1. China Trade portrait
This China Trade portrait attributed to Lam Qua (1801-60) is one of a pair that comes to sale at Special Auction Services of Newbury on January 7.
The two 23 x 18in (58 x 44cm) half-length oils of ladies in traditional costume, one holding a child, were last sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong back in 1973. At SAS the estimate is £3000-5000.
The sale will be the first at the firm’s new premises in Plenty Close, off Hambridge Road, Newbury.
View and bid for this China Trade portrait via thesaleroom.com.
2. Silver steelyard
This fine-quality calibrated silver steelyard c.1780 in an original shaped green-stained shagreen case, was made by John Joseph Merlin (1735-1803) – the Belgian engineer and inventor behind the silver swan automaton in the Bowes Museum and owner of Merlin’s Mechanical Museum.
His portrait, painted by Gainsborough in 1781, hangs in Kenwood House, depicting him with coin steelyard in hand. Estimated at £2000, the balance (one of only of a handful of examples known in silver) forms part of a large collection of scales and balances to be offered on January 8 at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchet.
The 271 lots were assembled by John Barnett, who joined The International Society of Antique Scale Collectors in 1995.
View and bid for this silver steelyard via thesaleroom.com.
3. Victorian gilt brass carriage timepiece
This rare and fine early Victorian gilt brass chronometer carriage timepiece was made by James McCabe of Royal Exchange, London, c.1856. Housed in a gilt bronze Dent-style case with four bevelled glass panels, the movement includes maintaining power, a bi-metallic cut compensated balance and an Earnshaw spring detent escapement. Both the backplate and the dial are signed and numbered 2903.
Offered with an original numbered winding key and a probably original leather travelling case, it has an estimate of £8000-12,000 at the Woolley & Wallis sale of Furniture, Works of Art and Clocks on January 8 in Salisbury.
English chronometer carriage timepieces are relatively rare, especially by James McCabe although, another sold at Bellmans in November 2019 for £14,000.
View and bid for this carriage timepiece via thesaleroom.com.
4. Minton tile
The January 9 sale at Greenslade Taylor Hunt in Taunton includes a rare set of Minton tiles decorated on the themes of the Seven Ages of Man by Henry Stacy Marks (1829-98).
Each tile, made c.1875 and based on scenes from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, measures 20 x 10in (51 x 25cm). Offered as a set from a private vendor, they are estimated at £8000-12,000.
The Second Age tile shown here depicts a child in a summer garden overlooked by his parents.
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5. Victorian horn snuff mull
The January 9-10 sale at East Bristol Auctions includes a Victorian horn snuff mull with repoussé silver and cut stone cover and a terminal carved as a seal’s head.
The thistle-engraved silver mount is inscribed Presented to JM Campbell 20th Sept. 1884.
Estimate £200-300. View and bid for this horn snuff mull via thesaleroom.com.
6. Wedgwood vase
A 9in (23cm) high ribbed shoulder vase made by Wedgwood to a design by the New Zealand-born architect Keith Murray (1891-1981) carries an estimate of £40-60 at Brighton & Hove Auctions in Brighton on January 10.
Murray first began working for Wedgwood in 1932 and in 1936 was appointed architect in charge of designing the new factory at Barleston.
View and bid for this Wedgwood vase via thesaleroom.com.