Pick of the Week


Irish mid-18th century mahogany side table

Pick of the week: Irish exuberance brings the big bucks in North Carolina

01 March 2021

Bidders were out in force at a recent sale in North Carolina for a collection of 136 lots consigned from the estate of the late Robert K Johnson, a finance and telecommunications executive.

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Pick of the week: ‘Greatest enemy of the East African slave trade’

22 February 2021

The handwritten journal of Colonel Christopher Rigby, recording his success in securing freedom for thousands of slaves in east Africa, was the highlight of a collection of his papers sold in London.

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Pick of the week: Pondicherry carpet saved from the ashes of Ossian’s Hall

15 February 2021

In his book 'Oriental Rugs' (1998), textiles scholar Murray Eiland Jr lamented the challenges in dating and identifying carpets woven in south-east India.

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Pick of the week: So what am I bid for my great-great aunt?

08 February 2021

A nude study by Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) found plenty of admirers when it appeared at the latest fine art sale held by Penzance saleroom David Lay (18% buyer’s premium).

Chinese export elephant form tureens

Pick of the week: Buyer figures out the tureen differences

01 February 2021

Tureens in the form of geese, cockerel, carp, ox head, boar’s head and other animals were an integral part of the grand display in an 18th century European dining room.

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Pick of the week: Up, up and away for £3.3m Aynhoe Park auction dispersal

25 January 2021

Some of the most eagerly contested lots in the Aynhoe Park: The Celebration of a Modern Grand Tour sale held by Dreweatts in Oxfordshire on January 20-21 were those created by the owner of the property himself.

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Pick of the week: Aroma therapy – the c.1800 perfumes concealed in a book

18 January 2021

The luxury perfumery l’Officina Profuma Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Florence is considered the oldest pharmacy in the world.

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Pick of the week: Take tea with the queen – at a twelfth the normal size

11 January 2021

A copy of the Royal Doulton dinner service commissioned in 1922 for Queen Mary’s doll’s house sold for a top-estimate £30,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) as part of the Thomas Goode auction at Sotheby’s.

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Pick of the week: Vincennes Louis XV dish takes £95,000

21 December 2020

This 12½in (32cm) Vincennes circular dish or plat d’entremets from the first Louis XV service sold for £95,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) at Woolley & Wallis.

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Pick of the week: Jumbo price from Rothberger collection

14 December 2020

The Anschluss of 1938 between Nazi Germany and Austria had a devastating effect on Vienna’s Jewish population.

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Pick of the week: De Morgan’s Frightened Bird flaps to £27,000

07 December 2020

This 14in (36cm) diameter ‘double lustre’ shallow dish or charger by William De Morgan (1839-1917) is decorated in the so-called ‘Frightened Bird’ pattern.

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Pick of the week: Rev Gilpin champions the Romantic ideal

30 November 2020

The artist, cleric, schoolmaster and author William Gilpin (1724-1804) is best known as a champion of the Romantic idea of the picturesque.

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Pick of the week: Florence sparkles in Castrucci’s stunning stone carving

23 November 2020

In 1592, the Florentine stone carver Cosimo Castrucci (fl.1576-1602) was called to the imperial court in Prague by Rudolph II.

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Pick of the week: Window into 18th century gentry life

16 November 2020

An item of local interest to bidders at Bamfords in Derby was this 18th century account book for Radbourne Hall, the seat of the Chandos-Pole family.

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Pick of the week: Fab pair from ‘Glasgow Four’ duo

09 November 2020

Two pieces by ‘Glasgow Four’ artists Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) and Frances Macdonald McNair (1873-1921) topped Lyon & Turnbull’s Decorative Arts: Design since 1860 auction on November 2-3.

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Pick of the week: Manuscript at Roseberys reveals a little-studied era

02 November 2020

As referenced in an inscription to the opening folio, this early 19th century manuscript – offered at Roseberys in south London – was produced for the Nawab of Sachin, Ibrahim Muhammed Yakut Khan I Bahadur (r.1802-53).

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Pick of the week: Toso’s ‘Monsieur and Madame Satan’

26 October 2020

Relatively little is known about the 19th century woodcarver Francesco Toso, who was born in Murano, Venice, to a family of glass makers.

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Pick of the week: Replica great auk is real winner at auction

19 October 2020

A Rowland Ward replica of a great auk – the flightless seabird that became extinct in the mid 19th century – sold at auction in Gloucestershire for £25,000.

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Pick of the week: King George I in the running at £125,000

12 October 2020

Paintings by leading British sporting artists went under the hammer for the first time in over 100 years at Cheffins in Cambridge on October 1.

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Pick of the week: Slide rule measures up at £11,000

05 October 2020

The invention of the gauger’s slide rule in the 1680s is generally credited to one Thomas Everard of Southampton.

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