bid for a jug printed with The Merry Sailor and a ship inscribed Diligence, Adam Thomson (it had been bought from Jonathan Horne in 1975 for £118) were bolder sums such as the £2200 for an 11in (27cm) ship bowl that had been acquired in the same year (from David B. Newbon) for £300.

This was made for export - the triple-mast ship flying a Prussian flag and the inscription reading: Wilhelm Heinrich Van Elbing, Capt. Jacob Witt, Van Pillaw 1800. Biographical detail such as this does help generate interest.

Also proving popular at the sale on June 17-19 was a 9in (22cm) Wedgwood 'Quebec' jug printed with The Death of General Wolfe after Benjamin West - bought from J. & J. May in 1986 for £685 and sold here at £1100 - while a rare political commemorative, a blue and white pearlware bowl c.1800 inscribed French Liberty  and printed with a verse and Gillray's famous cartoon of a Sans Culotte eating raw onions, took £2200.

Doubtless Mr Temple felt his collection of maritime wares would not be complete without a Liverpool delft ship bowl. He had finally bought one from Stockspring Antiques in 1990 for £4400.

It was not in the best condition (broken and repaired) but was nicely painted in underglaze blue and iron red with coastal scenes, mythological figures and a vessel in full sail inscribed and dated Success to the Molly, 1755. Estimated at £1000-1500 (all of the vendor's more recent purchases were pitched well below previous retail levels), it took £4200.

Bacchus punch bowl

Also from Liverpool, but this time in Seth Pennington's porcelain, a blue and white punch bowl c.1780 painted with scenes of Bacchus carousing and sportsmen shooting game, acquired from Klaber & Klaber in 1980 for £550, sold here at £3400.

Porcelain, glass and enamels became the focus of Walton Temple's purchases - or his 'loot', as he liked to called them - later in his collecting life.

He owned three of the gilt-metal-mounted 'Girl-in-a-Swing' porcelain 'toys' made at the St James's workshop of Charles Gouyn c.1750-60. Just 3¾in (9cm) high, a scent bottle formed as a girl playing the hurdy-gurdy with gold mounts c.1750 more than doubled hopes at £3800.

Some outstanding English enamels had been bought from Lawrence Gould less than a decade ago. Returning to the market after only a handful of years, they experienced mixed fortunes.

A Bilston bonbonnière in the form of a tabby cat head decorated to the lid with a seated lady and cat chasing a mouse, c.1770 bought in 2007 for a full retail price of £5000 took just £1100 at auction. A better return was seen for a mauve-printed snuff box made in Battersea, c.1765 that carried a coat of arms to the lid and a profile portrait of Georgius II Rex. Acquired in 2006 for £2100, it brought £2200.

Among Mr Temple's final acquisitions had been a 6in (15cm) 'rock crystal' style glass vase worked with sea nymphs, mermen and dolphins of the type assocated with Stevens & Williams. Sold by Anderson & Garland in 2010 for £2500, this time around it managed a more modest £1150.

The breadth and quality of the Temple collection attracted higher numbers than usual to the North East, as well as around 1000 registered internet bidders who accounted for close to half of the lots.

The buyer's premium was 19.5%.

 

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