The House & Garden sale at Mallams (25% buyer’s premium) in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, on July 19 included two matching early Victorian needleworks completed by Elizabeth Mary Trorey, aged 11 in 1839, and her younger sister Emma Marie Trorey, aged 11 in 1840.
Both girls display very considerable needlework skills working to the same 22 x 18in (56 x 45cm) size and much the same format. Elizabeth chose a sophisticated design of roses and meandering flowers while, the following year, Emma Marie opted for a menagerie of pairs of cats, pheasants and butterflies. Both share the same framing, making them very much a pair.
Undercooked at £200-300, they sparked plenty of interest, ultimately selling via thesaleroom.com at £7800.
Cheer for Cheere
The same bid, this time more expected, come for a lead bust of Edward Harley, the 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, by the English sculptor John Cheere (1709-87).
Cheere’s work was popular among 18th century aristocracy and Harley, a well-known bibliophile and collector, was one of his patrons. This bust, standing 2ft 4in (70cm) high on a marble plinth, was formerly the property of Stephen Tennant (1906-87), the British socialite, friend of Cecil Beaton and lover of war poet Siegfried Sassoon. It was purchased by the vendor from The Heim Gallery, London, which had acquired it from Tennant or his estate.
The top price in the Mallams auction was the £8800 phone bid (estimate £400-600) for an intricate Gothic revival stained glass window set with a central roundel of vulning pelican feeding her young within stylised leaves and flowers.
Set within a later oak frame, it measured 2ft 3in wide x 3ft 9in high (67cm x 1.02m). It was unattributed in the catalogue but was in the manner of one of the leading Gothic revival designers such as Thomas Willement (1786-1871) and Nathaniel Westlake (1833-1921).