UK: NINETEENTH century brown carcase furniture of country house proportions and impeccable provenance attracted the higher prices at this monthly sale in the Cotswolds.
Their source was Netherswell Manor, a Stow-on-the-Wold property built in 1903 by local businessman Sir John Murray Scott, and the appeal of genuinely fresh-to-market furniture was enough to lure dealers from all over the UK to the Frogmill Hotel near Andoversford.
The most valuable consignment from the Manor was a mid-19th century pair of walnut display cabinets which were admired for their fine colour and statuesque proportions, each standing 7ft 7in (2.31m) high.
Each comprising a flared cornice above a plain frieze, glazed doors and a further two blind doors on plinth bases.
“They were the sort of cabinets you really would not be surprised to find a Gillows of Lancaster’ stamp on,” said auctioneer Martin Lambert.
Not all Gillows pieces are marked and certainly these cabinets were of considerable quality.
However, the cabinets had not been fitted with frieze drawers (counted by some dealers as a serious omission) and at some point in their history, as is often the case in this type of furniture, their lower back sections had been cut away to enable the pair to be pushed flush against dado rails and panelled walls.
Even so, commission bids were left above the estimate of £4000-5000 and the pair eventually sold to the local trade at £9800.
Also from Netherswell Manor, two 19th century mahogany secretaire bookcases provided scope for comparison.
The first measured 7ft 6in high by 3ft 10in wide (2.29 x 1.17m) and comprised a Hepplewhite cornice above two doors each glazed with 13 panels above the secretaire drawer and a shaped apron with splayed feet. Against a commission bid left by the American trade, a dealer present in the rooms tendered the winning £3600.
The second example, 7ft 6in high by 4ft 1in wide (2.28 x 1.24m), was of a slightly later age and considered in poorer condition.
Comprising a cornice above twin astragal glazed doors and a secretaire drawer above two cupboard doors on a plinth base, the bookcase sold to the local trade at £2300.
Elsewhere a 19th century set of nine elm-seated Windsor chairs brought £3000 and a 19th century pair of leather upholstered mahogany armchairs on reeded and tapering front legs attracted £2300.
The pick of three linen presses was a George III satinwood crossbanded example which may well have been a marriage and inlaid with later marquetry, but which nevertheless managed to bring £2900 from the trade.
Outside the furniture a George II double-domed lidded tankard engraved with a single reeded band, an unidentified armorial crest and the maker’s mark of Isaac Cooken, Newcastle 1747, attracted £1800 from the trade despite having been applied with a later spout.
The horology section was led by a George III eight-day ebony inlaid and chequer strung mahogany longcase clock. Standing 7ft 3in (2.21m) high, the clock, with a swan neck pediment, cream painted dial and quadrant fluted pilasters, took £1750.
Tayler and Fletcher,
Bourton-on-the-Water, February 23
Number of lots offered: 487
Number of lots sold: 465
Sale total: £110,000
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent