Sought-after European and Asian works of art come to Olympia Auctions
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Sought-after European and Asian works of art come to Olympia Auctions
This rare Charles I commonwealth silver small winetaster, with a maker’s mark attributed to Nicolas Wollatson, London, circa 1650, is estimated at £1,000-£1,500.

LONDON.- Matthew Barton’s highly-regarded sale has become a well-known source for those wishing to enrich their collections with rarer European and Asian ceramics, silver, bronzes, textiles, miniatures and jewellery that are within realms of affordability. The auction house’s low threshold offers such tempting opportunities.

Among the European Works of Art, a collection of mainly 18th century Meissen belonging to Sir Thomas Dalmahoy Barlow, GBE (1883-1964), banker and industrialist, collector and historian and added to by his son Basil Stephen Barlow (1918-1991), includes a fine selection of Meissen animals, among them two pugs, estimated at 2,500-£3,500 each,. A leopard, sheep, a Danish hound, a hunting dog, horses and a donkey and foal are among the other Meissen animals. Among the figures, the Meissen Drinks Seller from their ‘Cris de St Petersbourg’ series, is a particularly rare piece, estimated at £1,800-£2,200.

In the rest of the ceramics section, there are other 18th and 19th century Meissen pieces, including candelabra and figural sweetmeat dishes. A particular highlight is an appealing nodding ‘Pagoda’ figure, circa 1860, seated cross legged, and grinning with an articulated tongue, estimated at £700-£1000. Among the British pieces, a Doulton Lambeth faience dish, painted by artist Linnie Watt of a pair of young lovers seated under a tree, is estimated £500-£700.

An Italian scagliola panel, attributed to the workshop of Enrico Hugford, Florence 1760 is a treasure from Italy. Among Hugford’s pupils was Lamberto Cristiano Gori (1730-1801) who are known to have supplied scagliola to the wealthy on the ‘Grand Tour’. This harbour scene with boats and figures, pictured left, is estimated at £600-£800.

The European silver pieces include a Norwegian parcel-gilt-silver spoon, probably Bergan, circa 1580, estimated at £600-£800. Among the English pieces, rare Charles I commonwealth silver small winetaster, with a maker’s mark attributed to Nicolas Wollatson, London, circa 1650, is estimated at £1,000-£1,500. A striking Victorian silver wine ewer, Hunt & Roskell, London 1869, of a stylized Grecian form has a modern minimal aesthetic, estimated at £600-£800.

In contrast, an eye-catching Edwardian silver-gilt four-piece tea and coffee set, by D. J Wellby Ltd, London in the 1900s in a flamboyant George III Rococo style, is estimated at £1,500-£2,500. Original English Rococo can be seen in this sale in a gloriously ornate George III silver tea urn, probably Charles Wright, London 1768, chased with flower swags and a bird’s head spout, estimate: £1,500-£2,500.

Among the Scottish and Irish silver, an Irish silver coffee pot, George Hodder, Cork, circa 1760 is one of the highlights of the silver section. Engraved with a contemporary coat of arms, with Rococo foliage, this rare piece is estimated at £6,000-£9,000.

A large George V silver ‘Bushel’ bowl, pictured above, by F.J. Ross & Sons of Winchester, London,1924 belonged to Arthur Rayner Dyer (1858-1925), Mayor of Winchester from 1919 – 1921, and thence by family descent to the present owner. A bushel is a measure of dry volume used in agriculture. The Winchester measure, on which the design of this bowl is modelled, is a larger bowl now in the Science Museum, and is a set of legal standards of volume instituted in the late 15th century by King Henry VII. Estimate: £700-£1,000.

The objects of vertu are of a variety of materials; silver, enamel, tortoiseshell, agate and micro mosaic. A pair of Victorian silver novelty pill boxes stand out for original design, by Spink & Son, London, 1895, each one realistically modelled as a Brazil nut with gilt interiors, and estimated at £400-£600.

The jewellery section includes attractive lady’s watches, the highlight of which is a Jaeger-Lecoultre, reverse Lady’s eighteen carat gold, diamond and ruby wristwatch, estimated at £2,000-£3,000. A gold fish scale bracelet from the 1950s embodies the bold fashion statement of that period, estimate £1,200-£1,500.

A highlight among the diamond pieces is a Belle Epoch demantoid and diamond pendant, from the 1890s. Demantoid is the most valuable of the garden group of minerals. Fine specimens like this one are exceedingly hard to obtain and are increasingly costly. Miners in Russia’s Ural Mountains, where the first demantoid garnet was discovered in the mid-19th century, were immediately struck by the highly refractive nature of the gem and its exceptional fire. They compared it to a diamond, possibly thinking the flashing green colour resembled the eyes of demons, hence supposedly the name. Estimate: £3,000-£4,000.

