1. Chinese export vases – £14,500
Pairs of vases such as this decorated in the famille rose palette with narrative scenes and vignettes of flowers, birds, insects and Buddhist symbols were exported from Canton in great number in the 19th century. Once the epitome of English country house taste, today many are finding a route back to China.
This pair, offered at an ‘online-only’ sale by Roger Jones in Cardiff on April 17, were well painted and an impressive size at 2ft 8in (80cm) high. They were in generally good condition although one did have some chipping to the blue chilong dragons that form the handles.
Estimated at £3000-5000, they sold to a bidder via thesaleroom.com at £14,500 (estimate £3000-5000).
2. Moomin book with original drawing – £1600
Estimated at £100-150, a copy of Moominvalley in November, the 9th and final book in the Moomin series, sold for £1600 at Gorringe’s in Lewes on April 20. This copy was a 1971 first English edition with its dust jacket but much of its appeal lay in an original pen and ink drawing by Swedish author Tove Jansson (1914-2001) that appears to the flyleaf.
In addition to the name of the recipient Christine Clark, Jansson had sketched two of the key characters from the book, Fillyjonk, a woman obsessed with neatness and Toft, an orphan who lives under the tarpaulin of a boat.
3. 17th century longcase clock – £11,000
Estimated at just £1000-1500, this late 17th century walnut eight-day longcase clock sold via thesaleroom.com for £11,000 at Elstob & Elstob in Ripon on April 18. The (1.93m) case, with a lenticle to the door and a hood decorated with fretwork and spiral columns, is typical of a London-made clock from around 1680.
The 10in (25cm) square brass dial with date aperture and subsidiary seconds is signed Henry Jones in y Temple. Jones (1642-1695), who worked at worked from Inner Temple Lane, is ranked among the top tier of early London clockmakers. Apprenticed to Edward East, he became a Freeman of the Clockmakers Company in 1663, was made an Assistant in 1676 and became Master in 1691.
This example of his craft requires a full restoration but, after sensitive conservation, a very good Golden Age clock will emerge.
4. Connor Brothers print – £2400
The Connor Brothers first entered the contemporary art scene as Brooklyn-based escapees from the Californian cult The Family – their paintings apparently an attempt to make sense of the world to which they were now exposed.
The reality was just as intriguing. The Connors were in fact two urban art dealers from London – Mike Snelle and James Golding – who finally broke cover after an 18-month ruse in October 2014.
Since shedding their fictional guise, the artists have begun to align their work with social and political causes. Their ‘Pulp Fiction’ series recontextualises the covers of 1950s ‘dime novel’ covers and Penguin paperbacks – in this case a Penguin classic of Regency literature becomes Pride in Prejudice by Donald Trump. From an edition of only two 7 x 4in (18 x 11cm) silkscreen prints, it sold at £2400 at Lyon & Turnbull on April 16.