Chorley’s auction, 28-29 March
The rolling fields of Prinknash Abbey look beautiful in the Spring sunshine, and the spectacular views across Gloucestershire were enjoyed by the crowds who attended Chorley’s auction. The saleroom was full on both days, with bidders competing strongly against the internet and phones.
Top lot of the day was a large French 18th Century mythological scene depicting the lovers Acis & Galatea. The love story of Acis and the sea-nymph Galatea appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses. The jealous cyclops Polyphemus, who loves Galatea, comes across the pair embracing and in jealousy kills Acis with a boulder. This act is futile - Galatea transforms Acis into a spirit like herself, ensuring his immortality. A popular subject in art and literature from the Renaissance onwards, this version showed the lovers embracing while the jealous Polyphemus could be seen brooding on a cliff in the background. Estimated conservatively at £6000-8000, it soon become clear that the sale price would be far higher, with international bidders competing on nine telephones, online and in the room.
Sticking with the marine theme, the sale included an early work by the well-known 20th Century artist Montague Dawson (1890-1973). Best known for his depictions of warships and clippers which can sell for six figure sums, this little oil depicted a tug-boat in rough seas and accordingly we asked £1500-2000 and were pleased to see it exceed this at £2500.
Other strong sections in the sale included clocks, furniture and jewellery. For the hunting man, Lot 545 was perhaps the best and most complete hunt table to have appeared on the market for some time. Hunt tables are a distinctive form of horseshoe shape that could be placed around a fire, enabling a hunting party to have a drink in the warm; this example had a sliding wine coaster with a shield to prevent the wine or other drinks from overheating. The table could also be used outdoors at a meet or, with its wooden inset in place, simply as a serving table. Though not stamped, this example was believed to be by Gillows, was complete and in good condition - a classic country house item, it always looked great value at £3000-5000, and galloped past this estimate to a winning bid of £15,000.
The clocks in the sale sold well, in particular Lot 94, a rare Georgian automaton bracket clock by Charles Coulon with an interesting arch dial painted with a scene of musicians with moving arms, which realised £6800.
Fresh to the market Oriental items are still achieving spectacular prices thanks to Chorley's international reach. A packed saleroom of bidders had to compete against strong bidding on the telephone and internet, ensuring an exciting spectacle. Lot 146, a Chinese wucai bonsai pot painted with dragons fetched £9500 and a beautiful navy blue Chinese silk robe, dating from the Qing period, embroidered with multicoloured butterflies, flowers, clouds and crashing waves sold for a stunning £6,000, Lot 119.
All figures provided above are the auctioneer’s estimates and the final sale price will attract buyer’s premium (24% incl. VAT) on top of the hammer price. Other charges may also apply. See How to Buy for further details.
Tuesday 28 & Wednesday 29 March 2017
10am each day
Sunday 26 March, 10am-4pm
Monday 27 March, 9am-5pm
Live internet bidding will be available with
The Auction Room (no additional bidding fee) and
The Saleroom (3% additional fee)