The penultimate sale before I retire and it is a good one, and if Arthur is reading this – we have some cigars! AND WINES. The sale date is the 19th May starting at 11am with viewing on Wednesday the 18th from 1pm to 7pm.
Calls to mansion flats in Kensington are rarely dull and this visit was not disappointing. An Italian lady in her 90s had died and this huge flat was full of her family furniture brought over from Italy. They may not be the best sellers, but enormous 18th century walnut wardrobes from North Italy have such style and warmth. One is so large you could sublet it! And two of the wardrobes are painted in the traditional manner and not at all opressive. They are great for stylish kitchens or the pool room for the towels. From the same flat comes an Empire secretaire abattant and a bureau plat.
So, as I am starting this missive with FURNITURE, allow me to continue. The Barbican centre was built in the 70s and, as the web says ‘An icon of Brutalist architecture, the Barbican is one of the UK’s architectural treasures. Working with a site almost completely razed by the Blitz, the Barbican’s architects, Chamberlain, Powell and Bon, seized the opportunity to propose a radical transformation of how we live in buildings and cities’. Certainly brutalistic and I have never failed to get lost. What was so nice about our clearance there was that the deceased bought stylishly, expensively and of the period resulting in our having an oval dining table in birch on chromed multiple supports, by Piet Hein and Bruno Mathsson, a set of four ‘Mirje’ dining chairs with original, soft, buttoned leather by Bruno Mathsson for DUX . They had loose covers all their lives. There is an arc lamp probably by Guzzini along with good quality traditional lighting, and a stylish sofa bed and a pair of arm chairs on revolving stands. The remainder of the furniture includes handsome commodes, two pairs of French leather-covered arm chairs, a large modern settee and a Georgian D-end dining table bought from R A Fredericks in 1975. And, we are collecting tomorrow a large Victorian haberdashers cabinet of 32 graduated drawers.
PAINTINGS is about 120 lots and artists include a collection of signed prints by Sir William Russell Flint and works by, or attributed to, other artists including Dame Laura Knight, Roy Perry, Ralph Steadman, James Priddy, Rudolf H. Sauter, P. Forcella, B. Bonello, W. Collins, Dereck Harris, Nancy Sharp, Robert McPartland, J.B. Crome, H.F. Burnet, H. Medlycott, Archibald Thorburn, Vivian Crome, Luciano Varetto, John Crome, Robin Mason, H. Springborn, Grisot, etc.
JEWELLERY includes, mainly from one estate, a good entry of gold, diamonds and traditional items, a gents’ gold wristwatch by Piaget, recently serviced, rings, brooches and beads and some good costume jewellery. Lots of interesting knick knacks like silver thimbles, needle cases styled as parasols with Stanhopes, miniature measuring tapes as humorous items, a bathing machine for example, cigarette holders, pocket barometers and other antique implements, fountain pens and early dip pens, old ink bottles, early cameras, a collection of clocks and dials from old cars and planes and a fantastic car trunk by Dunhill in superb order containing two suitcases and original straps for strapping to the back of the motor. What ho, Bertie! On account of the small supply of silver and plate, we have decided to hold it over to the June sale, hopefully with more added.
The SHELVES are full as ever. There’s an early air rifle, old fishing reels and rods, a silver-handled umbrella and a good walking cane, the handle possibly rhino horn. An 18th century ivory sewing box, mother of pearl inlaid papier mache sewing boxes, an unopened box of Havana cigars and others, two humidors, interesting boxes, replica guns, a diver’s knife, bronzes, mantel and wall clocks, a grandfather clock, old glass and ceramics, Lalique including a scent bottle, Lladro figures, endless tea and dinner services, unopened boxes of jigsaws, artist’s paints, a fantastic collection of early postcards, mainly written to one family including humour, greetings cards and an early Votes for Women card. We have taken delivery of approximately 3,000 Commando magazines, going back to pre-decimal, and there are four cartons of glamour magazines, some with an S&M theme. We have coins and a good entry of old fishing tackle including Hardy reels. We have three rare Ell rules, 19th century at the latest – I’ll let you look them up! Ours are good examples. Do you collect old sewing machines? We have two by Willcox and Gibbs with serial numbers A459639 and A354026. Displayed close by is an early typewriter by Blickensderfer, circa 1900. That vendor is selling a great military tin hatbox and a lead water feature. Old chimneys? We have three. And, this sale we are including WINES, CHAMPAGNES AND WHISKY as a small section.
TOYS include die cast model vehicles including Corgi James Bond Aston Martin DB5, and Dinky, and tin plate vehicles including 1950s and a Sutcliffe clockwork torpedo boat, also dolls including Lenci and a Lenci figure.
COSTUME includes antique, vintage and designer clothing, accessories and linen.
BOOKS include some signed first editions, and we have good RECORDS including punk and new wave, and also interesting Eastern rugs.