BRIAN SEWELL, art critic, has died. It’s always sad to lose a friend and Brian was certainly a friend of Bainbridges. It was in the 1980s that we received instructions to sell a collection of signed engravings by Augustus John. I had no idea how to catalogue them or of their values and, taken by this eccentric critic, I made contact and asked if he could help. He did so without ceremony and catalogued the collection simply with reference to the catalogue raisonne. He said we would do well, and we did, attaining record prices. Little did I know that he had cleared the studio of the artist and had intimate knowledge of his works. He assisted on many valuations and it seems only weeks ago that I was with him in his orangery; he was very ill but, wrapped up in his worn woollen dressing gown and inevitable scarf, he excitedly lectured me on the work of Gainsborough. He was the first person to see a drawing that I hoped he would confirm might be right. He was very excited by it. His gentle kindnesses were constant, his enthusiasm catching and his humour often naughty. Jane and I shall certainly miss him.
OUR NEXT AUCTION is on the 1st October starting at 11am. Viewing is on Wednesday 30th September from 1pm to 7pm and on sale day from 9.30am. It includes E.H. Shepard drawings, previously unseen, and 12 items of Martin ware (of Southall).
Every auction has an exciting story and this sale is no exception. Following on from the thrill of selling the Marklin tinplate railway station for £5,200, plus premium, after red-hot bidding, the elderly vendor has returned with his W. Britain and other model soldiers, painted lead model castle profiles and 15 Roman lead soldiers, a never played with model of ‘Doc’ No 1660 by Chad Valley, boxed, W. Britain lead Swiss soldiers, a W. Britain Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in original box and old games, one a precursor of Scrabble, circa 1880, called Fields American Game of Word Making, comprising a mahogany box with 6 half-inch bone tablets for each letter of the alphabet – all present and correct and with period handwritten players’ instructions. It’s delightful. Other TOYS include a Schuco Examico 4001 model BMW with changing gears and an M. Hoffner Echo mouth organ with original box. We have old model railways, Bayko No 2 sets and a Meccano No 9 set. An extensive collection of Match Box, Corgi and Super Kings toy vehicles still in original blister packs.
But that’s not the excitement I mentioned. In visiting a local home to inspect a few charming and miscellaneous china items, I thought I had finished when the client drew my attention to an autograph album. Typical of many on first inspection, with poems, humour and autographs, I opened it to find drawings of Winnie-The-Pooh and Mr Punch. ‘Quite easy to copy, as most versions are copies,’ I duly commented. ‘Not in this case, Mr Bainbridge’ I was told. ‘E.H. Shepard’s wife was godmother to my wife and this, along with two others, are original and signed.’ That took my breath away and the album comes with letters and a signed watercolour of flowers by Shepard. Photographs are on the blog.
Because of the ‘summer’ break, if summer is what it can be called, this sale is large. PICTURES cover the walls and artists’ names include Ernest H. Shepard, Jenny Wheatley, Osmund Caine, Steven Scholes, Salvador Dali, Elly Cohen-Hofman, Alvar, Ronald Maddox, Bob ten Hoope, W. Russell Flint, Marcel Catelein, L.S. Lowry, P. Walte, Henry Simpson, Farioli, Gerald Ackermann, Ian Houston, John Henson, Edgar Degas, Ron Folland, G. Romano, A. Gerhart, P. MacGregor Wilson, Wynn Hughes Pullen, Thirza Kotzen, Michel F. Overbeeke, Ian Houston, Bartolozzi, Cecil Aldin, etc. We have two very large figural bronzes dated 1962 and 1974.
SILVER AND PLATE includes a fine cased 8-piece dressing table set from F. Lansdown of Jermyn St SW., a heavy silver and glass cruet and a tortoiseshell page turner styled as an Arab short sword with silver handle and a fabulous silver and blue enamel photograph frame.
