SOME provincial auctioneers and London’s major houses batten down their hatches during the traditionally dead month of August, but for Scarborough Perry (15% buyer's premium) it was business as usual for their August 12-13 sale.
“I might object to a lack of American buyers and a lack of furniture selling, but I have never believed you cannot sell in August,” said Stephen Perry. “In London you might have a season but that does not exist here.”
There was certainly no shortage of interest in the best-quality material in the 986-lot sale which totalled £101,000.
Foremost was a George III gentleman’s serpentine dressing chest in mahogany, comprising four graduated long drawers with a rosewood-banded shaped top and gently flaring sides.
Although the top drawer had been fitted with a slide, and the top had either been polished or replaced in the Edwardian period, this was an attractively shaped piece of furniture and a commercial size at 3ft 1in (94cm) wide at the top and 2ft 11 1/2in (90cm) at the waist. It caught the attention of the trade and sold over the phone to a dealer at £7400.
Another classic entry was a Georgian carved mahogany card table, of serpentine form with a secret drawer and cabriole legs with scroll feet which took £3100.
By contrast, selling on its decorative appeal was a Victorian cast-iron polychrome novelty stick stand modelled as a begging chihuahua, its jaw clamped around a riding crop, which made £1150.
Appealing to the decorative trade in another discipline was a copper-framed plaque, tentatively ascribed to the Glasgow School. Measuring 13in x 9in (33cm x 23cm), the Queen of Hearts frame enclosed a brightly enamelled panel of a colourfully dressed dark-skinned lady bearing a plate of fruit. An indistinct label to the reverse indicated that at one time it had either been submitted to, or exhibited at, the Cork International Exhibition. Consigned by a local private vendor, and estimated to fetch a few hundred pounds, it was pursued to £4200 by the trade.
Notable collectables included a Troika Penny Black anvil vase, which sold at £800, and a Tunbridgeware novelty rosewood marquetry miniature dining table pin-holder, which took £420.