Two 18th or 19th century bronze urns after Ballin, £18,000 at Mallams Abingdon.

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Delicately cast, as any bronze to a design by Claude Ballin (1615-78) merits, the 2ft 4in (71cm) high urns followed the originals closely. They may have dated from the late 18th century.

One had some minor holes and the other some old repairs, losses and restoration.

Both had the desirable patina resulting from years outdoors and, against a £2000-4000 estimate, sold to a UK private buyer against Continental interest at £18,000.

Sit like an Egyptian


'Egyptian Revival’ majolica garden seats, £8000 at Mallams Abingdon.

The urns were just one of a number of estimate-eclipsing offerings at the April 3-4 auction.

Another garden option was a pair of c.1870 majolica ‘Egyptian Revival’ garden seats on stands.

The model of a seated Egyptian girl with lilies and cobras is among the best-known majolica formed by the Stoke manufacturer Brown- Westhead, Moore & Co and examples brought enormous sums when the collecting market was at its height.

This pair, with only minor chips to the base to count against them, went at £8000, ten times the lower estimate.


St Petersburg ‘military’ plates, £11,000 at Mallams Abingdon.

Also among the ceramics were two Alexander II period military plates by the Imperial Porcelain Factory, St Petersburg, painted with central roundels of soldiers and bearing the Imperial double-headed eagle crest.

Sanctions ruled out direct trade with Russia but, pitched at £1000-2000, they sold online to a Continental bidder at £11,000.

Most of the rugs sold in line with three-figure estimates but two stood out. Going 20 times above expectations to the UK trade at £7800, a faded and stained 14ft 4in x 11ft (4.37 x 3.38m) Heritz carpet featured a blue ground, floral ornament to the centre and multibanded border.

A 13ft 8in x 20ft 4in (4.15 x 6.2m) Persian light brown carpet had extensive wear, damage to the edges and discolouration but, estimated at £800-1200, made £8000 online.

Most of the 18th and 19th century furniture reflected the current market, selling in three figures, but some demolished estimates.


Queen Anne wall mirror, £12,000 at Mallams Abingdon.

The selection was led by a 10ft (3.05m) tall Queen Anne wall mirror with gilded and decorative curved edging and bordered glass.

It needed a little restoration to peeling gilt but sold to a UK private buyer at a 10-times-estimate £12,000.

An early 18th century laburnum oyster-veneered chest on stand, with later handles and feet and cut-down stand, went to a UK private at a 10-times estimate £3400; a Victorian gothic oak partners’ desk with a large crack to the back quadrupled expectations at £2300 and a 19th century French parquetry inlaid with brass galleried top and tambour front went back to the Continent with a private internet bid of £2400 against a £200-400 guide.

The world of Howard

Howard & Sons chairs and sofas operate in a market of their own.

The five examples at Abingdon were all labelled Howard & Sons Limited, 31 Old Burlington Street London, dating them to between 1924 – when Lenygon & Morant took over the business – and 1954 when it moved to South Audley Steet.

Four of the five got away, the bestseller at £3000 being an armchair with scrolling arms, square tapering hardwood legs and brass castors.