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Accordingly, lowest-range works are now sold through Gorringes’ (inc. Julian Dawson) weekly auctions at their Garden Street rooms, with the result that although there were 900 fewer lots in the 4-6 September sale compared to the corresponding event last year the total of £623,000 was much the same.

While there were no exceptional furniture entries there were a number of surprises, including a modified late 17th century oak cupboard. With a moulded top over a long drawer, it had a panelled door and was raised on turned supports. Although on a later stand and fitted with an unsightly Yale lock, the 2ft 91/2in (85cm) wide cupboard saw competition from top oak dealers and a multiple estimate £5500.

Another oak offering, catalogued as 17th century in design, was an octagonal-topped candlestand with a twist column on a saltire base, 14in (36cm) diameter. The twisted column was almost certainly 17th century period and the stand was taken to £1300 by the decorator trade against a £150-200 estimate.

Absolutely no doubt about the credentials of an Italian walnut and parquetry bureau. With a central fall enclosing six drawers flanked by four angled drawers, this classical 18th century item was taken at £4000 by the Continental trade.

Also going overseas was an 18th century longcase clock with a late 17th/early 18th century movement and dial inscribed T. Pare, Londoninio for which an Israeli private buyer – a regular Gorringes Internet bidder – went to £3700 to secure it.

As well as the aforementioned candle stand, there were a number of entries which appealed to the decorator trade – among them a pair of 5ft 3in (1.6m) 18th century Venetian painted pine columns. Carved in relief with putti and vine leaves, they duly sold at £2200.

A number of convincing reproductions have made many cataloguers nervous of attributing firm dates to some entries especially when in excellent condition. A case in point was a carved marble oil lamp and cover, 8in (20cm). Catalogued in the manner of a Grand Tour souvenir, it was decorated with masks and a boar’s head on a leaf-carved base and slate plinth. There was no doubt in the buyer’s mind of its 19th century date and it sold at a triple estimate £1600.
Another 19th century Grand Tour choice was an Italian box with 3in (7.5cm) diameter micromosaic landscape lid. The box was damaged but the mosaic was in good condition and a London dealer bid £1700 for it against a £150-200 estimate.

The fine condition of a 17/18th century-style 20 by 71/2in (51cm x 19cm) gros and petit point panel depicting a lady in a garden within an oak frame, led to it being catalogued as Victorian and given a £300-500 estimate. On the day, however, a specialist dealer went to £1700 to secure it.

The vogue for Arts and Crafts material was evident in the reaction to 115 silver and jewellery entries consigned through the family of Robert Catterson Smith (1854-1938) a one-time assistant to William Morris. Nearly all found buyers.
A rectangular silver casket, 51/2in (14cm) long with entwined frieze was made by the Birmingham Guild of Handicrafts where Catterson Smith was an influential figure who trained many important jewellers and silversmiths in the Arts and Crafts movement.

The 18oz (560g) casket marked for 1902, was Inscribed to Robert Catterson Smith from William Kenrick Nov. 1914. Kenrick was also involved with the Guild and a governor of several art schools.
Estimated at £250-350, the casket brought £1500 from a specialist London dealer who also bought a silver circle brooch with openwork design (possibly by Sibyl Dunlop) at £480 and several silver cross pendants (one possibly by Arthur Gaskin) at £600 the lot.

Elsewhere, an Edwardian gold and silver lozenge-shaped openwork brooch set with diamonds and a calibre-cut cabochin onyx, went to a telephone trade buyer at £5000, while an Art Deco diamond-set brooch sold privately to a London buyer.

Majolica and Lalique also brought some good prices with a 9in (23cm) Minton majolica monkey and coconut teapot, date mark 1874, causing one of the biggest stirs. Bidders were not deterred by the teapot’s restored spout, chipped ear and rim and, against determined American interest a West Country dealer had to go to £3000 to secure it.

A George Jones oval game pie dish moulded with game birds, trophies and nets and with a lid applied with a fox handle on a fern bed had also suffered chips and restoration but trebled the estimate when it went to the London trade at £3000.

The lively subject matter of an early 19th century Staffordshire spill vase group may have accounted for the strong price bid by a specialist dealer. Titled Ale Bench and modelled with two seated imbibing figures, it fetched £800.

In the glass section, it was a Lalique Aras pattern opalescent vase decorated with birds among trees, 91/2in (24cm), that drew the most interest.
Signed R.Lalique, France, it was in excellent condition under all the grime and it went to a private Sussex buyer at £3800.

Gorringes, Lewes,
September 4-6
Number of lots: 2292
Lots sold: n/a
Sale total: £623,000
Buyer’s premium: 110 per cent