1. A Sir Kyffin Williams painting
This typical palette knife oil by Sir Kyffin Williams (1918-2006), perhaps the defining Welsh artist of the 20th century, depicts a roadside cottage in Snowdonia on the bank of Llyn Peris. The auctioneers, Rogers Jones of Cardiff who sold it for £18,500 (estimate £12,000-15,000) on July 6, believed the view was a house located directly across Llyn Peris from Dinorwig Power Station. The 20in by 2ft (50 x 60cm) oil on canvas was signed with initials KW lower left.
2. A Valetta harbour oil painting
Captured from the French by the British with the assistance of a local rebellion in 1800, Malta became an important naval and commercial base in the 19th century, and a resting place for travellers en route to the Middle East, the Crimea, and India. Pictures of Valetta harbour became a common stock in trade for the local artists who found patronage amongst the local gentry and naval officers seeking topographical souvenirs. This typical 2ft 1in x 3ft 3in (63 x 99cm) oil of a Dutch double-decker entering Valetta harbour is from the circle of Anton Schranz (1769-1839) who moved to Malta in 1817. Ex Frost & Reed, it took £17,000 (estimate £6000-8000) from an online buyer at Lawrences of Crewkerne on July 5.
3. A Second World War sketch book
Interest in artworks that shed light on the experiences of the Second World War has spiked in recent years. This sketch book and folio of primary sketches made by an anonymous art school student during the Blitz in south east London sold to an online bidder for an unexpected £2900 (estimate £20-40) at Hansons sale in Bishton Hall, Staffordshire on July 3. Many of the pencil and ink sketches displaying the immediate aftermath of bomb damage in ‘Beckenham, Penge, Croydon etc’ are annotated with comments including deaths, names and location. A few more typical studies from art school completed the album.
4. An early book on hysteria
A Briefe Discourse of a Disease called the Suffocation of the Mother by Edward Jorden is considered the first book in English on ‘hysteria’. Published in 1603 within a month of the London edition of Daemonologie (the compendium on witchcraft lore written by the newly-crowned James I) it attempted to reclaim the idea of demonic possession for medicine. Jorden believed the ancient concept of hysteria was a disease entity with specific etiology, a sex-linked nervous disorder and the potential imitator of all ills. It is considered an important chapter in the history of psychiatry.
The first edition in later mottled calf sold via thesaleroom.com for £7000 at Forum Auctions in London on July 10.
5. A collection of 19th century Qajar armour
This mid-19th century Qajar armour comprising helmet (kulah-khud), shield (dhal) and arm defence (bazu-band) sold to an online bidder for £9000 at the July 10 sale held by arms and armour specialist Thomas Del Mar at Olympia Auctions in London. In addition to complex patterns of flowering tendrils picked out in gold, the kulah-khud and dhal each have calligraphic cartouches that reference the names Dara, Iskandar, Rustam, Bahram, heroes from the Shahnama. The vendor had bought the suite at Sotheby’s in 1981.