saw this year's August auctions soaring ahead. Most of Bellmans' specialist departments contributed to this auction week held from 2nd to 5th August 2022 and included some lots from the Shakenhurst Hall estate, which is being sold over several auctions this summer and autumn (see separate release for more info). Lots included from the estate in the August auctions made over £90,000. The furniture auction also surprised with a return to higher prices for brown furniture, in particular mahogany of all styles and periods;and in the Asian sale, blue- and pink-ground bowls did particularly well. Bidders participated from all over the world, including Australia and there was active bidding in the room.
Top lot of the auction was an early 20th Century diamond twin cluster jabot pin with a total carat weight of approximately 12.40cts. It had belonged to Rachel Severne, nee Fitzgerald and daughter of the 28th Knight of Glynn, who was married to the owner of Shakenhurst Hall, Michael Meysey Wigley Severne. She was a model known as The Swan and this jabot pin had been bequeathed to her by a close Italian friend. It had been estimated at £5,000 - £7,000 but the hammer finally came down at £16,000 (£20,224 including Buyer's Premium and VAT) and went to a bidder on Bellmans Live.
Her favourite ring, a magnificent emerald and diamond oval ring from the 1920s with a cushion-cut emerald within a border of rose-cut diamonds and further emeralds and diamond set shoulders, carried an estimate of £4,000 - £6,000 and sold for £14,000 (£17,696) after a bidding war on the phone and in the room, it eventually went to a bidder on the phone.
A G. Bissinger pendant brooch from circa 1880 with a sardonyx cameo had been gifted by Winnifred Dysart (related of the Earls of Dysart of Ham House) and was also part of the estate - it sold for £4,200 (£5,308) against an estimate of £800 - £1,200 to a bidder in the room. Also from the Dysart side of the family came a beautiful 19th Century diamond-set cross pendant which carried an estimate of £3,000 - £4,000 and sold for £5,500 (£6,952) to a telephone bidder. A 19th Century diamond ring in a marquise shape with two pear-shaped diamonds and seven further diamonds, sold for £9,000 (est. £2,000 - £3,000, £11,376) and a stunning Lacloche Freres diamond brooch, milgrain set with eight-cut diamonds and in the centre a suspended pear-shaped diamond, sold for £4,200 (£5,308) against an estimate of £800 - £1,200.
A Patek Philippe gold gentleman's automatic wristwatch from 1968 sold for £7,500 (£9,480) against an estimate of £3,000 - £4,000. As part of the Works of Art auction a French gilt-metal singing bird table cigarette box from circa 1900 and retailed by Finnigans New Bond Street had been expected to fetch £1,000 - £1,500, but sold for £2,600 (£3,286).
A tapestry fragment depicting seated angels with heavily reworked areas surprised when it sold for £1,200 (£1,516), ten times its top estimate, while a pair of early 20th Century Chinese reverse glass portrait paintings depicting courtesans fetched £750 (est. £300 - £500, £948).
Stand out lots among the Asian Art sale were a Chinese blue-ground bowl with a six character Xuande mark which had been estimated at £300 - £400, but sold for eight times its low estimate. A pair of Chinese porcelain pink-ground bowls from the 20th Century, possibly Republican with very faint Qianlong seal marks sold for £1,600 (£2,224), four times its top estimate, to a telephone bidder, and a Tibetan Kapala skull cup with a row of metal skulls around its rim sold for £950 (£1,200) against an estimate of £80 - £120.
Mahogany and brown furniture of all periods seemed to make a revival this August, but top lot was a pair of Adam Style gilt Ram's Head mounted bowl stands which carried an estimate of £400 - £600, but sold for £5,000. From the Shakenhurst Hall estate came two Regency faux Rosewood parcel gilt scroll end chaise longues, both estimated at £400 - £600 each, they sold for £4,200 and £3,200 respectively. A Regency Mahogany serving table sold for £2,400 (est. £600 - £900, £3,033), a George II Mahogany kneehole writing desk for £2,200 (est. £300 - £500, £2780) and a pair of Louis XVI style marble top mahogany petite commodes made £1,900 (est. £500 - £700, £2,401).
The general picture auction saw an etching of Barbara Streisand, signed and numbered 70/150 by Al Hirschfeld (American, 1903-2003) sell for ten times its top estimate at £1,500 (£1,896), while a pair of engravings by John Harris (British, 1811-1865) after Henry Martens of two military scenes in India, which had been estimated at £100 - £200, made £1,400 (£1,769). An oil on canvas depicting the steamship Blythwood off a volcanic coast by an unknown painter of the Clyde School from the 19th Century surprised when the hammer went down at £600 (£15,840) against an estimate of £50 - £70 and Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979) did well again when a folio of 'Compositions Couleurs Idees' sold for £1,100 (£1,390) against an estimate of £50 - £100