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Chinese censer the tops in sensational sale

Auctioneer Paul Clark with bronze censer that sold for £38000

Clarks’ kicked off 2022, their tenth anniversary, with in sensational style with their traditional New Year’s Day sale. Many, many lots made much more than estimates as the sale lived up to expectations. Auctioneer, Paul Clark said “Our specialist sales are always well received online – we use, which frankly, is the only live bidding platform worth its salt – if an auction house selling finer items doesn’t have this platform in this day & age, then they are simply cheating their vendors of achieving the best price”.

A late 19thC. Windsor style chair set proceedings off at £160 quickly followed by an Italian Savonarola chair at £400. A 19thC. Gillows style pot cupboard attracted much online interest when making £820 at the hammer while a mid-colour Ercol table & chairs secured £200. A 19thC. Chinese hardwood plant stand (£230) & an early 20thC. Chinese carved standard lamp (£390) are others that caught the online bidders’ eye. A pair of Chinese carved stone guardian lions soon followed, securing £420 as the Oriental lots began to gather pace, notably a decorative export vase making £900. A Chinese prunus vase, despite damage, saw interest at £230 while a similar ginger jar with cover made £360.

However, a very plain & ordinary looking, period bronze censer with what appeared to be its original stand was the Asian lot that courted, by far, the most global interest. Auctioneer Paul Clark said, “When we collected this piece from a property in St. Austell, I strongly suspected it was ‘right’. We see so many good but later pieces which tend to make into the hundreds, so it was great to market a period piece”, adding “Within twenty four hours of advertising on, I had my instincts confirmed”. The censer saw a prolonged battle between & the phone, with the phone bidder prevailing at a seriously impressive hammer price of £38000. An almost identical piece had sold at a major London saleroom for a mere £15000. 

Prices continued to impress throughout the sale. A pate sur pate plate made £270 while a pair of Baccarat crystal candle holders came in at £350. A small French ormolu garniture, despite being somewhat unfashionable, still made bids of £560 while a pair of very modern Christopher Wray chandeliers are on their way to the USA at £260. Other decorator’s pieces also caught bidders’ attention with a pair of small but well executed Emily Bland oils making £200. A c.1840 oil painting depicting Napoleon Bonaparte, despite numerous age-related issues, caused a surprise when easily exceeding its £500-600 guide when making £6800 at the hammer after a lengthy internet battle.

There was a small collection of tribal art. A Polynesian war club (£860), another as found at £300 & an Aboriginal throwing club (£560) both saw healthy interest online. However, it was a 19thC. basalt club that achieved the greatest interest when selling to phone bidder at £2700.

Books saw great prices with a fifth edition J. R. Tolkien trilogy making £350 & a set of six later editions of All Year Round by Dickens achieving £200. A collection of comics, including a no.1 issue Commando, saw much interest culminating in bids of £500. Toys always do well at the Liskeard saleroom. A 1960’s Corgi James Bond “Goldfinger” Aston Martin with its box saw superb interest at £500 as did a set of five Spot On diecast models at £1150. A small collection of play worn Dinky (£220) & seven boxed Corgi cars (£460) also saw collectors battling it out for ownership.

Once again, finery excelled at the Heathland’s Road based saleroom. A Victorian pendant set with small sapphire, diamonds & pearls (£920) & a Scottish brooch by Graham Leishman Stewart (£760) headed the way. A set of ten Victorian gold sovereigns (£4000) & a George III guinea (£620) were weighed into by bullion collectors. An avant-garde ring set with small ruby & diamond stones made £780 with a set of gold bangles seeing interest at £1400. An attractive sapphire ring, originally purchased at Bowden’s in Plymouth during the 1950’s, saw bids of £4000, despite minor faults. A silver tea set (£1150), a set of four George Adams Kings pattern silver tablespoons (£290), a set of twelve Walker & Hall dessert spoons (£280) & a eight matching Francis Higgins III soup spoons (£250), proved there is plenty of life in the good silver market yet. 

We would like to hear from you if you have potential entries. Please contact us via visiting 2a/2b Heathlands Ind. Est. Liskeard, PL144DH or call 01579-349960/07756070198.