On May 27, Christie’s will offer 170 lots from the collection of the late Lord and Lady Swaythling in a live auction.
David Montagu 4th Lord Swaythling (1928-98) had a career that spanned the worlds of banking, racing, politics and media and a collection that wove together strands of several inherited family collections.
Montagu was, for example, the maternal grandson of the connoisseur collector Nellie Ionides (1883-1962). Her collection of 80 English enamels from the 18th century, displayed at Buxted Park, Sussex, are in the sale including this Bilston gilt-metal-mounted snuff-box inscribed Gimcrack Robert Collins 1769 (estimate £2000-4000).
Ionides’ interest in enamels cemented a friendship with Queen Mary, who was also an avid enamel collector; both collections were featured in the book English Painted Enamels (1951) by Therle and Bernard Hughes.
This outsize steel and rosewood folding knife was made in the late 19th century to promote the merits of Taylor’s Eye Witness Cutlery of Sheffield.
Measuring a full 3ft 4in (1m) across, it is expected to bring £2000-3000 as part of a three-day sale at Hutchinson Scott in Skipton, North Yorkshire, on May 26-28.
Taylor’s has been making knives in its Sheffield factory since 1838 and is among the last remaining manufacturers of kitchen utensils in the original steel city.
A rosewood apothecary box dating back to c.1810 is estimated at £650-850 in Hansons’ May 19-23 Antiques and Collectors sale.
Its pink velvet interior houses Gregory Powder, Epsom Salts, Soda, Magnesia and Belladonna. In addition, a drawer contains balance scales and two lead compartments with original pills in a box from Savory & Moore, Chemists To The King, 29 Chapel Street, Belgrave Square, London.
Duke’s Interiors auction in Dorchester on May 26 includes a large private collection of English and European ceramics.
Shown here is a Bristol delft polychrome plate, c.1760, decorated in the chinoiserie style, depicting a pagoda on a hill, 9in (22.5cm) diameter, with a Jonathan Horne Antiques label to the back.
It is offered together with a delft polychrome plate, probably Liverpool, c.1760, decorated with floral sprays, 9in (22.5cm) diameter, with Garry Atkins collection label to the back, and another similar delft polychrome plate, English, c.1750, decorated with floral sprays and repeating border, 9½in (23.5cm) diameter. Estimate £300-500.
Edward Harbord (1781-1835) may not be a household name but as MP for Yarmouth and Shaftesbury and later as 3rd Baron Suffield he proved himself a redoubtable campaigner for progressive causes. He secured legislation for prison reform, a relaxation of the Game Laws, and the abolition of spring-guns, but above all from 1822 he campaigned relentlessly and fearlessly for the total abolition of slavery.
The slave trade had been outlawed in most of the British Empire by the Slave Trade Act of 1807, but the owning of slaves was still lawful and ending this anomaly was the main target of Lord Suffield’s campaign. He lived to enjoy success with the passing of the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833, two years before his death.
Harbord’s cased pair of 40-bore flintlock duelling pistols made by Joseph Manton in 1807 is for sale in Bonhams’ Antique Arms and Armour sale in London on May 25.
The pistols may have been originally made for Edward’s brother William, from whom he inherited the Suffield title in 1821. Estimate £15,000-18,000.
A large Charles II pewter wriggle-work flat-lid tankard, c.1680, is estimated at £4000-6000 at Stowmarket, Suffolk, saleroom Bishop & Miller on May 25-26.
Of quart Old English Ale Standard capacity, the lid and drum are decorated with bold stylised tulips, with ‘love bird’ thumbpiece, three-part hinge and S-shaped handle with hoof terminal. It bears stamped owner’s initials of CB and marked for Jonathan Ingles, London and Southampton (fl.1668-1705).
The 6½in (17cm) high tankard, capacity 42.3 fl oz, has a provenance to the Jan Gadd Collection.
This press-moulded Staffordshire figure of ‘The Liberator’, Irish politician Daniel O’Connell, standing in a black coat with gilt trim, beside a draped pedestal, measures 17 x 7½ x 4in (43 x 19 x 10cm).
The c.1830 item is estimated at €300-500 in The Eclectic Collector timed online sale at Whyte’s of Dublin ending on May 21.
This early to mid-17th century silver slip-top spoon was given to the vendor’s father c.1948-50, when he was a young man. He had flown as a Lancaster bomber pilot, including a mission to bomb Hitler’s ‘Eagle’s Nest’ near Berchtesgaden.
The spoon was presented to him by an elderly lady as her way of thanking a ‘local lad’ for his bravery. It has been kept in a box for the past 30 years since the vendor inherited it and was used prior to that as a sugar spoon.
