1. Treen model ship – £1600
Tucked inside this 18th century treen model of a ship’s hull is a historic note reading: "this was taken out of a writing bureau belonging to Lord Collingwood. I saw the bureau and know it's history".
It is a reference to Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood who assumed the role of command-in-chief after Nelson’s death at Trafalgar. The much-admired 5.5in (14cm) carving carried an estimate of £300-500 at Special Auction Services in Newbury on November 5, ultimately selling at £1600.
2. Qing silver teaset – £12,600
This Qing silver teaset dating to the last years of the 19th century carries marks for Wang Hing & Co of Hong Kong. The firm, begun just after the 1842 Treaty of Nanking by the Lo family, evolved to become the best known and most prolific retailer of silver of the period.
It is thought to have provided work for a network of silversmiths whose names are typically found in the Chinese characters or chop marks that accompany retailer’s WH mark.
This fine quarry teaset, embossed in fine detail with figurative landscapes that were typically copied from print sources, weighs a total of 66oz. A monogram suggests that, like many pieces of its kind, it was made for export.
Offered at Bentleys in Cranbrook, Kent on November 2 with a guide of £2000-3000, it sold to a buyer via thesaleroom.com at £12,600.
3. Faenza tin-glazed dish – £3200
Although catalogued by the auctioneer as 19th century and estimated at just £20-30, this tin-glazed earthenware dish was probably made in Faenza, Italy in the late 16th or early 17th century.
Measuring around 8in (20cm) across, it is modelled as a shell with a grotesque fish and a jester’s mask – a form probably copied from an ancient Roman bronze lamp.
These imitations of ancient prototypes, typically decorated ochre, yellow and blue, were popular as novelty drinking vessels and appear to have been a speciality of the potter Virgiliotto Calamelli who is a candidate for the maker of this piece.
Despite its obvious imperfections, it is a great rarity. It sold via thesaleroom.com for £3200 at WH Peacock of Bedford on November 1.
4. Georgian longcase clock – £4800
Most regionally-made Georgian oak longcase clocks can be bought for under £500 – but this example is by a highly-regarded and collectable maker John Wolley or Woolley (c.1738-95) of Codnor, Derbyshire.
The nephew of James Wolley (1695-1786), a talented maker of turret clocks in Nottinghamshire. John Wolley was responsible for many beautifully executed movements, often incorporating unusual forms of drive and wheel collet.
This clock with eight-day striking movement and typical brass dial signed Wolley Codnor above the date aperture carried an estimate of £200-300 at Bigwood, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire on November 1.
Lots of interest before the sale translated into a winning online bid of £4800.
5. Royal Crown Derby vases – £7200
The talented Sèvres-trained porcelain painter Desire Leroy (1840-1908) came to the United Kingdom in 1878 to take up an appointment at Minton in Staffordshire. However he is perhaps best known for his work at the Royal Crown Derby where he worked from 1890, aged 50, until his death in 1908.
He enjoyed a status far above the average ceramics decorator: he travelled to the Omaston Road factory in a horse-drawn carriage dressed in a silk top hat and carrying a cane.
His work still carries a premium today. These two vases and covers, offered for sale at Adam Partridge in Macclesfield on October 31 both carry signed Leroy floral vignettes and the have the added bonus of gilt and turquoise jewelled decoration. Offered together the two well-preserved pieces, the largest 5.5in (14cm) high, sold to an internet bidder for £7200 (estimate £200-300).
6. Chinese celadon vase – £28,000
The sale at Bamfords in Derby on October 30 included chattels from the estate of Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Alice Cavendish (1926-2018), daughter of 10th Duke of Devonshire of nearby Chatsworth House.
The array of aristocratic trinkets offered with humbler estimates threw up a number of surprises, not least this small 3.5in (8.5cm) celadon monochrome vase with a six character Yongzheng (1723-1735) mark.
Estimated as a later copy at just £100-200, it took £28,000.