NEWBURY.- Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions
will host a sale of Fine Jewellery, Watches, Silver and Objects of Vertu at their Donnington Priory base in Newbury, Berkshire on Thursday 14th July (10am). The sale is a carefully curated selection of precious objects dating from the 17th century to the late 20th century, to appeal to the connoisseur.
A silver tankard in chinoiserie style is a highly important and exceptionally rare piece of silver that is possibly thought to be the only known example in existence. Chinoiserie was a decorative style that was inspired by the art and design of China, Japan and other Asian countries which was at the height of fashion in the 18th century and hugely popular with British designers and craftsmen. This exquisite tankard, circa 1685 and unmarked apart from an 1814-1893 Dutch tax/census stamp, forms part of a small known group of silver dating from the last quarter of the 17th century with Chinese decoration in relief. The design on the tankard features a striking Chinese dragon thumbpiece and engravings of Chinese style flowers and foliage. Analysis carried out on the tankard found the silver impurity levels consistent with it being 16th-17th century and of sterling (.925) standard, thus pointing to an English, rather than Chinese, origin. As far as the present cataloguers have been able to ascertain there is no other example of a tankard from this very rare group in existence today. (Lot 53, Est: £15,000-25,000).
Also of interest is a group of 25 Russian works of art and objects of vertu. A key piece from within the selection is a stunning desk seal by Fabergé. The silver, gold and enamel seal is attributed to Henrik Wigstrom (18621923) who was one of the most important Fabergé workmasters. It features a seated cat with diamond eyes on a blue enamel and gold banded base. This comes complete with a fitted Fabergé box made from Holly wood and carries an estimate of £800-1,200 (Lot 80).
The sale also includes silver items from Pen Moel, near Chepstow. A key piece from this selection is an exquisite Nepalese, silver spice box (Lot 4) inscribed in Nepali script, 1911 and Nepal within a beaded border. The box was presented to the vendors grandfather, Sir Holburt Waring, 1st bart., by Sir Baber Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana, second son of Maharaja Sir Chandra Shamsher Rana, hereditary Prime minister of Nepal and carries an estimate of £1,500-2,000.
Collectors will delight in the opportunity to secure items from a Private Collection of small objects by the highly collectible company Sampson Mordan & Co. Sampson Mordan (1790 1843) was a British silversmith who a co-invented the first patented mechanical pencil. He became a well-established stationer, and was known for creating pencils in whimsical shapes that featured animals, as well as Egyptian mummies and other objects. Mordan also created beautifully designed silverware and goldware items such as pencil cases, ornate boxes and medicine chests which, like his pencils, are now highly collectible. A particularly rare and highly sought after Mordan piece on offer is a charming novelty Victorian silver suitcase sewing etui (London 1874). The delicate suitcase design opens up to reveal a gilt interior complete with a tape measure and spool holder (Lot 154, Est: £600-800).
Highlights for watch collectors include an 18 carat, gold pocket watch, circa 1800. The striking watch features two automated figures at 3 and 9 oclock, striking bells and a goat eating grapes at 6 oclock with a sliding cover which on closer inspection reveals a small erotic scene. (Lot 182, Est: £2,000-3,000). Also featured in the sale is a very rare 18 carat gold Rolex, circa 1937, which will garner attention from worldwide Rolex collectors. (Lot 232, Est £10,000-15,000).
The jewellery section of the sale spans a comprehensive range of jewels from the 17th century to the present day, including pieces from the most famous jewellery ateliers such as Cartier and Bulgari. On offer are a wonderful pair of early 19th century diamond earrings, set with old cut diamonds in a bow shaped panel and complete with pear shaped diamond drops (Lot 355, Est: £7,000-10,000).
Lot 248, a mid 17th century gold, ruby and diamond pendant mount with miniature portrait of Princess Mary of Orange is a wonderfully historical jewel from the 17th century. Princess Mary Henrietta Stuart (1631 - 1660) was the eldest daughter of King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, and was the first British Princess to be given the title Princess Royal. She married Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and Stadholder of the United Provinces and their only child Willem, Prince of Orange Nassau, became King William III of England, Ireland and Scotland in 1688 following the Glorious Revolution and the deposition of Mary's brother James II from the English, Irish and Scottish thrones. The gold mounted pendant is circa 1640 and decorated with white, black and pink enamelled scrolled panel set with rose cut diamonds and step cut rubies. The central image is of Princess Mary of Orange as a child wearing pearl earrings and a pearl necklace is painted on the back of a 17th century playing card (Est: £5,000 8,000).