This etching by Lucien Freud, pictured above, for sale at Gilding’s in Market Harborough on November 16 with an estimate of £12,000-18,000, has a remarkable recent history.
The 1998 portrait of artist and model David Dawson had been part of a lot of three prints acquired for just £12 in the spring by a couple from Warwickshire who started bidding at auction as a lockdown hobby. They had not even known it formed part of the lot until they came to collect other purchases.
It was only when watching Secrets of the Museum on BBC Two a few weeks later – an episode that took viewers into Dawson’s studio – that the couple realised it could be valuable. This etching was produced in an edition of just 46.
“I was delighted to be able to be able to tell this couple that the print they had picked up for less than the price of a takeaway pizza was indeed the work of arguably the most celebrated figurative artist of the 20th century,” said specialist Will Gilding. “To our knowledge, the only print from this edition that has been offered at auction so far was sold as part of the Rockefeller sale at Christie’s in 2018 for $30,000.”
The Beswick shire horse (model 818) is most commonly seen in chestnut colours. This scarcer example in rocking horse grey is expected to bring £150-300 at Potteries Auctions in Stoke-on-Trent on October 31.
A well as literature and works on paper, jewels and fashion items are among the items Dreweatts of Newbury is offering on November 16 from the collection of the English poet and writer, Dame Edith Sitwell, of the esteemed literary Sitwell family.
They were sourced from Weston Hall, Northamptonshire – one of the family seats of more than 100 years and an ancestral history dating back 300.
In the early part of the 1920s-30s Sitwell (1887-1964) was a central figure within the now famed young aristocratic group the Bright Young Things and it was within this group that the Sitwells would create lifelong friendships with some of the 20th century’s liveliest and most iconic writers, artists, musicians and photographers, such as Evelyn Waugh, Rex Whistler and Pavel Tchelichew.
Alongside her writing, in later life Sitwell was known for her flamboyant, bohemian dress sense. Shown here, estimated at £500-700, dating from the 1960s, is an ostrich feather-trimmed hat which became one of her most well-known pieces of attire.
It is seen in the photograph above by Edith’s great friend, the photographer Cecil Beaton.
A collection of pottery sculptures by Guy Sydenham forms part of the Poole Pottery sale at Cottees in Dorset on October 30. This 8in (20cm) high wall hanging head of a mermaid is pitched at £200-300.
This etching from James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Thames Set depicts shipping at Rotherhithe (Wapping). Signed and dated 1860 in the plate, it comes for sale at the Roseberys London prints sale on November 2 with a guide of £1200-1800.
Medals and log books relating to Wing Commander Rex Southern Sanders OBE (1922-2017) have been consigned directly from the family to Cardiff saleroom Rogers Jones.
The Second World War group includes DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) engraved with date 1944, AFC (Air Force Cross) engraved with date 1953 and Bar, along with further medals and log books detailing operational sorties to multiple locations including Berlin.
The group is estimated at £4000-6000 in the Selections & Collections auction on November 6.
This painting by Fred Yates (1922-2008) will be one of the highlights in the British and Continental Pictures and Prints Auction of more than 260 lots at Olympia Auctions in west London on November 3.
The Estuary, Cornwall, signed lower right, an oil on board measuring 28 x 30cm (11 x 11¾in), is estimated at £800-1200.
A white ‘battle’ ensign flown by HMS Exeter during the action which led to the scuttling of the German ‘pocket battleship’ SMS Admiral Graf Spee in the Second World War is one of the highlights of Charles Miller’s Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art auction on November 2.
Exeter, Commodore Harwood’s badly damaged flagship, limped into Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands shortly after a dramatic action with Admiral Graf Spee on December 13, 1939 (the Battle of the River Plate). After escorting Exeter to a safe mooring, the steam trawler Port Richard was pressed into service as tender (Exeter’s boats having all succumbed in action) and had to cope with her crew of 660, of which 63 had been killed and a further 23 seriously wounded.
Exeter herself was little more than a floating ruin and required emergency repairs sufficient to get her back to the UK for a full refit.
Master of the Port Richard was Joseph Lanning, a Falkland Islander by birth, who by 1939 held several positions within the community including that of a part-time harbour master and a police constable.
Lanning, who also had to deal with the Achilles, full of exhausted and wounded men, later received the 6ft 1in x 12ft 3in (1.85 x 3.73m) ensign as a sign of thanks. Later in life, he moved to the UK and proudly retained the ensign as a souvenir.
It is offered with a quantity of ephemera including a letter on Exeter stationery from Captain FS Bell and a manuscript memoir by Lanning which mentions the presentation of the ensign in 1940.
The Graf Spee was scuttled on December 17 after taking shelter in Montevideo on the River Plate estuary.
The studio pottery sale at Adam Partridge in Macclesfield on October 29 includes this 16in (40cm) stoneware sculptural work by John Maltby (1936-2020). Two Fishermen, Two Fish, inscribed, signed and dated 2008, was bought by the vendor from the Roundhouse Gallery, Boston, in 2009.
This late Victorian silver and etched glass claret jug with marks for London 1885 has a guide of £250-350 at Bushey Auctions in Hertfordshire on October 28.
A collection of 19th and 20th century Worcester wares is offered by Stamford Auction Rooms on October 30.
Estimated at £600-800 is this early 19th century tray by the Chamberlain’s factory with a border moulded as shells and corals. Painted in puce with the address of the factory’s London retail premises, it measures 13in (34cm) wide.
A previously unseen painting by John Piper (1903-92) is up for auction at Ewbank’s in Surrey on October 28.
The Red Cottage by the Railway, Pembrokeshire, a classic Piper composition in watercolour, had been a gift by the artist to a friend.
Piper depicted the landscape and buildings of Pembrokeshire during frequent visits there from the 1960s onwards and this 16 x 22½in (41 x 57cm) composition is likely to have come from that period.
This late 19th century French beetle brooch with an 18ct gold bar, a garnet and pearl body, ruby cabochon eyes and rose cut diamond highlights measures 2½in (6cm) long.
East Bristol Auctions expects it to bring £2000-2500 on November 3.
This 11in (27cm) Elizabethan revival silver gilt and tiger ware jug was made by Elkington & Co. Chased with late 16th century style strapwork, bunches of fruit and masks, the mounts are marked for Birmingham 1912.
It has an estimate of £600-800 at Gerrards of Lytham St Annes on October 28-29.
This full set of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs soft toys is the larger of two sizes made by the Chad Valley company in 1937.
Snow White with moulded felt face, painted features and black hair style, stands 16½in (42cm) tall, while her vertically challenged companions are around 10in (25cm) high.
In generally good condition with original clothes (one lacks a shoe and Doc has lost his glasses), the set is expected to make £250-350 at C&T in Kenardington, Kent, on November 3.