1. Transitional period Chinese vase
Although catalogued as Kangxi period, this 10in (25cm) ovoid vase is a Transitional piece – made in the era (1620-83) when court patronage of the porcelain factory at Jingdezhen all but dried up.
Instead, ceramics were made for merchants, scholars and for export with production far more diverse than during ‘imperial’ times.
Blue and white vases such as this (originally made with covers) are among the most recognisable products of this era, freely decorated with extravagant landscapes or scenes from popular literature. Once the epitome of old European collecting taste, they are increasingly expensive.
At Stacey’s in Rayleigh, Essex on September 20 it was guided at £1000-1500 but sold at £36,000. It was in good condition although did have some minor bruises to the rim.
2. First World War medal group
Lieutenant William Emlyn Hardwick (1885-1918) was born in Brecon but by the time he enlisted to fight in the First World War he was living in Australia. After joining the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion in 1915, he fought at Gallipoli as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and then on the Western Front. He received the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry twice: first in 1916 when he rushed an enemy position in a mine crater and again on August 21, 1917 when, under heavy fire, he captured a machine gun and six prisoners at Hereleville, near Amiens. He was killed in action in France on 5 October 1918 and buried at Tincourt New British Cemetery.
Hardwick’s medals plus associated literature, including two letters he sent home from the front, were offered for sale by Adam Partridge in Macclesfield on September 14. This Australian Imperial Force Military Cross and bar group of four attracted plenty of interest at its estimate of £3000-5000 and went on to bring £5400.
3. Wall mirrors
Complex cartouche shaped marginal wall mirrors from the early 18th century are notably rarer than arched or rectangular examples. This pair, offered by Tennants in Leyburn on September 17, stand 3ft 6in (1.04m) high by 2ft 5in (72cm) wide and probably date to around 1710. Another pictured in World Mirrors 1650-1900 by Graham Child.
They show various losses to the gesso moulded frame, some cracks to the marginal plates and one of the mercury glass bevel plates is a later addition. However, as both a rare and hugely attractive design and a pair, they attracted plenty of bidding well above the £1500-2000 estimate. The hammer price was a much more muscular £45,000.
4. Indonesian prince portrait
The Danish artist Hugo Vilfred Pedersen (1870-1959) studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen but afterwards spent 12 years travelling around Asia. His tour of what was then known as the Dutch East Indies provided the illustrations for his 1902 publication Durch den Indischen Archipel. A number of his surviving works depict characters and personalities at the Surakarta Palace in Java. This oil on canvas portrait of an Indonesian prince is titled Emperor Toewan Soesoehoenan of Soerakarta. It had last sold for £800 at Christie’s in 2001 but attracted rather more attention as part of the Bonhams’ Travel & Exploration sale on September 20. Estimated at £1000-1500, it brought £12,000.
5. Olympic show jumping medals
Items from the trophy cabinet of Peter Robeson (1929-2018) – double Olympic medallist and ‘godfather of British show jumping’ – came for sale at Sworders on September 21. The collection, numbering 30 lots in total, was offered as part of the regular Homes & Interiors auction
The highlight was this Olympic bronze medal won by Robeson as part of the British show jumping team in 1956. This award is particularly rare and seldom available to collectors. While the 1956 Games were officially held in Melbourne; due to Australian quarantine restrictions the equestrian events took place in Stockholm. Only a total of 66 riders competed with just 12 bronze medals minted across all of the events. The medal, given to Robeson for his ride on Scorchin, is embossed XVI Olympiadens Ryttartavlingar 1956 Stockholm comes in its original case. It was expected to bring £3000-5000 but went on to fetch £9500.