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Bristol: Grey-Harris

Corals, crystals and shells are integral to the work of Hal Messel (b.1986) who is the subject of the exhibition Art in Nature at Grey Harris. He uses traditional silversmithing techniques but weaves organic features in each design.

The show is one of two held at the gallery’s Clifton showrooms, both staged to mark the 50th anniversary of the art and antiques business.

Wood Paper Thread – A Journey, the other exhibition, features the work of Michael McCaldin (b.1962). His books, made of thick, handmade papers recall journeys through the use of natural materials encountered along the way including grasses, reeds, leaves and snake skins.

A member of the British Antique Dealers Association (BADA), Grey-Harris specialises in diamonds, coloured stone jewellery and pearls. The exhibitions continue until November 4.

London: Flints Auctions

A gold compass sundial by Jacques Etienne Armand features in Flint Auctions’ sale of Fine Photographica and Instruments of Science and Medicine on October 31 (viewing on October 30).

The pocketwatch-style device is made with gold and white enamel and has an estimate of £2500-3500. The compass has eight points, magnetic variation scale and a white enamelled dial plate is supported by three gold struts. It is signed Armand Paris and the back is believed to be an amethyst glass cover over engraved gold. Only one other such instrument with a near-identical dial is known to exist, in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. That example is in gilt copper rather than solid gold.

Armand worked 1755-80 after apprenticing with Canivet.

Ayrshire: Scottish Maritime Museum

The Scottish Maritime Museum has acquired ‘The Boat Builders’, an early painting by John Bellany (1942-2013), for £200,000.

Completed in 1962 while the painter was at the Edinburgh College of Art, it is a one of the first works known by the artist and is thought to represent both the history of boat building in his family and the beginning of the relationship with his wife Helen.

It is a huge work measuring 9ft 10in x 16ft 4in (3 x 5m) and has been in private ownership for the past 55 years. Helen unveiled the painting at the museum in late September, calling it “one of the key works of his career”.

The painting is on view until the end of March when it will undergo conservation work.
 

Exeter: Trinity Marine

A 12 bolt Siebe Gorman diving helmet is among the wide selection of marine antiques and décor at Trinity Marine in Exeter. Offered for £5100, the 24kg helmet is in used but good condition and is numbered 17759. The British company Siebe Gorman developed diving and breathing equipment and was known for developing the ‘closed’ diving helmet of standard driving dress that was formerly used for nearly all underwater work.

Knutsford: Wright Marshall

Included in Wright Marshall’s Decades of Design sale (October 27), this Eric Ravilious lithograph is estimated at £300-500. Pencil signed and offered in an oak frame, Liner Entering New Haven Harbour records the movement of the clouds, the light and the incoming tide. The focus on the landscape recalls the Romantic tradition yet is distinctively stylised.