1. Micromosaic wall plaques – £12,000
Micromosaics reached the height of their popularity in the mid 19th century when they were popular, easily portable, purchases on the Grand Tour. Most were made in workshops in Rome that catered to a wide range of tastes and budgets.
The best work backed on copper achieved up to 5000 tesserae per square inch.
These four micromosaic wall plaques, each relatively large at just over 4in (11cm) diameter and appealing as a matching set, depict garden butterflies against a pale blue ground. Similar plaques were often purchased for setting into table tops or frames.
Estimated at £80-120 by Grand Auctions of Folkestone, Kent on September 23, they sold at £12,000.
2. Fauvist painting – £5800
This Fauvist oil is by Jessica Stewart Dismorr (1885-1939) – a Slade School and Académie de La Palette trained painter who participated in almost all of the avant-garde groups active in London in the inter-war years.
She was one of only two women members of the Vorticist movement (Christopher Nevinson had not wanted "any of these damned women" in the group), the only female contributor to Group X and also exhibited with the Allied Artists Association, the Seven and Five Society and the London Group.
This particular work, signed but undated, is typical of a series of pictures Dismorr painted in c.1911-12 after seeing the Fauvist paintings of Henri Matisse, André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck. It measures 13 x 16in (33 x 41cm) and is unframed.
It was offered for sale at Roseberys London on September 23 with modest expectations of £300-500. It sold at £5800.
3. George III medal – £3200
This Resolution and Adventure medal is one of 2000 that were commissioned by the British Admiralty ahead of James Cook’s Second Voyage launched in 1772. They were to be used as gifts or bartering tools when encountering indigenous people with others given as favours to sailors.
The medals were made from platina, an alloy of brass, copper, lead, tin and antimony, and have a bust of George III on the obverse and a depiction of the Resolution and Adventure on the reverse. Typically, the side featuring the king is often better preserved, as the medals were worn as pendants with the monarch facing outwards, causing rubbing to the reverse.
The early provenance of this medal, for sale at Tennants’ Militaria and Ethnographic sale in Leyburn on September 25, has been lost but it was given to the vendor by his grandmother when he was young.
Estimated at £800-1200 it took £3200.
4. Longines A7 ‘Avigation’ watch – £22,000
This rare A7 ‘Avigation’ wristwatch is one of just 175 made by Swiss maker Longines for Wittnauer, USA in c.1935. Its distinctive features are a large-scale offset dial with a single crown/push button to operate the chronograph function.
This particular A7 – subject to a recent overhaul by Longines when a new strap was added – was being sold for the first time at Reeman Dansie in Colchester on September 24.
The watch belonged to the vendor’s late grandfather who is believed to have purchased the watch in London from one of the numerous antique shops, junk shops and pawnbrokers that he frequented during the late 1930s-early 1950s.
Estimated at £15,000-20,000, it sold for £22,000. Another A7 was sold at Bonhams New York in May 2017 for $34,500.
5. Harry Potter first edition – £22,000
This first edition, first issue copy of the first book in the Harry Potter series sold for £22,000 at Chiswick Auctions on September 25.
The telltale sign of a 1997 first (an edition of just 500 copies) is the error that appears on page 53: '1 wand' appearing twice in Harry’s Diagon Ally shopping list.
While other copies have made much more, this good-looking copy had been restored. The original pictorial boards had been re-laminated (to a high standard) and new end-papers added. The original end-papers of the book, that (like many early copies were worn and had library ink stamps to the verso of title-page) had been retained.
The winning bid, just over the estimate of £15,000-£20,000, came via thesaleroom.com from a UK buyer.