THERE was no notable furniture in Mallams 495-lot sale on August 28 (buyer's premium: 15 per cent), but a healthy selling rate for silver and jewellery and some good prices for an assortment of oddities and decorative entries, boosted overall figures.
“We haven’t sold silver and jewellery in August before,” said auctioneer Ben Lloyd. The trade interest in these sections – more than 75 per cent of the 155 silver offerings got away as did all but eight of the 94 jewellery - lots made it an exercise he feels well worth repeating.
Foremost in the silver section was a late 17th century provincial tankard with hinged domed lid and scroll thumb piece, maker’s mark H.E., 24oz. An honest piece of privately consigned silver, it took £1550 from the London trade.
A William IV castle top-vinaigrette by Birmingham silversmith Nathaniel Mills, 1837, fetched £660 from the trade, while a London dealer went to £1400 for a Victorian silver bowl with chased leaf and floral decoration, 13oz, London, 1843, by John Tapley.
Bidding for the jewellery was also dominated by the trade. While there were no £1000 entries, bidding was constant and was led by an Art Deco brooch set with old European cut diamonds which made £800.
One of the more unusual entries was a pair of Victorian doctor’s scales by W & T Avery, with a height rule and a set of interlocking weights in pounds and ounces. Although EU law forbids their commercial use by retailers, they attracted attention from the decorator trade and fetched £700.
One of the most contested works was a group of nine privately entered continental relief-carved ivory portrait miniatures of 18th century ladies and gentlemen, in mahogany frames.
Ben Lloyd thought they were probably dated to the 19th century and some dealers suggested they depicted members of the Bourbon dynasty. Estimated at £100-200 they sold to a dealer at £1000.
Silkwork pictures have been making good money of late and the decorative appeal of a pair of Georgian oval silkwork pictures of ladies in a garden, 9 1/2in by 6 1/2in (24cm x 17cm), fetched £560.