Mechanical clocks were an important commodity with regards to maintaining healthy trade relations between London and the Chinese court. However, such was the Qing emperors’ interest in clockmaking that the imperial workshops were expanded to begin production in China.
Although very much in the European style, this 16in (40cm) gilt brass miniature table clock with a rocking figure automaton (pictured top) was probably made at the Guangzhuo workshops in the early to mid 19th century.
At Dreweatts’ clocks sale in Newbury on March 2 it is expected to bring £3000-5000.
The sale of Old Masters, British & European Paintings sale at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on March 1-2 includes, estimated at £25,000-35,000, this Jules Breton (1827-1906) oil on canvas titled Two Harvesters.
Last at auction in 1986 at Sotheby’s, it was bought by the parents of the vendor from Pyms Gallery, London.
A fine collection of ‘mechanical music’ and records formed by the late Russell Malcolm Barnes includes the Axton Grand - an English phonograph patented in 1903.
Archival evidence references these machines at demonstrations in 1904 but it seems only a handful were produced before the company was wound up 1906. Possibly the first that has appeared at auction is expected to bring £3000-5000 at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchet on March 1.
Malcolm Barnes, who worked in intelligence gathering at Bletchley Park and GCHQ, was a prolific collector of early jazz, blues, opera and music hall recordings and the mechanical devices on which to play them. The collection will be offered in 71 lots.
Chiswick Auctions’ silver sale has been rescheduled from the advertised date of February 25 to March 3.
Estimated at £20,000-30,000 is this cast of the Warwick vase by John Samuel Hunt, London 1845. It was given by Queen Victoria to Sir John Barker-Mill, 1st Baronet (1803-60), owner of Giantess, the winner of Her Majesty’s Vase at Plymouth, Devonport and Cornwall Races in 1845.
It has come by descent and retains its ebonised wooden plinth applied with two rectangular plaques, one finely engraved with the Royal Coat of Arms, the other a presentation inscription. It weighs 138oz.
On March 1, John Nicholson’s in Fernhurst will sell the collection of Derrick Trewethey (1922-2021).
The grandson of the founder of Trethewey and Sons Auctioneers in Plymouth, he became a chartered engineer after the war, working at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington and later at the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment at Portland. He subsequently moved to London in 1966 to work as a mining machinery consultant in the Department of Trade and Industry.
Trewethey and his wife Christine built up a fine collection of furniture and works of art during retirement. This Regency rosewood brass-inlaid chiffonier in the manner of John McLean is estimated at £3000-5000.
This double-sided enamel AA Garage sign measures 2ft 11in (87cm) high, including its original hanging hooks. It has an estimate of £600-800 at Wilson55 in Nantwich on February 24.
The working life of the Commonwealth period clockmaker Richard Beck was limited to scarcely six years (1653-59) as he died aged 27. Only five clocks are known to have been made by him, all with balance escapements.
This hoop and spike brass lantern clock is signed on the lower front heraldic fret Richard Beck at Ye French Church Londini. The movement, converted from balance wheel to verge escapement, has a half-hour strike. It has an estimate of £6000-8000 at the Fine Clocks & Horology auction at Gardiner Houlgate in Corsham on February 24-25.
The Period Oak and Country Furniture sale at Wilkinson’s in Doncaster on February 27 includes this rare late 17th century boxwood tobacco box.
The saucy 3½in (9cm) piece is carved in the form of a naked female knelt on one knee with a single carved tobacco leaf preserving her modesty. A dispensing hole is indiscreetly positioned at the rear with a stopper carved as the subject’s hair fashioned into a top bun. Estimate £600-800.
Estimated at £80,000-120,000, this Georges Braque (1882-1963) oil on canvas titled Two Lemons from c.1929 is on offer in the Spring Fine Sale at Lewes auction house Gorringe’s on March 8.
The Collectors Auction at Exeter saleroom Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood on March 8-9 includes a single-owner collection of more than 130 woodworking tools, with a number of examples of planes by Norris. The overall estimate for the collection is £8000- 10,000.
Pictured here is a Norris No 51 adjustable smoother, stamped as per title, with mahogany infill and a closed handle, stamped MW Eglington. It is guided at £200-300.
The Vinyl Records and Music Ephemera Auction on March 3 at Sheffield Auction Gallery includes this Beatles Fan Club ‘proof’ flyer and accompanying letter, from Bob Wooler (compère and DJ at The Cavern Club, Liverpool, from 1961-67) to Brian Epstein, the Fab Four manager from 1962 until his death in 1967.
This is with regard to their appearance at the club on April 5, 1962. The flyer also has final proof details printed on the rear.
It was The Beatles’ 67th evening show at the club. The Four Jays were also on the bill. Estimate £800-1200.
This 18 x 17in (45.5 x 42.5cm) work by Grace Henry (1868-1953) is titled Woman in train on way to market, Glens of Antrim.
It is estimated at €6000-8000 in the Irish & International Art auction at Whyte’s of Dublin on March 7.
A private collection of silver is on offer in Tennants’ Fine Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale on March 19, when it comes under the hammer with a combined estimate of £85,000-135,000.
The 92-lot collection includes items from the 18th to 20th centuries and is led by this Fabergé tea and coffee service guided at £15,000-25,000.
The service, which comprises coffee pot, teapot, sugar bowl, cream jug and tray, is decorated with Cyrillic initials below a coronet and the Imperial Warrant and was made by workmaster Stefan Wäkevä, c.1890, in the St Petersburg workshop.
A lot estimated at £10,000-15,000 at Plymouth Auction Rooms on March 16 provides the chance to own not one but two Beryl Cook (1926-2008) works.
They are presented back to back as a reversible painting in the same 3ft 9in x 2ft 11in (1.14m x 89cm) frame.
It has been consigned to auction by a private collector from the north of England to the saleroom in Cook’s hometown.
The double painting has two titles. The first is French Tango which depicts an energetic couple dancing away in a classic Cook style with strong caricature faces. The reverse of the painting, more unusual as a subject, is The Expedition, a scene with a couple rowing a boat while being keenly spied on by a lion and lioness.
The John Sieverdink (1931-2009) collection, offered by Dore & Rees in Frome, Somerset, on March 2, includes nine works by Edward Seago (1910-74).
This watercolour, A Reach on the Lower Thames, was part of the 1959 Colnaghi show An Exhibition of Recent Watercolour Drawings by Edward Seago. It is guided at £6000-8000.
Like his father, Sieverdink was a leading art restorer, and became the ‘go to’ for opinion on Gainsborough’s work for many of the world’s leading galleries and auction houses.