JEWELLERY has 25 lots but includes some large diamonds and a fabulous quality gold locket, also a large collection of jewel and silver presentation boxes and, from a retired diamond dealer, loops and a diamond scoop. ART OBJECTS includes portrait miniatures by Samuel Shelley and Adam Buck, old fountain pens and biros including Mont Blanc and Sheaffer, a wonderful two part worked silver buckle in silver, possibly Indian, in a fitted case from E. Taburet, Paris, the lid with initials BP below a crown. Medals include a group of 7 including the 39-45, Atlantic, Africa, Burma and Italy stars. There is a photograph album of circa 1938 including military and another titled HMS Wellington 1937-40.
COLLECTABLES include a good collection of old mainly American magazines on the cinema and film stars including Elvis, an extensive collection in albums of press cuttings, the property of the late Evelyn Laye, including a personal photograph album with photographs of her with Noel Coward, and a personal signed note from him to her, a 19th century brass fireman’s helmet, a First World War periscope, a pocket barometer, old fishing equipment, an electrotype 3D plaque of a boy on an elephant, a three drawer telescope dated 1916 by J.H. Dallmer, London, a Webley air pistol, old stamps, post and cigarette cards, a metal doll’s bed and bird cage, an early 20th century delivery boy’s bicycle, Brentford football programmes, first day covers, a South African air force pilot’s log 2943, toys, a collection of crib boards, ebonised dressing table items, a pair of novelty leg corkscrews, a Dansette record player in turquoise fabric cover almost unused, and much more.
The shelves are chock-a-block. SHELF ITEMS include a collection of 12 items of the rare Martin Brothers of Southall pottery, PORCELAIN, POTTERY AND GLASS including good cut and moulded glass including Waterford and antique glass, opaque twist and spiral air-twist wine glasses, a Littala cylindrical glass vase by Talio Wirkkala, early Delft plates, a Clarice Cliff wall mask, two ancient pairs of child’s shoes, Doulton figures, Crown Derby miniatures, a Meissen tea service, framed butterflies and moths, old and modern Moorcroft including signed pieces, lots of Doulton including a 24″ high vase, art pottery, old copper and brass, a lovely opaline glass oil lamp, Royal Albert Old Country Roses tea and dinner wares, Wedgwood tea wares, three large Worcester tureens, Shelley, Belleek, oriental wares.
CLOCKS include a charming 19th century mantel clock, the French chiming movement dated 1865 within a charming Chinese porcelain roundel , 7.5 ins diameter, painted with birds and flowers on a silver stand with articulated floral embellishments – it’s absolutely charming. We also have a mahogany mantel clock, the dial marked Sir John Bennett, Paris, an oak long-case clock marked Deacon Barton and a good quality William IV mahogany stick barometer and another barometer.
VINTAGE CLOTHING is an extensive section and includes designer handbags. ORIENTAL RUGS.
FURNITURE is a full section. We visited a fabulous house in Stanmore that was furnished with top quality reproductions by Martin J Dodge Ltd, and we are selling a large pair of serving tables on fluted supports in mahogany with rosewood edge decoration. There is also a classical breakfront display cabinet, 5ft, and a sideboard – all as new. Otherwise there is a Regency chiffonier, a William IV sideboard, a 19th century armoire in bamboo-effect church pine, a very long refectory table with a one piece 2″ top, a 19th century secretaire bookcase, Globe Wernicke bookcases, an 18th century chest on chest, 4 pedestal desks, a large 1940s bedroom suite, an Ercol light wood dining table and chairs with carved swan backs, an Ercol Gothic settee frame with side chairs, modern settee, good garden furniture, a modern black lacquer table and chairs, a very expensive plate glass desk, possibly Italian, a good Edwardian inlaid triple wardrobe and matching chest, and so much more including a Heals 1960s dining table, chairs, sideboard and matching desk.
GENERAL EFFECTS include a 2002 Vauxhall Astra motor car, a B&O television on motorised base, a B&O hifi, stacks of CDs – music and a large group perhaps associated with an external history degree, garden ornaments, Technics hifi, long curtains, mirrors, a modern flat-screen TV, a stainless steel fridge-freezer.