THE Somerset auctioneersGreenslade Taylor Hunt were taking a bullish view about August sales. A month of “traditionally smaller sales and fewer buyers but not in Taunton” was the official line after a two-day event of more than 2100 lots on 28-29 August.
To some extent the sale was a triumph of quantity over quality but there were some solid offerings in all sections. Best seller came among the jewellery – an Edwardian diamond and baroque pearl necklace. It had actually started its glittering life as a tiara, then was re-engineered so that the three major and eight secondary shield-shaped drops hung down –– an alteration that didn’t affect the price – and it sold at £3500.
Top furniture offering was an Edwardian mahogany and marquetry display cabinet on stand which took £2400; the eye-catcher among the
silver was a wine funnel which, though somewhat battered, was by Hester Bateman and sold at £510, while among the ceramics, two old favourites, a Minton game pie dish and a pair of 19th century Staffordshire spaniels – described as “superb quality but poor condition” – led the way at £820 apiece.
Going well above hopes was another item which, though badly damaged, combined two collecting interests – a Liberty pewter tea caddy with stylised leaf pattern and peacock blue enamel decoration.
Valuer Mrs Claire Rawle, who believed it could have been an Archibald Knox piece said: “It really did show signs of having been used every day of its life and all bar two of the enamels had gone.”
The caddy stamped to the base English Pewter, 0237 was estimated at £100-150 but sold at £1200 to a buyer presumably ready to spend more on restoring the caddy to its one-time glory.
Greenslade Taylor Hunt, Taunton
August 28 & 29
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent