Three weeks before the Burstow & Hewett (20% buyer’s premium) February 24-26 sale, an episode of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow included expert Duncan Campbell valuing something very similar at a minimum £10,000.
That, however, was a rare silver reproduction of the shield designed by Morel Ladeuil for the Birmingham company’s stand at the 1867 Paris Exhibition where it was awarded a gold medal.
The one at the Battle saleroom – entered before the programme was aired – was a more familiar electroplate period reproduction which Elkington produced in the wake of the shield’s fame.
The 2ft 9½in (88cm) tall shield signed Morel Ladeuil Fecit 1866 depicts a scene from Paradise Lost. It was rubbed to the high points revealing the copper and brass base but was in good condition – despite having been found by the vendor in a garden shed – and doubled the top estimate, selling to a London buyer at £2400.
First since latest lockdown
The three-day 1555-lot sale was, said auctioneer, Mark Ellin, “the first antique and art auction we have held since lockdown and went much better than expected”.
Most areas were represented, including ceramics, which featured in two small collections entered by a local titled vendor. Four c.1840 Yorkshire Prattware money boxes, each 8½in (22cm) tall and modelled with two different figures flanking a longcase clock, all sold above the £600-800 estimates.
Best was the one illustrated above. In perfect, untouched condition it sold at £1100 to one of two collectors who shared the pieces between them.
The success of the vendor’s four items of 19th century Devon pottery, glazed handmade pieces, was more of a surprise.
Against a high-estimate total of £700 they all sold for £5850 overall.
The two small wall plaques, spill vases, and pocket watch stand were only impressed Devon but more than one bidder recognised them as the work of the Fremington pottery established by George Fishley and run by his direct descendants until the middle of the 20th century. It produced everyday ware and ornamental goods for a largely local market.
Best at Battle was a pocket watch stand with mask and sheep decoration. The 8¼in (21cm) high stand had a single small chip but was otherwise perfect with no restoration. Pitched at £100-200, it sold to a German bidder at £2700.
Light shines bright
A 190-lot section of Mid-century/ Modern design was led by a Metallux 3205 standard lamp designed in 1956 by John and Syliva Reid for Rotalflex British.
Rotalflex, a process of moulding cellulose acetate into lampshades, became the name of at least three manufacturers worldwide using the technique patented by Danes Bent Pedesen and Bent Park in 1946 and licensed by them before they set up their own company in 1960.
The documented 5ft tall (1.53m) lamp at Battle was produced by a London company set up to market the Reids’ designs. It was in good condition apart from some small chips to the original paintwork on the stem and sold to a bidder from Monaco for £3800 against a £1500- 2000 estimate.
A small sporting section included rowing medals and memorabilia from the 1940s-60s belonging to Christopher Davidge (1929-2014), which went to a fellow oarsman at £3400 (estimate £1000-2000).
Davidge competed in the Olympics three times – 1952, 1956 and 1960 – and won the Silver Goblets at Henley Royal Regatta three times.
A 1908 England football cap worn by George Wall (1885-1962) was offered with other Wall material.
The cap was faded but quadrupled expectations, selling to a London-based football enthusiast at £2200.
The fact Wall played for Manchester United from 1906-15 (when he joined the Black Watch) and helped them to the league titles in 1908 and 1911 and the FA Cup in 1909 may well have been significant.