A diamond necklace with a tear shaped pendant with four graduating ‘swing’ hoops, is estimated at £2,500-£3,000. A diamond eternity ring in a ‘zig zag’ design, with marquise shaped diamonds, is estimated at £1,200-£1,500.

Japanese Works of art start the Asian Works of Art section of the auction, with the first lot a lacquer Sagejubako (portable picnic set), late Edo, Meiji period, 19th century, estimated at £800-£1,200. Edo period dishes and 18th and 19th century Chinese dishes follow, a highlight among which are two porcelain saucer dishes, Yongzheng mark and period, 1723-1735. One celadon green glazed (estimate: £6,000-£,8,000), the other copper-red (estimate: £4,000-£6,000). They were acquired by the vendor in 1955 and thence by family descent.

From a selection of 15th century Chinese celadon dishes, a highlight is a ‘Longquan’ celadon large dish, Ming dynasty, 15th century, estimated at £1,000-£1,500. Among the Chinese figures, a gilt-bronze figure of Avalokitesvara, Ming Dynasty, 17th century, seated in padmasana, the face with curly moustache and beard, is estimated at £4,000-£6,000. Among the Famille Rose porcelain, a late 19th, early 20th century large dish, enameled with leafy branches of flowering peony and pomegranate is estimated at £700-£1,000.

In the group of Nepalese and Tibetan wall hangings, a long narrative scroll extolling Ekadasivrata,from the second half of 18th century is estimated at £3,000-£5,000.
Among the Indonesian, Cambodian, Thai and Burmese terracotta and bronze heads and figures, dating from as early as the 12th century, a lacquered gilt-bronze figure of Buddha, Burma, 14th/15th century is estimated at £1,000-£1,500.

In the Indian sculpture section, a bronze figure of Garuda, Tamil Nadu, South India, from late 18th/19th century standing on a lotus with winged arms and wearing large earrings and a tall conical headdress is estimated at £1,200-£1,500. A Jain shrine depicting Candraprabha, Gujarat, Western India, dated Samvat 1494 (1437 AD), estimated at £1,500-£2,000. Among the plaques, a brass Haku plaque, from Andra Padesh, Deccan, South India, dated Samvat 1516 (1460 AD) shows the origin of the Visvabrahmins, a community of artisans from the Southern states of India. This is estimated at £3,000-£5,000.

Among the vessels, an Ottoman Tombak ewer, Western Anatolia, 18th century, with repoussé spiral design, engraved with floral motifs is estimated at £3,000-£4,000. Following this are the 18th and 19th century Indian boxes, a highlight of which is an ebony dressing box, Nagina, Northern India, 1880-1900, is particularly fine. The interior bone inlaid decoration, with compartments with removable trays, and the exterior with carved stylized floral designs in low relief. There are two Nagina boxes dated 1886, signed by the maker Muhammad Abdullah in the V&A Museum. Estimate: £800-£1200. An exceptionally fine example of Mysore sandalwood carving can be found on a panel, originally a lid from a casket, made in Mysore, 1880. The central panel depicts Siva on Nandi, flanked by female dancers and princely figures riding on chariots, and is estimated at £500-£700.

A fascinating group of photographs from India include 19th century photographs of Agra, a British function in Peshawar, and Bangalore. A group of early 20th century photographs include Burmese landscapes and villagers, events, a wedding, and Indian portrait photographs, including of a young prince.

Indian miniatures include a large painting depicting Sikh men gathering for Basant Panchmi, from Punjab, India, mid-19th century, and estimated at £3,000-£4,000.

Two portraits of young Princes, Gwalior, central India, mid-19th century, each seated against a bolster on a terrace, wearing the traditional Scindia headdress. Estimate: £2,000-£3,000. ‘Krishna is led to his bedchamber in the evening’, from Pahari, India, mid-19th century has an unusual feature of a European chair in the foreground. Estimate: £2,000-£3,000.

The Picchavai, painted cloth hangings include a depiction of Gopashtami Utsava, Nathdwara, Rajasthan, mid-19th century is a highlight. Gopashtami is the festival celebrating Krishna’s maturity as a cow herd, and cows always feature prominently on depictions of this theme. Estimate; £4,000-£5,000.

Among the Persian shawls and panels, two Qajar Dervish caps, circa 1900 will be for sale, in white felt with black embroidered arabesque panels filled with invocations in nastaliq script. Estimate: £800-£1,200.

The Matthew Barton Ltd European and Asian Works of Art Auction takes place at 11am on 20th November 2019 at Olympia Auctions. The catalogue is online at

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