If maritime artefacts are your thing, set sail for Christie’s South Kensington. There’s a positive marina’s worth of material on offer on June 19 in the first of their two annual sales held in London devoted to all manner of marine artefacts and paintings.
These are events that provide plenty of decorative and decorating opportunities. As well as getting on for 300 lots of paintings, the sale offers its usual large selection of ship models, with no shortage of builders’ and boardroom examples, many of them of imposing size with plenty of detail and a particularly large supply of pond yachts.
There is a larger than usual offering of scrimshaw plus other sailor’s crafts, books and manuscripts, arms and weapons with a naval connection and a collection of creamware transfer-printed with shipping motifs.
The sale also includes its usual selection devoted to ships’ fittings and ships instruments and items related to historic diving. This latter section normally includes a selection of the distinctive 20th century brass and copper diving helmets made by Siebe Gorman and Co which are popular with a wide range of different buyers and this event is no exception featuring half a dozen examples, three of which are shown here. They range in date from the early to mid 20th century and in estimate from £1800-2500 up to £2800-3500.
There is also a more unusual helmet of open dress type, a form specially designed for wearing in shallow water, which tends to appear at auction less often. These were produced by Snead and Co in the first half of the 20th century mostly in cast iron although this example is in brass and is estimated at £1200-1500.