Alexandre Raoul Morel snuffbox

Marked for Alexandre Raoul Morel, this gold and diamond snuffbox featuring a portrait miniature of French king Louis Philippe made £46,000 at Chorley’s.

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Part of a prominent aristocratic collection from a Cotswolds country house, it was a last-minute entry to the April 23 auction after the vendors had apparently found it in a bathroom cabinet prior to the sale.

Many works in the consignment had provenance back to the 3rd Earl of Liverpool, Charles Cecil Cope Jenkinson (1784-1851), and were once housed at the family seats of Pitchford Hall and Buxted Park. Others came into the collection via marriage. Having remained in the family over many generations, this was the first time they had appeared on the open market.

The 343 lots came to the Prinknash Abbey saleroom following a recent death although Chorley’s said it could not disclose details about the actual house that supplied the collection due to confidentiality agreements. With a significant group of portraits, Georgian furniture, porcelain, silver and enamel boxes all on offer, only eight lots failed to sell with the hammer total coming in at £558,000.

A group of Royal gifts were among the most sought after items. The snuffbox which was marked for Alexandre Raoul Morel (fl.1833-1850) featured a portrait miniature on ivory by Francois Meuret (1800-1887) depicting Louis Philippe I, King of France. It had been given by King Leopold I of Belgium to the 3rd Earl of Liverpool when he was Lord Steward and visited Belgium with Queen Victoria in 1843.

Estimated at £10,000-15,000, it sold at £46,000 (plus 23.5% buyer’s premium) to a UK dealer.

Another Royal gift was a pair of George III silver candlesticks by Paul Storr from 1815 that carried an inscription The Gift of His Majesty King William the Fourth to the Hon'ble Nigel Kennedy 1836 together with the Royal armorial. Pitched at £7000-10,000, they were bid to a final £18,000.

Also going well above expectations was a George II gilt gesso serpentine eagle console table in the manner of William Kent. Having been stored for many years under a tarpaulin in an outbuilding, it was in poor condition and was estimated £4000-6000. After good competition, it was knocked down at £25,000.

Old Master landscape

A nocturnal landscape oil on panel catalogued as by a ‘follower of Aert Van Der Neer’, £50,000 at Chorley’s.

The top lot of the sale overall came among the pictures when a small nocturn catalogued as by a ‘follower of Aert Van Der Neer (1603-1677)’ overshot an £800-1200 estimate and was knocked down to a European dealer at £50,000.

A trade source told ATG that the use of light and the presence of two figures to the lower left foreground pointed to another Dutch Golden Age painter, Jan Lievens (1607-74). Although primarily a portraitist, he also produced a smaller number of landscapes not unlike his close contemporary Rembrandt with whom he shared a studio.

George Henry Harlow portrait

The top selling lot among a large group of 18th and 19th century portraits at Chorley’s was this painting of the 3rd Earl of Liverpool’s three daughters – Lady Catherine, Lady Selina and Lady Louisa – by George Henry Harlow (1787-1819). It surpassed an estimate of £8000-12,000, selling at £38,000.

Further paintings from the sale will be reported in a future issue of ATG.