With a pear-shaped bowl measuring 1½ x 2in (4 x 5cm), single partial hallmark still visible and finial engraved TW, the 0.57toz spoon is 5in (12.5cm) long.
The estimate at Batemans of Stamford on May 20 is £300-500.
Dreweatts’ Old Masters, British and European art sale on May 26 includes a pair of 17th century oil genre scenes by Flemish artist Mathys Schoevaerdts (1665- 1723).
The scenes show butchers parading their animals through the streets as the townspeople wave banners. The annual parade (common in the Low Countries until the Second World War) took place a week before Easter on the day marking St Luke, the patron saint of the butchers’ guild.
As shown in one painting titled The Procession of the Easter Ox, the most prized cow or bull was decorated with gilded horns topped with oranges, ribbons and floral garlands. The celebrations culminated in the animal being butchered and the meat served at a grand dinner and to the poor – the subject of the pendant image titled Giving Out the Alms at a Ruined Church.
Only a handful of 17th century paintings depicting the subject are known with this pair estimated at £20,000-30,000.
The second day of Roseberys’ Modern & Contemporary British & Irish Art auction on May 25-26 will feature the Estate of Agi Katz, founder and director of Boundary Gallery, London.
Woman in sunlight, Lilian, 1931, an oil on canvas, from the estate, is one of the most tender and soulful portraits David Bomberg made of his wife, the artist Lilian Holt.
During the 1930s Bomberg created a number of celebrated portraits of Lilian in his innovative mature style, which combined heavy brushstrokes with deep colour, the figure gradually emerging from the paint. These works would be hugely influential on a generation of artists including Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff and Lucien Freud.
The estimate at the West Norwood, south London, saleroom is £30,000-35,000.
The Shepherd Boy, after Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), a 19th century terracotta statue of a shepherd boy seated on a sheep skin, with losses, 4ft 3in (1.3m), is estimated at £500-800 in Spicers’ May 27 auction in Goole, East Yorkshire.
Thorvaldsen was a Danish sculptor and medalist of international fame, who spent most of his life (from 1797-1838) in Italy. The original marble statue of this composition was carved between 1822-25 and is displayed at the Thorvaldsen’s Museum, Copenhagen, inventory A895.
This version ended up at Knedlington Manor, East Yorkshire, which was built by Thomas Clarke in 1841-42. It consisted of 33 rooms and was designed by Weightman and Hadfield of Sheffield in the Tudor style with formal grounds. On Clarke’s death it was sold to a Mr Mortimer who later sold the estate to the Earl of Yarborough and it then passed to his daughter, Lady Diana Miller. Knedlington Manor was finally demolished in the 1950s.
The statue was in the gardens at this time and given to the vendor’s grandparents who lived in the housekeeper’s cottage.
This Late Period, 26th-30th Dynasty, 664-343BC large blue-green composition mummiform shabti is inscribed for a priest named Pa-di-Osiris, whose mother’s name is Sed-irt-binut.
It is estimated at £10,000-14,000 at the TimeLine sale in London on May 24.
The saleroom says the epithet ‘true of voice’ following the mother’s name, but not that of the owner, is a “rather infrequent arrangement in shabti/ushabti inscriptions but can be found on other fine examples from this period. Pa-di-Osiris’s title is unusual, but may belong to the cult of the god Shu whose name is sometimes followed by the epithet, ‘he who supports heaven’.”
The 7½in (19.5 cm) high figure was acquired on the Geneva art market, in 1980, then in a Swiss collection, from the early 1980s until 2000, then a UK private collection.
Knightsbridge saleroom Kings Russell is offering a René Lalique Naiades clock on May 24.
The 4½in (11.5cm) high item, in clear glass depicting mermaids, signed R Lalique to lower left, dates from c.1920s and has a Swiss-made clock movement. Estimate £1000-2000.
Scottish mathematician and natural philosopher Sir John Leslie (1766-1832) was educated at St Andrews and Edinburgh universities. He published numerous learned works and contributed to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Leslie was made a Rumford Medallist by the Royal Society in 1804 for his experiments on heat as published in his work An Experimental Enquiry into the Nature and Propagation of Heat. He was only the second recipient of this honour, after Benjamin Count Rumford himself (1800). He was knighted in 1832.
His Royal Society Rumford Medals are estimated at £12,000-15,000 in the May 25 auction at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury. The three medals are in gold (3in/7.5cm, 378.6g, testing as 22ct), silver and bronze.
This 1965 Lamino armchair was designed by Yngve Ekström (1913-88) for Swedese. It bears an ink stamp to the underside and is dated to the material backing.
The armchair, which is probably the most famous design by the Swedish furniture designer, wood carver, sculptor and architect, created in 1956, is estimated at £500-800 at W&H Peacock of Bedford on May 20.