1. Winter scene on glass – £13,000
Tennants’ sale in Leyburn on November 14 was topped by a pair of verre eglomisé pictures by Jonas Zeuner (1727-1814). Dated 1786, one picture depicted a townscape with frozen river and figures skating and sledging, and the second more unusual scene depicted an ice-bound landscape with fur-clad figures, a dog sled and bears.
Zeuner is regarded as one of the foremost practitioners of back-painting glass, combining oil paint with engraved gold and silver leaf. Topographical scenes of Dutch cities were his stock in trade (he also lived in England from 1802-06): winter scenes appear rarely in his work, and an Arctic scene may be a one-off.
They sold well over estimate at £13,000.
2. Michael Lloyd silver bowl – £3200
Small Britannia standard silver bowls, typically hand raised and worked with leaves and flowers, are the signature pieces of the Scottish silversmith Michael Lloyd (c.1950). He celebrated his 70th birthday earlier this year with an exhibition of recently made pieces.
This example, however, was made before the major commissions and institutional acclaim arrived. Hallmarked for the Silver Jubilee year 1977, at the time Lloyd, who had studied at the Vittoria School of Jewellery, Birmingham (1970-73) and the Royal College of Art, London (1976), was working from his first studio on a Dutch barge. The diminutive 8cm bowl weighing just over 2oz was pitched at just £25-50 when offered for sale at Potteries Auctions in Newcastle-under-Lyme on November 13. The hammer price was a more impressive £3200.
3. Dutch Old Master print – £1900
Although only tersely catalogued and guided at under £100, this copperplate etching sold for £1900 at Wessex Auctions in Chippenham on November 14.
Knowledgeable bidders recognised it as the work of Haarlem artist Adriaen van Ostade (1610-85), a genre scene from c.1644 titled The School Master. It is known in three states of which this appeared to be the last.
4. Prince Philip letter – £3000
This 11-page letter was written by Prince Philip (b.1921), Duke of Edinburgh during the Australian and New Zealand tour of 1943. Dated Victoria, 8 March, it was penned to Sir Harold Hartley to inform his correspondent of some of ‘the more interesting things we have seen’.
Among his more memorable observations are his assessment of the native population of New Zealand. “The Maori population is growing up without proper leadership,” he says. “The New Zealanders appear to regard them somewhere between museum pieces and domestic pets. There seems to be no official policy for them which is at all enlightened.”
He then adds: “New Zealand on the whole struck me as over-governed with not much room for initiative – the perfect welfare state in fact! The people were universally charming and on the whole most considerate.”
Such a lengthy and personal letter, quite different from the brief royal notes of thanks more commonly seen at auction, generated plenty of interest when it was offered for sale at Dominic Winter in South Cerney on November 11.
It was estimated at £200-300 but sold at £3000.
5. Shakespeare’s Fourth Folio – $28,000
The most immediately striking aspect of the 1685 Fourth Folio – the last edition of Shakespeare’s plays published in the 17th century – is its height.
H Herringman and his co-publishers E. Brewster, and R. Bentley decided on a larger paper size of 35 x 22cm to increase the number of lines per page. They added the seven plays included in the Third Folio (of these only Pericles is widely accepted into the Shakespearean canon) while keeping the number of sheets almost exactly the same as that in the First and Second. It served as the basis for the many 18th century editions of Shakespeare's plays.
This copy, above, came for sale at Hindman in Chicago on November 12 had the bookplate of American lawyer, novelist and historian Louis Auchincloss (1917-2010) and formed part of the collection of Edward A Quattrocchi. The first six leaves and the final leaf were all supplied in facsimile, a few leaves had marginal repairs and the calf binding was from the early 20th century.
Estimated at $15,000-20,000, it sold at $28,000 (£21,375).