Under the hammer: Tennants sale spans six centuries of treasures

Tennants Auctioneer’s Autumn Fine Art Sale on Saturday, November 18 opened to a packed saleroom – with nearly 1,000 lots to sell in one day the charged atmosphere in the Leyburn Auction House helped the sale achieve a total hammer price of £1,626,580.

A fine private collection of paintings, ceramics, works of art and furniture from Le Pavilion, formerly part of the Shortgrove Estate in Essex, provided some of the top lots

A pair of Roman micro-mosaic circular plaques sold for 6,000 (s).

A pair of Roman micro-mosaic circular plaques sold for 6,000 (s).

The true highlight of the collection was a Madonna and Child painting on panel, described as in the Manner of the Florentine Renaissance artist Filippo (Filippino) Lippi (c.1406-1469).

Reminiscent of works hung in the world famous Uffizi gallery, the well-preserved panel eventually sold to a telephone bidder, after a heated battle, for £135,000.

A number of paintings consigned through Tennants’ Harrogate office did particularly well on the day.

Most notable was a charming oil entitled ‘Gathering Daisies’, by the eminently collectable Dorothea Sharp RBA ROI VPSWA (1874-1955).

Depicting four children picking flowers on a sunlit clifftop, the work soared past the estimate of £10,000-15,000 to make £34,000.

Two Orientalist paintings by the obscure Hungarian artist Svetislav Ivanowich (19th century) attracted much interest from overseas, selling for £8,000 against an initial estimate of £1,200-1,800.

Discovered in a house in Tadcaster, one of the two was found to have a label from the Paris Salon in 1889, placing it at that exhibition but it has been unseen on the market since then.

The silver and objects of vertu section of the sale performed strongly, the top lot going to a Harrogate sourced unmarked continental enamelled gold snuff box, in the manner of Jean Ducrollay.

With a beautiful deep blue enamelling and finely painted panels after Francois Boucher, this box more than doubled the £5,000-7,000 estimate to achieve a hammer price of £12,000.

Good prices were seen among a small selection of clocks and barometers, a market that has seen a downturn of late.

A 19th century mahogany three month duration longcase regulator, signed Taffinder of Rotherham, which by repute was exhibited at Crystal Palace in 1851, made a handsome £3,800.

Works of Art provided some equally strong and rare lots too, in particular two lots uncovered by Steven Stockton of the Harrogate office.

Firstly, a wide brass dog collar which had belonged to Lord Byron’s favourite Newfoundland dog Boatswain, who succumbed to rabies in 1808.

Famously, the grief-stricken Romantic poet erected a monument at Newstead Abbey to his lost friend and composed the widely admired and repeated ‘Epitaph to a Dog’.

After global interest the collar, with accompanying ephemera giving provenance, was sold for £14,000 against an estimate of £3,000-5,000.

Also of particular note were a small, but beautiful, pair of early 19th century Roman School micro-mosaic circular plaques depicting the Tomb of Caecilia Metella and the Temple of Saturn.

This pair of Grand Tour mementoes stunned the room when they shot up to a staggering £6,000, against a pre-sale estimate of £800-1,200.

The major lots of the furniture section again came from the Le Pavilion Estate in Essex and were all French; an early 19th century Charles X Maplewood Table-de- Milleu, with a rare Egyptian red porphyry slab top, sold for a staggering £28,000; whilst a pair of Napoleon III Ebony Veneered and Parcel-Gilt Meubles d’Entrée Deux achieved an impressive £8,500.

From the Harrogate branch came a 19th century French Tulipwood, Rosewood & Ormolu-Mounted Breakfront Cabinet, which rocketed past the catalogue estimate of £2,000-3,000 to make £12,000.

Finally, jewellery, a market that goes from strength to strength, with a selection that did not disappoint.

Of most historical importance was a glittering Royal love token given by Queen Victorian to her favourite daughter, Beatrice, on the occasion of her 14th birthday.

Brought into one of the Harrogate office’s weekly Monday valuation days, this gold, diamond and turquoise brooch, with such an incredible history and provenance, sold for £7,500.

We are currently accepting lots for the Spring Fine Art Sale to be held on March 17, 2018. For more details please contact us on 01423 531661 or see www.tennants.co.uk.

Gathering Daisies by Dorothea Sharp RBA, ROI, VPSWA (1874-1955) sold for £34,000. Right: This turquoise and diamond brooch realised £7,500.

A pair of Roman micro-mosaic circular plaques sold for £6,000.