The DS venture, linking the Scarborough firm David Duggleby and the Malton and York auction house Boulton & Cooper Stephensons – both of which continue to operate from their home bases – opened for business on October 12.
The inaugural auction offered 660 lots covering the gamut of the trade – furniture, ceramics, silver, horology, fine art etc.
“It was the sort of traditional sale which we plan to hold at the new rooms every month,” said auctioneer Will Duggleby after 85% of the lots got away to a hammer total of £204,000.
Soames Jenyns pieces
This sale was enhanced by Oriental pieces from the estate of John Soame Jenyns, son of Roger Soame Jenyns, assistant keeper of Oriental antiquities at the British Museum from 1931-67.
Christie’s had first dibs on the Roger Soames Jenyns Collection and is selling it at November sales. However, the DS auction included 86 Soames Jenyns pieces which generally sold above here-to-sell estimates, spectacularly so in a couple of instances.
One was catalogued simply as a Japanese black lacquer cup stand, 6½in (17cm) diameter, along with the provenance and guided at £50-80.
The remarkably contemporary-looking piece would have been used by Japanese elite to display high-status Chinese porcelain cups. It was considered by a number of bidders to be 16th or 17th century.
“That certainly seems to have been the case,” said Duggleby after the cupholder raised strong interest from London specialists before selling to a Hong Kong fine art dealer at £23,000.
Jade, as so often, was the other sleeper, a white and russet thumb ring and spinach shallow dish offered as one lot.
The ring had engraved decoration and the 4in (10cm) diameter dish bore the Qianlong four-character mark but, said Duggleby, whether it was period was a matter best left to bidders to judge.
Many obviously thought it right and, against a £200-300 estimate, it sold to a Mainland China bidder on the phone at £18,000.
Beaten to these prizes, the London trade finally got a look in when a 7½in (19cm) baluster jar was offered. Decorated with blue and white flowers and rocks and bearing a Ming Dynasty six-character mark, it was pitched at £50-80 and sold at £5400.
Kingham & Orme
Offering more than 1600 wide-ranging lots to international buyers, the latest sale at Evesham auction house Kingham & Orme (22% buyer’s premium) was the largest since Arts & Crafts specialist George Kingham and Doulton dealer Gary Orme established the firm 21 months ago.
Unsurprisingly, given the partners’ specialisms, late 19th and early 20th century ceramics were well represented in the October 5-6 sale (where 75% of the lots got away to a hammer £350,000).
No surprise, either, to find the top money being bid for Martinware.
The idiosyncratic, grotesque salt-glazed stoneware material from the Southall factory was never cheap and has seen bursts of high prices since 1978 British art pottery specialist Richard Dennis put on a landmark exhibition, The Martin Brothers Potters, at Sotheby’s Belgravia.
The record was set three years ago when Phillips New York took $190,000 (then about £127,000) for a 14in (36cm) tall, signed Wally bird based on Benjamin Disraeli.
Wally birds remain market favourites. The Evesham sale included an 1893 example with open beak, 8½in (22cm) tall not including base, and another with owl-like features from 1905, standing 6¼in (16cm) tall.
Each marked W. Martin Bros London & Southall and dated, the birds sold to UK collectors at a mid-estimate £17,000 and lower-estimate £12,000 respectively.
Martinware vases tend to be less expensive but those decorated with grotesque fish, eels and octopi are particularly desirable. The bigger pieces are hard to find. Combining both attractions, a 20½in (52cm) example marked RW Martin Bros London & Southall, 3-1888 went at a mid-estimate £17,000 to a UK collector.
Most collectable names from the late 19th to 20th century were on offer, including 10 Doulton Lambeth pieces by Hannah Barlow topped by a pair of 22in (56cm) tall vases dated 1853 and decorated with deer which went to a UK collector at a mid-estimate £2200.
The stand-out name was George Tinworth (1843-1913), who began working at Doulton in 1867 when the Lambeth factory was beginning to produce the new range of salt-glazed stoneware decorative wares.
Tinworth was particularly associated with anthropomorphic animal figures, three of which went to a determined American collector at the Evesham sale. One was a scarce Aesop’s Fable group depicting three frogs on a lily pad. Standing 3in (8cm) tall, it was incised with the title The Ox and the Frogs, and a monogram, and inscribed H Doulton, Lambeth 1881.
It sold above estimate at £4500.
More frogs featured in Tinworth’s better-known 4¾in (12cm) group Going to the Derby, in which they pull a carriage occupied by a mouse. Dated c.1885, it sold just above estimate at£4600.
Top Tinsworth was the 6in (15cm) group Play Goers depicting mice watching a Punch and Judy show. With incised and printed marks, it was estimated at £4500-5500 and sold at £6400.
Continental ceramics included 16 pieces of 19th century Meissen led by a 16in (41cm) tall, c.1880 group of The Three Graces.
Modelled after CG Juchtzer, with incised and impressed marks and underglaze blue marks, the polychrome-decorated group was pitched at £1500-2000 and sold to the European trade at £6000.
Topping a collection of Stuart Devlin’s work, a pair of parcel-silver gilt pair of candelabra sold to a UK collector at one of Catherine Southon’s (18% buyer’s premium) busiest sales to date.
All 82 lots by Devlin, who died in Chichester in April at the age of 86, got away for an above-estimate £75,000 hammer total at the October 3 sale in Selsdon.
The candelabra, with the tallest 15½in (39.5cm), weighed 108oz and were marked for London 1970. With detachable pierced wirework shades, they were estimated at £4000-6000 and sold at £15,000.
The collection included 35 of Devlin’s trademark ‘surprise’ eggs guided between £200-350 which sold around estimate, but many collectors at the Surrey sale had been waiting for full sets of domestic vessels to come on the market.
Best was a set of eight parcel-gilt silver champagne flutes, London 1977, pitched at £1500-2000, which sold at £3500.
Other contributors to the record total included a c.1870 ‘Archaeological Revival’ satyr mask gold necklace by Carlo Giuliano which went just shy of top estimate at £14,500.
Best of the ceramics was a set of six c.1901 Royal Crown Derby pink ground cabinet plates, painted in Limoges enamel-style with flowers and butterflies and signed by Desire Leroy.
Bearing factory marks and New York retailer’s stamps, each 9in (23cm) diameter plate was in good condition and the set tripled the lower estimate to sell at £4500.