1. William Morris curtains – £3400
Textiles and wallpaper were a large part of Arts & Crafts designer William Morris’ output. His interest in historical woven textiles led him to try to recreate the effect of medieval tapestries in the late 1870s and 1880s, including in his curtain schemes such as those for his own London home, Kelmscott House in Hammersmith.
The Peacock and Dragon pattern proved to one of Morris & Co’s most successful – it was inspired by Italian silks and also the colour schemes found in Islamic art.
A pair of William Morris peacock and dragon design flat-weave curtains with a red, blue and green colourway emerged at Mallams sale in Cheltenham on August 15.
Offered together and estimated at £100-150, each curtain measured 8ft 2in x 5ft 10in (2.5 x 1.77m). They sold at £3400.
2. Kütahya ewer – £950
Estimated at just £20-30, a Cranberry glass jug and a patterned ceramic jug were offered as a single lot at Sheffield Auction Gallery.
While the former was probably worth a sum in the region of the estimate, a number of bidders spotted that the latter was a late 19th century Kütahya type ewer. The lot was eventually knocked down at £950.
Kütahya, a small Anatolian town, was a centre of Ottoman pottery production that created wares characteristically decorated in bright colours. Although stylistically similar to Iznik pottery, Kütahya had a large Armenian community which meant the decoration often incorporated Christian motifs.
3. Artist’s palette – £580
Sir Cedric Morris (1889-1982) has become a big name in the Modern British art market. The artist-plantsman specialised in flower pictures and was a noted horticulturalist, breeding more than 90 named varieties of irises in his Suffolk garden.
Today, with collectors vying with leading members of the trade in pursuing his pictures, prices have been growing rapidly at auction with a record £140,000 set in January.
Offered at the Mander auction in Sudbury, Suffolk, on August 17 was an artist's palette which carried a metal plate on its stand which was inscribed ‘Sir Cedric Morris’. Had it once belonged to the artist?
Estimated at £30-50, a number of parties came forward on the day and a bid of £580 was eventually required to secure it.
4. Naval officer’s sword – £3300
British naval officers’ swords appear fairly regularly on the market but the example offered at Ryedale Auctions in North Yorkshire on August 18 appeared to have a number of rare features.
Catalogued as dating from 18th-19th century, the 2ft 6in (76cm) curved broad single fullered blade had a pierced gilt-metal guard with anchor motif, a lion-head pommel and ribbed ivory grip.
Estimated at £450-550 at the Militaria, Sporting & Firearms auction, it sold at £3300.
5. Chippendale-style chairs – £4800
Offered at Duggleby Stephenson of York on August 16 were a set of 12 Chippendale design mahogany dining chairs – six late 18th century and six late 19th century. They came to auction from the descendants of Henry Ernest Leetham, the former chairman of Terry's chocolate factory and came with a receipt from Mallett & Sons, Bath, dated 1914.
Leetham, who was also an important flour mill owner, lived at Aldersyde House, a late Victorian house he built in York, and it seems likely these chairs were purchased to furnish the property.
Offered as a single lot and estimated at £2000-3000, they sold at £4800.