1. Old Master biblical landscape – €330,000
A panoramic landscape depicting the Conversion of Saint Paul appeared at Cologne saleroom Lempertz on November 17. The work was attributed to the anonymous painter known as ‘The Master of the Female Half-Lengths’ (active c.1525-50) by the art historian Alexander Wied in 2004.
While the subject is rare in the Flemish school art of this period, the composition and landscape resembled a number of known works by the artist, in particular Landscape with Hunting Party which is now in the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire in Geneva.
Estimated at €100,000-140,000, the 12 x 17.25in (30.5 x 43.9 cm) oil on panel drew significant interest at the Lempertz sale and it was knocked down at €330,000 (£293,465) to an internet bidder.
2. Monkey claret jugs – £15,000
This pair of Edwardian silver mounted claret jugs in the form of seated monkeys were part of a collection of more than a dozen animal-shaped decanters offered at Reeman Dansie in Colchester, Essex on November 20.
Made by London firm Richard Hood & Son between 1904-09, the monkey claret jugs measured 11in (28cm) high and had engraved glass bodies and silver feet.
Estimated at £7000-9000, they sold at £15,000 and fetched the highest price among the group.
3. Shoes with Russian connections – £4900
A pair of Russian cream leather children’s shoes drew strong competition at Lawrences of Crewkerne, Somerset on November 16. They came with a label inside to St Petersburg boot shop Henry Weiss and were accompanied by a hand written card stating: ‘Shoes worn by H.R.H Grand Duchess Marie Nikolaevna of Russia, 1902’.
Grand Duchess Marie Nikolaevna was the third daughter of Tsar Nicholas II and was killed along with her family after the Russian Revolution in 1918. Assuming the card is correct, she would have been 3 years old when these shoes were worn.
Estimated at £80-120, they were knocked down at £4900 at the sale.
4. Age of Empire archive – £4000
A collection of late 19th and early 20th century ephemera relating to Ludvig Verner Helms and James Brooke, the 'Rajah of Sarawak', including letters and correspondence was offered at Duke’s in Dorchester, Dorset on November 20.
Helms was a Danish merchant who became the first manager of The Borneo Company in the Malaysian state of Sarawak in 1856. He was based there from 1852-72 and had first-hand experience of the troubled days of Brooke’s reign as the Rajah tried to quell piracy and insurrection.
The archive at Duke’s was estimated at £100-200. It sold at £4000.
5. Georgian card tables – £8800
A pair of George III mahogany foldover card tables drew plenty of bidding at Tennants of Leyburn, North Yorkshire on November 17. Estimated at £1500-2000, they were knocked down at £8800. Dating from the late 18th century, they had hinged leaves with the interior table tops lined in green baize. On acanthus carved cabriole legs with ball and claw feet, they measured 3ft x 17.75in x 2ft 6in (91 x 45 x 77cm).
6. Jacobsen egg chair – £1450
When it comes to modern design, the closer an item dates to the original model often plays a key role in determining value. The egg chair by Arne Jacobsen, designed in 1958 for Fritz Hansen, is such an example.
This factor likely explains the competition that arrived on this example that appeared at Eldreds in Plymouth on November 20, estimated at £40-60. It was an original example dating from the early 1960s and had a manufacturer's label to base.
Bidders were clearly not deterred by the badly-faded upholstery, and it was knocked down at £1450.