The sale of a 1970s gilt bronze wall applique for £1600 at Bellmans in January 2020 is the only item by Brouard listed in thesaleroom.com price guide.
Nonetheless it was a trademark piece by Brouard – a polished bronze coffee table with oval smoked glass top – that led the first fine art auction held by recently formed Herefordshire firm Minster Auctions (30% buyer’s premium) on March 10.
The staff, including the three directors, are all ex-Brightwells employees.
Signed to the base and numbered one from and edition of four made c.1970, the table came from a deceased estate near Bristol. Cautiously estimated at £2000-3000 (similar pieces have made five-figure sums in Paris), it sold to an online bidder for a sale-topping £6400. Artist’s Resale Right will be applied to the hammer price in addition to the usual fees.
Good-quality traditional antiques made up the majority of the 800 lots that enjoyed a 90% selling rate for a sale total close to £200,000.
Highlight of the small ceramics section was a set of six Royal Worcester small coffee cups and saucers painted with pheasants in landscapes by James Stinton in a fitted case which doubled the pre-sale estimate, selling for £1800.
Plenty of admirers emerged for an early 19th century tavern clock with white enamel dial, eight day striking movement and an elegant mahogany tear drop case. Unsigned, it sold at £2000.
Among 160 lots of silver was the imposing figure of a hunter and huntsman with marks for Hollingshead & Burton, London 1907.
Standing 2ft 1in high on an ebonised plinth, it was engraved Cup for a race to be run annually under rules to be laid down by the Bombay Hunt Committee. Presented by James E Graham to commemorate the origin of hunting in Bombay by the arrival of the first hounds which were sent out by him for his brother the late Donald Graham who founded the Hunt in 1868. A series of panels named winners between 1906-40.
The model is by Adrian Jones (1845-1938), the Ludlow-born army veterinary surgeon turned sculptor whose best-known work is the Quadriga surmounting Constitution Arch at Hyde Park Corner.
The auction house guided this piece at £8000-12,000 – a number that proved too bullish. It failed to sell under the hammer, but was sold privately soon after for £6000.