Originally part of a reredos built during the huge boom in Victorian church building, these displayed a technique known as opus sectile which (popular in Roman and medieval times) involved cutting marble or glass into thin strips which were then trimmed and assembled into a pattern.
The 15in x 2ft 8in (37 x 83cm) designs of angels were probably by one of the firm’s noted designers, JW Brown or Charles Hardgrave. Pitched at £2000-3000, they sold to a private UK buyer at £4000.
Spirited bidding for the mixture among the 654 lots offered at the October 7 sale brought some more unexpected results.
An unattributed, 2ft 1in (63cm) tall 19th century marble bust of a lady in classical robes, more than quadrupled expectations in selling to a private American buyer at £3800, and a cast plaster bust signed D Brucciani & Co London to the reverse went further above estimate.
Born in Lucca, Domenico Brucciani (1815-80) founded a business in Covent Garden in 1837 to cater for the soaring demand for plaster copies after the antique.
He established links with the British Museum and the V&A, where his greatest work, the 60ft (18m) wide replica of the 12th century Pórtico de la Gloria facade of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, has recently been restored.
This 2ft 6in (78cm) bust of a male youth could not be firmly dated and carried some damage. Nevertheless, it sold to a UK collector at £2700 (estimate £100-200).
The best-seller within the ‘Garden’ title of the sale was catalogued as a white painted, cast-iron bench with wooden slatted seat and pierced decoration and estimated at £80-120.
Later discovered to be a design by the artist Edward Bawden (1903–89), who turned his hand to garden furniture, it sold to the UK trade at £3000.
Another example of James Powell stained glass in keen demand was a pane sold at Evesham auction house Kingham & Orme’s (20% buyer’s premium) October 3-5 sale.
The 21in x 2ft 7in (54 x 80cm) panel was inscribed to the flying woman’s banner Light, Light and More Light, As Long as Light Shall Last.
In this instance the designer was the popular historical genre and landscape painter Henry Holiday (1839-1937).
Estimated at £3000-5000 at the auction, it attracted keen internet bidding before going over the phone at £8200.