Find out what’s on offer and where to find these items with six highlights from upcoming sales.
Birds of the British Isles – Dominic Winter
Thomas Littleton Powys, 4th Baron Lilford (1833-1896) was a British aristocrat and ornithologist and was among the founders of the British Ornithologists’ Union in 1858. His Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Isles was completed by Osbert Salvin after his death. A second edition of the seven-volume work, published from 1891-97, goes under the hammer at Dominic Winter’s two day auction (December 12-13). It includes 421 chromolithographed or hand-coloured lithographed plates, mostly after Thorburn and Keulemans mounted throughout. It has a bookplate of Howard Gould to each volume and is expected to take £1000-1500.
Seaweed album – Forum Auctions
Seaweed collecting was a popular pastime for Victorian ladies. A sentimental and safely domestic pursuit, specimens were arranged and pressed into scrapbooks. The pursuit was seen as a morally upright ‘accomplishment’ if not a scientific pursuit. An example of a seaweed scrapbook coming up at Forum Auctions features 12 pages with specimens between pages one and seven as well as an albumen photograph mounted on the title with a printed advertisement for hotels owned by Dabell tipped in at the rear. It bears an ink inscription arranged by FP Dabell, Bazaar, Black Gang Chine, Isle of Wight, 1870. It refers to Blackgang Chine, the oldest amusement park in the 1840s. It has an estimate of £150-200.
Dragon tile panel – Woolley & Wallis
This William De Morgan Persian three-tile panel, painted with a dragon climbing in a bough, is featured in Woolley & Wallis’ December 12 auction where it is estimated at £3000-5000. A lifelong friend of William Morris, De Morgan designed tiles, stained glass and furniture for Morris & Co from 1863-72. His tiles are often based on medieval designs or Islamic patters. Among his most popular motifs were ‘fantastical’ birds and other animals. Like many of his tiles, these form an intricate pattern when laid together. Executed in shades of green, turquoise, blue and aubergine on a white ground, it is offered mounted on board with the marks concealed. It is for sale as part of an auction of British art pottery which also includes a number of Martin Brothers items.
Longcase clock – Charterhouse Auctioneers & Valuers
This longcase clock features a case veneered in walnut with floral marquetry and burr inlaid decoration. The square brass dial has a silvered chapter ring with Roman numerals and there is an eight-day movement. It is included in Charterhouse’s sale on December 14, which includes clocks, coins, stamps and militaria as well as collectors’ items and antiques. The vendor is understood to have inherited it from his father who purchased it in the 1960s, though it is thought to have been restored before that. The restored face is catalogued as having a “very fresh appearance” and the clock has an estimate of £3000-4000.
Théodor Deck plaques – Capes Dunn
A pair of late 19th century pottery wall plaques by Théodore Deck (1823-91), with an estimate of £200-300, are included in Capes Dunn’s auction of December 11, taking place in Stockport. Deck was a 19th century French potter who was inspired by Islamic and Chinese porcelain design. These plaques are painted with birds and butterflies among flowering and fruiting foliage.
Seago Landscape – Lacy Scott & Knight
A perennial favourite for some collectors, British artist Edward Seago (1910-74) is known for his English landscapes, particularly his views of East Anglia. This oil on board of Flooded Fen, Norfolk, is one of the highlights at Lacy Scott & Knight’s auction in Suffolk on December 15 with an estimate of £8000-12,000. It bears a gallery label verso for P&D Colnaghi of Old Bond Street.