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The best in the West? We’ll see...

06 February 2004

ORGANISER Sue Ede of Cooper Antiques Fairs is promising “an antiques event of a quality not seen before in the West Country” with this weekend’s launch of her West Country Antiques Fair at Powderham Castle, near Exeter. It seems a bold claim but, on reflection, there have not been that many successful quality fairs in the West Country so Mrs Ede may well be on safe ground.

Oh what a beautiful mourning

30 October 2002

The fastest growing area of the jewellery market, mourning apparel has become “hot property in the past 12 months”, says Jethro Marles of Bearne’s. Pointedly excepting the sort of heavy black jewellery produced in large quantities during the post-Albert period, he says that the material that has doubled in value over the past year is the earlier, more delicate mourning jewellery of the sort shown right.

£12,500 Nelson outranks artist

17 July 2002

In the portrait miniature market the sitter is considered less important than the painter – but sometimes even a famous artist like Henry Bone, enamellist to the Prince Regent and the author of this miniature, right, can be superseded by their subject.

18th century blue ground imperial vase

12 July 2002

This vase may have come from relatively humble surroundings but the London trade had no doubt that it was fit for a king. The 18th century blue ground imperial vase, 133/4in (35cm) high, was offered at Bearne’s, Exeter on July 2.

25 lenses put Exeter in the world picture

23 May 2002

Major photograph sales are usually confined to London and New York salerooms, but since selling the Earl Craven family archive of daguerreotypes last year Bearne’s of Exeter (buyer’s premium 15 per cent) are now on the international circuit.

A spin-off from the PoW industry

21 February 2002

NOT the priciest offering at Exeter auctioneers Hampton & Littlewood (15% buyer’s premium) on January 30, but undoubtedly the most interesting was this early 19th century automaton right, made from bone.

Rule the universe for £150

12 September 2001

With their sinister gliding gait and shrill cries of Exterminate! Exterminate! the Daleks sent small children cowering behind the sofa when they first appeared on TV in the 1960s in their bid to rule the Universe. At approximately 8in (20cm) high, however, this particular example of spin-off merchandising from the BBC series Dr Who is more likely to invoke fond nostalgia than fear.

It's pot black for Fenton

23 May 2001

UK: This month has been a vintage one for photographic images in the UK, with over £4.5m netted between the four sales held in London and Exeter at Sotheby’s, CSK and Bearnes between May 10 and 12.

First we had Craven A, now comes Craven B…

26 March 2001

UK: West Country auctioneers Bearne’s of Exeter made headline news last May when they sold a collection of vintage 1850s photographs from William, 2nd Earl of Craven for £1.4m.

Bread and butter on a giltwood and gesso table

26 February 2001

UK: FURNITURE provided the bread and butter at Exeter in January where, as so often, dependable sets of dining chairs, tables, linen presses and longcase clocks brought the best bids.

The Craven collection of photographs

23 May 2000

UK: OVER half the images in the Craven collection of photographs offered by Bearne’s in Exeter on May 6 were by William, 2nd Earl of Craven.

A seascape by Gustave Le Gray sells for £250,000

22 May 2000

UK: THE first week of May saw a rash of specialist photograph, auctions break out in England but the cream of the crop was a single-owner sale of vintage photographs collected by William, 2nd Earl of Craven (1809-1866), at Bearne’s in Exeter on May 6.

From a Ligurian Spring springs to £330,000

13 March 2000

From a Ligurian Spring by Henry Herbert Lathangue (1859-1929) sold for £330,000 plus 15 per cent premium at Bearne’s Spring Seasonal Sale, Exeter on March 1.

Short’s Stygian Poison

19 April 1999

Bearnes, Exeter, March 23 Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent UK: HIGHLIGHTS of this sale included Thomas Short’s Comparative History of the Increase and Decrease of Mankind in England... and also a Meteorological Discourse, 1767, which, in the process of assembling historical and medical information, advocates early marriage and denounces alcohol as ‘a Stygian poison’. It sold at £100.