1. Stuart Devlin eggs – £4400
Two cased Stuart Devlin silver gilt surprise eggs of unique designs sold for £4400 at 1818 Auctions in Milnthorpe, Cumbria on April 1. The lot was estimated at £300-400.
One hallmarked for London 1968 opening to reveal a cushion cut kunzite in a silver gilt coronet came in a retailer’s box for Collingwood of Conduit Street.
The second opening to reveal a trio of amethyst crystals in a gilt nest style surround came in a case retailed by Cartier. Key to their appeal – and a price way above the £200-500 typically commanded by Devlin surprise eggs was a personal letter from Stuart Devlin confirming their unique design along with signed photographs and an original receipt.
They sold to an online bidder via thesaleroom.com.
2. Qing silver coin – £5700
This late Qing silver coin is a Fengtien Province ‘dragon dollar’. Struck in ‘year 24’ (1898) it includes the value of the coin and the province name in central circle surrounded by 13 Manchu characters. To the reverse is a dragon surrounded by 14 Chinese characters.
A number of different variants exists of which this is clearly a rarity. At Bourne End Auction Rooms in Buckinghamshire on April 3, it improved on an estimate of £50-100 to bring £5700 from an online bidder.
3. 'The Easel of Frank Lloyd Wright’ – £4200
This American pine and cast iron architect’s easel c.1880 is thought to have belonged to Frank Lloyd Wright. It travelled with him to Europe in 1909 for a visit that combined study of art and architecture with the publication of the first folio of his work in Germany. As recorded in later brass labels it was presented during his trip to his Berlin publisher Dr Ernst Wasmuth in appreciation.
'The Easel of Frank Lloyd Wright' was lent in 1932 to the Werkbundsiedlung in Vienna the Kärntnerstrasse in Vienna and in the 1940s was passed to Dr Hans Herzfeld in the post-war years. However, until the mid-1980s it was in the possession of The Westfair Estate in Malibu, a Savings and Loan company who bought architectural memorabilia from Europe for display.
It sold to an online bidder via thesaleroom.com for £4200 at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on April 3. The estimate was £3000-5000.
4. Andrew Grima ring – £9000
His daring organic sculptural designs re-energised the British jewellery scene in post-war Britain, now Andrew Grima’s (1921-2007) creations are leading the revival of ‘60s and ‘70s designer jewellery on the secondary market.
Estimated at £1000-1500, this green beryl and diamond dress ring with marks for Grima, London 1970, sold in its original box at Mallams Oxford on March 27 for £9000. It sold to an online bidder via thesaleroom.com.
5. Montefiore letters – £5500
A group of letters written by the financier and Jewish community leader Sir Moses Haim Montefiore (1784-1885) sold for £5500 at Forum Auctions in London on March 28. The 14 autographed letters penned from Montefiore’s home, East Cliff Lodge in Ramsgate, between August 1869 to July 1878 were written to Michael Henry on a variety of subjects.
They included thanking Henry for condolences on the death of his sister, sending him a letter addressed to him by the Wardens of the Holy Congregations of Jerusalem and asking him to publish it in his journal, acknowledging a payment of £1.1. in aid of the Distressed Jews of Jerusalem.
Regretting that he cannot be present at the opening of the Stepney Schools, he wrote: “I assure you nothing would give me more pleasure than to meet our esteemed Chief Rabbi...".
The estimate was £1000-1500.
6. Kangxi vase – £8000
This vase belongs to a group of related porcelains produced at the end of the 17th century and in later periods commemorating the visit of the Song dynasty poet Sushi to Cim Bi (Red Cliffs) in Hubai Province.
The vase, decorated in blue and white with panels of different flowering plants and lines from a poem, carries a six-character Kangxi (1661-1722) reign mark and is possibly of the period.
It sold to an online bidder for £8000 at Keys of Aylsham on March 27.