Catherine Southon's first auction of the year – the auction house's 5th year – was a record with only 14% unsold. The auction took place at Farleigh Golf Club, near Croydon, on Wednesday, 22nd February 2017.
The sale included several private collections, including the sale of part of one of Arthur Lewin (the 'Flying Colonel') and his wife Nora Higgin's descendant's estate. Highlight of the collection was a rare gold Hong Kong Plague of 1894 medal issued to Nora's sister Elizabeth F Higgin, in original fitted Wyon red leather presentation case, together with a short presentation letter by the Honorary Secretaries, dated 25th September 1895. Approximately only forty of the Hong Kong Plague medals were ever issued in gold and it was estimated at £5,000 - £8,000. As part of the collectables section of the sale towards the end, bidders from around the world started a fierce bidding war on the phones and internet. Finally, the successful bidder was online when the hammer went down at £21,000 (£24,780 incl buyer's premium).
Other highlights of the auction include a group of medals, WW2 and earlier, from the same collection, which sold for £3,200 ( £3,776) against an estimate of £200-300, which sold to a bidder on the phone and a substantial Victorian silver twin handled trophy cup from 1892 sold for £1,350 ( £1,593) to a bidder in the room.
Watches did particularly well – a Cartier Tortue 18ct yellow gold and diamond Ladies watch carried an estimate of £600-800 and fetched £3,000 (£3,540), while a gentleman's Rolex Oyster Ultra Prime 9ct gold manual wind wristwatch from circa 1930 sold for £1,400 (£1,652) against an estimate of £300-500. Among the jewellery, an attractive high Art
Deco emerald and diamond set ring was estimated to sell for £500-700. It was so popular among bidders in the saleroom, telephone and online that the successful phone bidder paid £2,900 (£3,422). An unusual belle epoque diamond and gem set scroll pendant necklace carried an estimate of £300-400 and sold for £1,300 (£1,534), while a Victorian diamond and pearl star brooch sold for £1,250 (£1,475/ est. £500-600).
The Mitchel Maer's Dior collection of costume jewellery sold very well – all at top estimate or over, with the top lot selling for £850 (£1,003). It consisted of eight pieces in the hippocampus or sea horse style and had been estimated to fetch £300-500. The lot which included the only piece in this collection which still retains the original Mitchel Maer for Christian Dior label sold for £700 (£826) against an estimate of £300-400. One of the last lots which only included a stunning necklace and bracelet in pink and turquoise sold for double its top estimate for £400 (£472).
Among the ceramics, an early Worcester porcelain crème boat from circa 1753 sold for £2,000 (£2,360), five times its low estimate, and a Clarice Cliff Toby Jug of Winston Churchill, estimated to fetch £600-1,000 sold for £1,300 (£1,534). The Ceremonial funeral details and route maps of the State Funeral of the Late Sir Winston Churchill, sold for £400 (£472).
Another collection sold well with highlights including an early 18th Century silk and metallic thread needlework and stumpwork picture depicting a figure surrounded by fauna and woodland animals – estimated at £200-300, it sold for £1,050 (£1,239) to an internet bidder. A pair of bronze Oriental warriors (estimate £150-250) sold for £900 (£1,062) and a beautiful little bronze and ivory sculpture by Aristide-Onesime Croisy, 'Le Nid' sold within estimate for £1,450 (£1,711) to a telephone bidder. An oil on canvas of a Breton woman working on a spinning wheel by George Sherwood Hunter (est. £500-700) sold for £2,000 (£2,360) and a late 18th century enamel on copper portrait of a young gentleman. Possibly Lord Melbourne, sold for five times its low estimate for £1,000 (£1,180).
Modern art did well again – a Lowry limited edition, signed print sold for top estimate at £3,000 ( £3,540) and a Keith Haring at Robert Fraser Gallery poster, signed 'K Haring for Richard' sold for twelve times its low estimate at £1,200 (£1,416) and a Murano glass sculpture 'The Three Graces' from circa 1970s (est. £200-300) sold for £1,350 (£1,593).
Last but not least, The Beatles proved they are still ones to watch, when an interesting collection of five Beatles programmes together with three tickets and one photograph sold for £950 (£1,121, est. £400-600) to an internet bidder.
Catherine Southon says:”We were really pleased with our February sale's results. We had a lovely range of lots to offer, many from private collections and sales were strong in all areas, which is good to see at the beginning of the year.”